FA Cup: Man United’s Ighalo fuelled by memory of Wembley heartbreak

Odion Ighalo is drawing inspiration from his previous setback at Wembley as he looks to fire United past Chelsea in the FA Cup semifinal.

Odion Ighalo runs with the ball during the FA Cup sixth round match between Norwich City and Manchester United in Norwich on 27 June, 2020.   -  AP

Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo says he is drawing inspiration from his previous setback at Wembley as he looks to fire his side past Chelsea in the FA Cup semifinal on Sunday. Ighalo, 31, was part of the Watford team that was defeated 2-1 by Crystal Palace in the semifinal in 2016, a result that denied it the opportunity to face United in the final.

“It was a difficult one to take against Palace. If we’d have won, we’d have played United in the final,” the Nigerian striker told the United website. “Unfortunately, we lost. It was a bitter one to take but this is an opportunity to make it right and go forward to the final... To get to the final would be great for me in my life and my career. It would make my dreams perfect.”

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Ighalo, who extended his loan deal at the Premier League club from Shanghai Shenhua until the end of January 2021, has scored five goals in 15 appearances in all competitions. However, with strikers Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial in a rich vein of form, Ighalo has found himself consigned to the substitutes’ bench.

‘Goals win games’

“They are doing so well. Seeing them playing every week is a joy. Rashford has come back from his injury and is doing well. Martial is scoring goals, Greenwood is unbelievable, he is such a good finisher with both feet,” he said.

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“The team is doing well and the three forwards are scoring goals and that’s what we need - goals win games.”

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