FA Cup: Manchester United outclass Derby to ease into the quarters; Villa come unstuck at the Toffees

Derby 1 – Manchester United 4 (FA Cup, February 15, 2009) (ITV highlights here.) Derby held firm for almost half an hour until United built an attack on the edge of the Rams’ area, the ball arrived to Nani on the top left of the box he cut across before firing off a bullet for 1-nil. United doubled their lead on the stroke of halftime, a Ronaldo free-kick bounced up from the wall and Darron Gibson met the ball on the volley to net the second. Cristiano Ronaldo headed home the third at the start of the second half, but Derby then gave the home crowd something to cheer when Kris Commons’ delicious cross was headed home by Miles Addison. Derby upped their tempo but United’s superiority was telling, and the game was over after Giggs and Fletcher combined to find Danny Welbeck who struck home a curler into the far corner.

Everton 3 – Aston Villa 1 (FA Cup, February 15, 2009) Goodison Park was witness to an explosive opening, the Toffees moved ahead in the 4th minute when a Cahill header from a corner was saved on the line by Stiliyan Petrov (handball) only for young Jack Rodwell to rifle the ball home. But Villa immediately went up the other end, Hibbert fouled Agbonlahor in the box and James Milner squeezed home the penalty under Howard. An excited match swung in Everton’s favour once more after 24 minutes, Sidwell took out Anichebe in the box and Mikel Arteta was never going to miss from the spot. Everton killed the game midway through the second half, an Anichebe cross was missed by Curtis Davies and the lively Tim Cahill was on hand to slot in the killer third.

The draw for the quarter-finals of the FA Cup can be seen here.