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first_imgWayne Rooney’s injury-time penalty snatched Manchester United a 1-0 victory over Sheffield United in the FA Cup. The third round fixture will not live long in the memory as chances were few and far between. The League One side defended brilliantly, but the Red Devils mustered few chances on target, with Memphis Depay coming closest with two long-range efforts. The Man Utd playmaker was then involved in the all-important goal as he charged down the left wing and the Blades’ Dean Hammond slid in the box, taking down the summer signing. Rooney stepped up in the 93rd minute to coolly convert past George Long. Louis van Gaal fielded a strong United side but they created few clear-cut chances as Nigel Adkins’ men – ninth in League One – defended well in numbers.Former Wigan striker Connor Sammon did brilliantly well to bring a long ball down with a deft touch, firing on target and David De Gea tipped the ball over the bar. The referee pulled play back for handball, but that was the best piece of action mustered in the first half.The goalless scoreline meant United have not scored in the first half at Old Trafford in their last ten home games. The fans’ frustrations were felt in the second half as Depay came inside from the left channel and his long-range shot hit the side-netting, with home fans sarcastically cheering. Chris Basham had the first shot on target at the other end minutes later, while United fans could not believe their luck as they cheered again when Matteo Darmian’s tame effort was heading for goal, but for goalkeeper Long.Depay tried his luck again from a similar distance, his low shot bouncing past the post before he was involved late on for the penalty decision. As it looked like the tie was heading for a Bramall Lane replay, the home side were awarded a spot-kick.The Dutchman’s dangerous run into the box saw him in space and Hammond slid along the soaking Old Trafford turf, catching him with his trailing leg, and he went down rather easily. But the referee did not hesitate to point to the spot. England and Red Devils captain Rooney rose to the occasion to send Long the wrong way and seal their place in Monday’s fourth round draw.In the next stage they may be, but the result papers over the cracks at Old Trafford as Van Gaal’s men put in another lacklustre performance. But that should not be taken away from Adkins’ men, who performed brilliantly on the night. 1 Manchester United 1-0 Sheffield United: Van Gaal’s men snatch late win through Wayne Rooney penalty last_img read more