30 Jan 2016

Man U win to ease pressure on Van Gaal

6:54 pm on 30 January 2016

Under-pressure Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal enjoyed a rare highlight after weeks of gloom when his side comfortably beat Derby County 3-1 to reach the FA Cup fifth round.

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Goals from Wayne Rooney, Daley Blind and Juan Mata put the 11-times Cup winners through, with second-tier Derby only briefly threatening a shock when George Thorne equalised shortly before the break at a noisy Pride Park.

Dutchman Van Gaal has been under mounting pressure after a recent poor run of form and shortage of entertainment, but United were good value for their forurth-round win.

Rooney put the visitors ahead with a superb curling effort after 16 minutes and United, cheered on by 5,000 visiting fans, should have been further in front before Thorne's expertly-taken equaliser with Derby's first meaningful attack.

Blind restored United's lead after 65 minutes with a sharp finish before Mata sealed the win late on.

The rest of the fourth round matches are scheduled for the weekend with holders Arsenal hosting second-tier Burnley on Sunday.