Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 6 July 2020

Relief for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United rout Tranmere Rovers in FA Cup

Norwegian manager pleased with team after hitting League One team for six, but United fans voice their frustration against club's owners and vice-chairman Ed Woodward during game

Manchester United put a torrid week behind them by thrashing third-tier Tranmere Rovers 6-0 and cruising into the FA Cup fifth round.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was badly in need of a convincing performance after 2-0 defeats to Liverpool and Burnley in the Premier League over the past seven days.

Many tipped the Red Devils to get bogged down on a sandy surface at Prenton Park, but a flying start thanks to a host of unlikely goalscorers ensured there was no chance of an upset.

"A lot has been said and written about this pitch," Solskjaer said. "We played it well. We didn't want to make it a long-ball fight because that's not the game we wanted. We put the ball down and scored nice goals.

"You can see everyone wanted us to fail but it doesn't bother me. I can't be up and down [emotionally]. I'm happy but won't relax."

Captain Harry Maguire led by example by striding forward to smash home his first goal for the club since an £80 million (Dh384m) move from Leicester.

"It was really important to get the win, coming off the back of a bad performance and result against Burnley," said Maguire.

"We set our stall out to put in a positive performance for the fans. We’re in the next round which is what we came to do."

Diogo Dalot then also grabbed his first United goal before Jesse Lingard curled home for just a second time in a year for club and country inside 16 minutes.

Phil Jones then nodded home his first United effort since 2014 and Anthony Martial's deflected strike made it five before the break.

Solskjaer could then afford the luxury of resting Martial, Maguire and Nemanja Matic for most of the second half ahead of Wednesday's attempt to overturn a 3-1 first leg deficit against City in the League Cup semi-finals.

Tahith Chong was one of those introduced and he was brought down by Tranmere goalkeeper Scott Davies, allowing Mason Greenwood to score United's sixth from the penalty spot.

"It's important we spread goals through the team," Solskjaer said. "We've lost Marcus [Rashford] for a little while. Our two strikers scored – it is a confidence boost for everyone.

When asked about protests and chants by United fans against the club's owners and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Solskjaer said: "We are just going to keep on working and trying to get the results right and move the club forward.

"Supporters are always happier when you win games and are successful. We will just keep working to get this right."

Updated: January 26, 2020 10:10 PM

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