Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off the bench to grab a late winner as Manchester United came from behind to beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 in the Emirates FA Cup fifth round at Ewood Park.

The Reds fell behind early on to a Danny Graham strike, but responded through Marcus Rashford before the break. Paul Pogba and Ibrahimovic were introduced just after the hour-mark and the pair combined for Ibrahimovic’s winner 15 minutes before the end.

Jose Mourinho continued his rotation policy making seven changes to the side that defeated Saint-Etienne. Sergio Romero retained his place in goal, while Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young, Michael Carrick, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford all came in.

United, who arrived into this tie having won four of the last five matches in all competitions, having kept five clean sheets in the process, controlled the early proceedings in terms of the possession stats. It was Rovers however who had the first strike at goal as Marvin Emnes hit a 25-yard pile driver, which Romero did well to punch away.

That was to be a warning to the United defence, as moments later Emnes turned Rojo on the edge of the box and played in former Swansea striker Graham, who fired high past Romero to give the hosts a shock lead. It was the first goal United had conceded in over 450 minutes of football.

Mourinho’s men should have perhaps been back on level terms six minutes later as Lingard’s cross fell to Ander Herrera inside the box, but he fired straight at Jason Steele, who palmed away.

But the Reds didn’t have to wait long before parity was restored as the magician Mkhitaryan, neatly beat Danny Gutherie in central midfield, before playing an inch-perfect outside of the foot pass for Rashford, who showed his growing maturity, to calmly round Steele and tap home – game on.

Read more…