Manchester United have now booked a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup after spoiling West Ham United's chances at the Upton Park Wednesday. United edged past the Hammers by 2-1 in the FA Cup quarter-final to make it to the final four of the tournament.
Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini's goals gave the Red Devils' fans something to cheer about as they are just two steps away from the FA Cup silverware, which they have not won in the past 12 years.
Louis van Gaal, who was under enormous pressure after their 3-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday at the White Hart Lane, will be feeling relieved after this much-needed victory.
This win over West Ham in the FA Cup quarter-finals might just buy him some more time at the club. But the job is not done yet as they will face Everton April 23 at the Wembley Stadium to fight for a place in the FA Cup final against Watford or Crystal Palace.
West Ham started off well but they faded away too quickly as United midfielders Ander Herrera and Maroune Fellaini were in control. They hardly let the Hammers to cut through the defense as they did against Arsenal in the last weekend.
Van Gaal did not opt for Juan Mata and Memphis Depay for this crucial match and played Herrera and Fellaini. His pragmatic approach paid off in the end as Fellaini netted the winning goal for the Red Devils.
The deadlock was not broken in the first half, but United created a number of chances through wonderful over-lapping runs by Marcus Rojo and Tim Fosu-Mensah down the flanks. However, the forwards failed to convert them.
Youngster Marcus Rashford was right on the money again as he opened the scoring in the 54th minute of the game. Anthony Martial found Rashford on the run and the latter showed signs of maturity and calmness as he curled the ball into the back of the net.
In the 67th minute, Fellaini tucked in the second goal for United. That goal came as a result of West Ham's poor defending. The game looked all over then.
But James Tomkins headed one into the back of the net in the 79th minute. The complexion of the game changed again as Andy Carroll, Dimitri Payet and others kept on pushing United's defense. The Red Devils somehow hung on to their lead and made it to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
"It was fantastic – I am happy, I'm happy for the players, the club and the fans. Of course it's a big result and I think we played very well. We played defensively very well – we didn't give so much away," Van Gaal was quoted as saying by the official website of the club.
"The spirit in the team is very good, you cannot deny that. It was a fantastic result and I'm happy I shall go to Wembley as a manager."
Watch the full highlights of the match here: