FA Cup: Man U hit six past League One Tranmere

Manchester United gave manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a much-needed boost with a 6-0 mauling of Tranmere on Sunday to reach the FA Cup fifth round.
Despite a fast Tranmere start, United scored three goals in six minutes against the run of play through unlikely scorers Harry Maguire, Diogo Dalot and Jesse Lingard to effectively end the match as a contest.
Workmanlike Tranmere held out until the last five minutes of the half, but Phil Jones (41) and Anthony Martial made it five before the break, while United fans chanted songs criticising their owners.
Mason Greenwood wrapped the game up with a penalty just before the hour to put the seal on a highly clinical and effective performance marking their biggest away win this century on a poor Prenton Park pitch.
Tranmere actually started much the brighter, with the lively Morgan Ferrier causing trouble with his bustling runs and drawing a booking from the uncertain Jones after just four minutes.
But despite the nervy start, United took the lead through Maguire’s first goal since joining the club in the summer. The United captain unleashed a fierce, dipping 20-yard effort that skimmed off the head of Peter Clarke on its way to the top corner.
Dalot then jinked into the box and struck the ball sweetly across Tranmere goalkeeper Scott Davies before Lingard curled in a fine effort from the edge of the box to put Solskjaer’s side in complete control.
Jones rose above Connor Jennings to nod in from a corner for his first goal in five years, before Martial – via a slight deflection off Kieron Morris – made it five from an almost identical position to Lingard’s goal.
After the break Greenwood extended the lead even further from the penalty spot, coolly sending Davies the wrong way after Tahith Chong was chopped down recklessly by the Tranmere goalkeeper.
Greenwood’s goal marked the first time United had scored six goals in a game since Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge of the 8-2 thrashing of Arsenal in 2011, and only the second time in their history they had six different scorers.
Six substitutions disrupted the match’s rhythm and Manchester United’s tempo, but the visitors kept piling on pressure, with Lingard then Tahith Chong striking the woodwork before the game petered out as Tranmere shut up shop.
Whether executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and the Glazers – not present at the game – heed the supporters’ urging and make any signings before the deadline on January 31 remains to be seen.