Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal opened the scoring in the 25th minute by slotting past David de Gea
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney netted equaliser just four minutes after Monreal’s opener
Former Red Devils striker Danny Welbeck capitalised on defensive error by Antonio Valencia to score winner
Angel di Maria was sent off in the 77th minute after receiving second yellow card for pushing Michael Oliver
Danny Welbeck didn’t bother trying to win any more friends at Old Trafford. He didn’t hang his head or look mildly embarrassed or ashamed. When the ball hit the net for the goal that would dump Manchester United out of the FA Cup, Welbeck went wild. So he should. He wanted them, they didn’t want him – for what is he apologising?
‘A substitute, not a line-up player,’ that was Louis van Gaal’s explanation for selling him to Arsenal in the summer transfer window. ‘I don’t have to prove I was right – if that was not a good enough reason, then I’m not a good manager.’
Welbeck will love that part, chipping away at another crack in the Van Gaal regime. United’s fans did not want him to leave – he was applauded off in the 72nd minute, despite his goal – because they like local lads here. Welbeck returning to deny United their last remaining tilt at a trophy will seem like poetic justice to some.
It was a painful decider, too. A long hoof upfield, collected by Phil Jones and fed out to Antonio Valencia under pressure. Closed down swiftly, he panicked and played a pass back to goalkeeper David de Gea. It was underhit and Welbeck was onto it in a flash. He knocked it past De Gea, who was then stranded in no man’s land and finished into an empty net. After that, Welbeck partied like it was 1999.
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