The FA Cup - Fourth Round
TranmereTranmere Rovers0Man UtdManchester United6

Tranmere 0-6 Manchester United: Reds' fans voice anger during FA Cup win

By Simon StoneBBC Sport at Prenton Park

Manchester United supporters used an FA Cup fourth-round hammering of League One Tranmere Rovers to again voice their frustration with the club's owners and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

United scored five times in an amazing first-half at Prenton Park, with skipper Harry Maguire and Diogo Dalot claiming their first goals for the club and Phil Jones getting his first since March 2014 under David Moyes.

Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial were also on target in the first period to give the 2,000-strong visiting support a high point in an otherwise tortuous season and end any thoughts of a shock FA Cup defeat that would heap further pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But they also spent five minutes chanting against the Glazer family and Woodward, who was not at the game. The chants appeared to be sung by the vast majority of United fans and ended with "We're Man Utd, we'll sing what we want".

United's fans are annoyed at what they view as a lack of investment in the team, a long-held belief that has grown during the current transfer window with the team fifth in the Premier League and in obvious need of reinforcements yet with no signings having been made so far.

The team did not need additional assistance today though, with Mason Greenwood adding a second-half penalty as United scored six for the first time since 2011, when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge.

When asked about the chants after the game, 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."

Man Utd's flying start

The visitors made their first trip to Tranmere against the backdrop of fan disenchantment, a dispiriting home defeat in the Premier League and knowing they must overcome a sticky pitch in addition to opponents who were responsible for knocking Watford out three days ago.

When the covers on the pitch were removed an hour before kick-off they revealed a heavily rolled but patchy surface that was part sand, part mud and part grass.

United assistant manager Mike Phelan went for a walk along the worst areas with some trepidation before the visitors began their warm-up and the players' pre-match preparations cut the pitch up further.

Once the match began, it was clearly going to be a difficult surface, with one strip down the touchline in front of the dug-outs a spongy mess and it wasn't long before the front of Jones' shirt was covered in mud.

United were not daunted by the unfamiliar surface though, going ahead when Maguire powered home a shot from outside the box and doubling the lead three minutes later when Dalot drilled in a right-footed effort across keeper Scott Davies.

Lingard added to the one he scored in Astana in the Europa League as the visitors took total control within 16 minutes.

When Martial's deflected effort went in, it was the first time United had scored five goals in a first half since the 6-1 hammering of Arsenal in 2001 - when Solskjaer was among the scorers.

A positive day for Jones

Few players in the game are currently ridiculed as much as Jones.

He was a member of England's World Cup squad in 2018 but his star has waned so much since then it has been suggested the 27-year-old turned down the offer of a testimonial because he felt no-one would turn up.

His propensity for pulling amusing faces or finding himself in strange positions means he is a rich source of content for social media.

And in the first five minutes today he managed to get booked, get his shirt covered in mud and get himself on the wrong end of a nasty challenge from Corey Blackett-Taylor.

For a while it looked as though Jones might not be able to continue but he carried on and amid some manic arm-waving and a couple of last-ditch challenges, he also managed to score his first goal since the short-lived Moyes era.

It reminded us that the former Blackburn defender - at one point compared to legendary United and England midfielder Duncan Edwards - had gone through the entire Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho reigns without scoring.

His goal was well received by the visiting supporters, who sang a rare song in his honour.

Internal dissent at Old Trafford

There has been plenty of debate about the songs heard during Wednesday's Premier League home defeat by Burnley against United's owners the Glazer family and Woodward.

The supporters who made the short journey to Merseyside took half an hour to identify their target again.

Prior to that, they sang repeatedly in honour of Solskjaer, who it is clear will remain a hero to the fans no matter how his managerial stint works out.

First, they sang the chant about Woodward that caused most of Wednesday's controversy before turning on the Glazers with a succession of songs including "We want the Glazers out".

The last - and longest - chant involved most of the United fans and was followed by another round of songs backing the club and vowing to continue supporting it.

There was no repeat until the final five minutes, when the Woodward chant was voiced again, although it soon disappeared.

Man of the match - Harry Maguire (Manchester United)

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire
Maguire produced a classic captain's display, scoring and assisting on a tricky pitch

'Everyone wanted us to fail' - what the managers said

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, speaking to BBC Sport: "A lot has been said and written about this pitch. We played it well. We didn't want to make it a long-ball fight - we got the ball down and scored nice goals.

"We have good footballers. They give everything in every game.

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

"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. There are two big games coming up."

Tranmere manager Micky Mellon, speaking to BBC Sport: "You can see the quality they have. It was no surprise to us. Some of the goals they scored, we wouldn't face that kind of quality [in League One].

"We got everything we needed out of this cup run. We knew we were up against a fantastic team - the players gave everything. We can draw a line under it and get back to the bread and butter [of their relegation battle].

"We were undone by a centre-back shooting from 25 yards into the top corner, that's the quality we were up against. The quality was a level above what you're used to."

Rampant Reds - the stats

  • Manchester United recorded their biggest away win any competition since beating Nottingham Forest 8-1 in February 1999, a game in which Solskjaer scored four goals.
  • They had six different scorers in a match for only the second time in their history - the other occasion was a 10-1 win against Wolves in the top flight in October 1892.
  • United have lost just one of their last 53 FA Cup matches against teams from outside the top flight (W45 D7 L1), a 1-0 home defeat to Leeds United in January 2010 - they have won their last 12 games of this type.
  • Manchester United scored five goals in the first half of a match for the first time since February 2001, when they were 5-1 up against Arsenal; Solskjaer scored the fifth that day.
  • Manchester United scored with each of their first six shots on target.
  • Tranmere have conceded 32 goals in their last nine home FA Cup games against Premier League opponents, letting in six goals in three of their last four (6-2 vs Swansea and 7-0 vs Spurs).
  • Lingard scored only his second goal in his last 42 appearances for United in all competitions, and only his fifth in 49 under Solskjaer.
  • This was the first time United had scored six goals in a game since Sir Alex Ferguson retired - they last scored six in an 8-2 win over Arsenal in August 2011.

What next?

Manchester United travel to Manchester City for the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday (19:45 GMT) while Tranmere host Sunderland on the same night in League One (19:45 GMT).



Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1DaviesBooked at 55mins
  • 14Caprice
  • 24Clarke
  • 6Monthe
  • 3Ridehalgh
  • 7Morris
  • 35Danns
  • 17PerkinsSubstituted forGilmourat 65'minutes
  • 23Blackett-TaylorSubstituted forHepburn-Murphyat 74'minutes
  • 11Jennings
  • 10FerrierSubstituted forMullinat 74'minutes


  • 2Woods
  • 9Mullin
  • 18Hepburn-Murphy
  • 20Gilmour
  • 22Wilson
  • 25Pilling
  • 45Payne

Man Utd

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 22Romero
  • 2Lindelöf
  • 4JonesBooked at 4mins
  • 5MaguireSubstituted forWilliamsat 64'minutes
  • 20Dalot
  • 15Pereira
  • 31MaticSubstituted forFredat 45'minutes
  • 23Shaw
  • 14Lingard
  • 26Greenwood
  • 9MartialSubstituted forChongat 45'minutes


  • 3Bailly
  • 8Mata
  • 13Grant
  • 17Fred
  • 21James
  • 44Chong
  • 53Williams
Lee Mason

Match Stats

Home TeamTranmereAway TeamMan Utd
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Tranmere Rovers 0, Manchester United 6.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Tranmere Rovers 0, Manchester United 6.

  3. Post update

    Tahith Chong (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Neil Danns (Tranmere Rovers).

  5. Post update

    Andreas Pereira (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Peter Clarke (Tranmere Rovers).

  7. Post update

    Tahith Chong (Manchester United) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the left side of the box. Assisted by Jesse Lingard.

  8. Post update

    Tahith Chong (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Paul Mullin (Tranmere Rovers).

  10. Post update

    Fred (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Paul Mullin (Tranmere Rovers).

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Luke Shaw (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tahith Chong.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kieron Morris (Tranmere Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rushian Hepburn-Murphy.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (Tranmere Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right following a set piece situation.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Tahith Chong (Manchester United).

  16. Post update

    Paul Mullin (Tranmere Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Post update

    Brandon Williams (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Paul Mullin (Tranmere Rovers).

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Paul Mullin (Tranmere Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Andreas Pereira (Manchester United).


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