A late equaliser from Manchester United’s Anthony Martial in a 1-1 draw against West Ham United gave manager Louis van Gaal an FA Cup quarter-final replay at Upton Park. While playing at Old Trafford on Sunday, Dimitri Payet’s 68th minute header seemed to have put the Hammers on track for a semi-final at Wembley. His superb free-kick from 30 yards threatened to heap further misery on Van Gaal.
Manchester United, however, were revitalised by the introduction of Bastian Schweinsteiger for the struggling Marouane Fellaini and Martial ensured the teams would meet again at the Boleyn Ground with a far-post finish seven minutes from time. Michael Carrick shot just wide and De Gea saved superbly from Michail Antonio in a frantic finale – while West Ham were frustrated earlier when referee Martin Atkinson ignored penalty appeals after Payet fell under challenge from Marcos Rojo.
In amongst the wreckage of this traumatic season for Manchester United, the £36m purchase of Martial has been one of the few shining lights. And the 20-year-old came to the rescue of Van Gaal just as West Ham looked on course to knock the home team out of the FA Cup. Martial was tireless throughout and got his reward when he reacted first at the far post, turning in Ander Herrera’s cross as Diafra Sakho hesitated.
If Manchester United had gone out here, Van Gaal would have been left banking on his side delivering the sort of comeback they currently look incapable of producing as they try to overturn Liverpool’s 2-0 lead in the last 16 of the Europa League at Old Trafford on Thursday. It would have left Van Gaal effectively facing the end of Manchester United’s season – and almost certainly the end of his reign at the end of the season. Martial’s goal at least gives Van Gaal and United something extra to fight for in the quarter-final replay.
Curated from Manchester United 1-1 West Ham United – BBC Sport