Goals from Ander Herrera and substitute Angel Di Maria gave Manchester United a hard-fought victory over Yeovil Town in the third round of the FA Cup.
The Spanish midfielder’s brilliant volley in the 64th minute put the Reds ahead on a day when they rarely hit their best form, while Di Maria’s sublime chip over the Yeovil goalkeeper Jed Steer in last minute of normal time sealed the win.
Hererra had one of the few other clear-cut chances with a shot wide before the break, while James Wilson, one of six changes to the side from the draw at Stoke City on New Year’s Day, had a shot saved in the first half.
United went ahead shortly after Keiffer Moore had missed a great opening to put Yeovil ahead from close range, and Di Maria, a second-half replacement for Radamel Falcao, made a vital goalline clearance within minutes of Herrera’s goal as United held off Yeovil’s concerted attempts at drawing level.
The hosts started strongly, bolstered by their vociferous support, but the Reds soaked up a spell of early pressure from the League One outfit until Wayne Rooney curled United’s first chance of note wide following a neat touch from Wilson.
Rooney’s chance seemed to provoke their opponents into action, Yeovil pressurising the Reds and winning a succession of corners until a lengthy delay following a clash of heads between Paddy McNair and Moore. Both players returned to action after being patched up with extensive bandages, but the match then became disjointed until Wilson, seizing upon a clever pass from Herrera, drove his shot straight at Yeovil’s Steer.