Solskjaer's men beat Chelsea; reach FA Cup quarterfinals

Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba got the goals as Manchester United won 2-0 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup.

Manchester United players Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba celebrate a goal.   -  Getty Images

Manchester United provided a fine response to its Paris Saint-Germain defeat by beating Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to secure a place in the FA Cup quarterfinals.

It was said Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's so-called honeymoon period as United interim manager was ended by the 2-0 Champions League loss to PSG, but his team bounced back excellently — the Norwegian getting his tactics spot on despite the injury-enforced absences of Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.

Although Chelsea initially looked the brighter of the two sides, United gradually improved and was good value for the lead when Ander Herrera nodded in from close range in the 31st minute, and Paul Pogba — provider for the opener — made it 2-0 on the stroke of halftime.

In desperate need of a route back into the contest, Chelsea increased the intensity after half-time and generally controlled proceedings, but it could not find a way past the solid backline of a United side which finds itself two wins from the final.

Chelsea appeared to be shading an open contest during the early exchanges — Sergio Romero producing two saves in quick succession to keep David Luiz's free-kick and Pedro's volley out in the 11th minute.

But United got a foothold and took the lead just past the half-hour mark, as Herrera beat Kepa Arrizabalaga with a stooping header from Pogba's sublime cross.

United increased its lead just before half-time, as Pogba released Marcus Rashford up the right flank and then met the striker's pinpoint right-wing delivery with a towering header.

Chelsea became more productive after the interval, though United's defence thwarted it time and time again — Chris Smalling twice blocking efforts from Gonzalo Higuain.

Despite Chelsea's dominance towards the end, chances just would not present themselves and United had little difficulty holding on.

Key Opta Facts

- United is the first team to eliminate both Arsenal and Chelsea in the same FA Cup campaign since the Red Devils in 1998-99. 
- Chelsea failed to score for only the second time in its last 51 home games in cup competitions, also drawing a blank against Arsenal in the League Cup semifinal in January 2018 (0-0). 
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has now won 11 of his 13 games in charge of United, one more than Jose Mourinho won with the club in 2018-19 (10/24). 
- Since Solskjaer took charge of United on December 19th 2018, the only Premier League player to have had a hand in more goals for his club side than Pogba (15) is Son Heung-Min (16). 
- Pogba has been directly involved in 15 goals in 12 games in all competitions under Solskjaer (9 goals, 6 assists), six more than he managed in 20 games under Mourinho this season (5 goals, 4 assists). 
- Since his debut in February 2016, Rashford has been directly involved in 63 goals in all competition for United (42 goals, 21 assists), more than any other player in that time.

What's next?

Chelsea turns its attention to the Europa League on Thursday, as it welcomes Malmo to Stamford Bridge having beaten it 2-1 last week. United's next outing sees it host rival Liverpool in the Premier League.

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