Odion Ighalo scores twice to fire Manchester United into FA Cup quarters

Odion Ighalo of Manchester United celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-3 during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Derby County and Manchester United at Pride Park on March 5, 2020 in Derby, England.

Odion Ighalo scored twice in Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Derby County on Thursday night as we booked our place in the FA Cup quarter-final, where we’ll face Norwich away.

All the talk before the game was about United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney, who now has the role of player/coach at Derby, but it was Ighalo who stole the plaudits.

With Marcus Rashford ruled out for much of the remainder of the season, Ighalo was the surprise January signing from China, but to his credit, he’s done well in the limited appearances he’s had. 

With three goals in two starts, he’s picking up the goals and has already equalled the tally of Henrik Larsson who spent two months on loan at United in the 2006-07 season.

Ighalo, a lifelong United fan, is living the dream. He obviously isn’t the world class replacement we’d like to see in Rashford’s absence but he is doing what is asked of him. 

Because he’s at the club, Anthony Martial can be rested, which is so important with big games like the derby on the horizon. With a goal every 87 minutes on the pitch, you can’t complain.

The loan is set to expire at the end of the season but Ighalo, who has halved his wages for the chance to play for United, will be looking to do all he can to interest United in signing him long-term.

“When you’ve got strikers, you want them to be happy and confident going in to the next game, and we’ve got a big game on Sunday,” Solskjaer said after the game. 

“He’s come here and we’ve still got a few injuries. Anthony has struggled a little bit lately too, so it’s great to have Odion to call upon. 

He’s a different type of striker. He holds it up well. The first goal, the ball’s underneath him, there’s not many strikers who could dig that one out. He’s doing what it says on the tin and what we asked for when we signed him.”

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