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Five key talking points as United squeeze past Newport
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William Furness
Manchester United beat Newport 4-2 in the FA Cup fourth round
Manchester United beat Newport 4-2 in the FA Cup fourth round

Manchester United made hard work of League Two Newport but safely made it through to the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo scored within the first 13 minutes but Newport battled back through Bryn Morris and Will Evans to level things in Wales.

Antony bundled home a third after Luke Shaw's curled effort came off the post before Rasmus Hojlund assured the victory in the final minutes.

Here are five key talking points from a dramatic cup clash.

Finding a way

United had to work for this FA Cup victory and it was not an easy ride for the Premier League visitors.

After Evans equalised quickly after the restart, all eyes were on how Erik ten Hag's side would react.

A shock exit looked a possibility with Newport on the front-foot but United struck the all-important blow in the 68th minute. 

Despite making the task more complicated than needed, the most important thing for Ten Hag will be that his side have booked a place in the next round. 

Rashford exclusion 

Rasmus Hojlund put things to bed late on
Rasmus Hojlund put things to bed late on

Marcus Rashford was strangely left out of the squad that travelled 175 miles from Manchester to Newport.

The news came after the 26-year-old reportedly missed a training session on Friday having been spotted out in a Belfast nightclub on Thursday night. 

Before the game, Ten Hag admitted the reason for the England international's absence was that he "reported ill."

But when questioned further on Rashford's activities during the week, he said: "Let us say it is an internal matter. I deal with it."

Antony delight 

Antony will be delighted with his contributions after enduring a difficult season so far.

The winger was in the right place at the right time to tap home the winner and also set up Fernandes' opener seven minutes in.

They were his first goal involvements of the season so it will be a relief for the Brazilian that he played a big part in his team's win. 

Antony will now be hoping to use this as a momentum builder going into the second half of the Premier League campaign.

FA Cup magic

The FA Cup has provided some magic yet again this weekend with sixth-tier Maidstone knocking out Championship side Ipswich. 

Despite the result not going in their favour, Newport did well to battle back from two goals down and create an entertaining game at Rodney Parade. 

The atmosphere was electric throughout and there was genuine belief within the stadium that they could go on to cause another huge upset.

This type of occasion is always a special spectacle and this game proved to be no different. 

Fernandes stands out

Bruno Fernandes and Antony both got on the scoresheet for Manchester United
Bruno Fernandes and Antony both got on the scoresheet for Manchester United

In a very scrappy game, United skipper Fernandes stood out as the star. 

His early opener was taken brilliantly — finishing low past goalkeeper Nick Townsend to calm the nerves of his team-mates.

Although he would not have any other scoring involvements, his overall play was excellent and the Welsh side struggled to deal with a seasoned international.

The 63-cap Portugal midfielder continues to be a shining light in United's tough period.


Manchester UnitedNewportBruno FernandesAntony Matheus dos SantosFA Cup
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