Man Utd’s FA Cup hopes written off after listless display against Aston Villa

Manchester United failed to convince anybody they could win the FA Cup on Monday night – least of all the bookies.

Ralf Rangnick’s side edged past Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa 1-0 thanks to Scott McTominay’s eighth-minute goal. However, they produced a largely sluggish display and were outplayed for large chunks of the encounter, seeing Villa have two efforts chalked off by VAR.

Marcus Rashford‘s listless display epitomised a club adrift and were it not for keeper David de Gea and some profligate finishing from Villa, the sarcastic cheers which greeted the 24-year-old England striker’s withdrawal would have been much more barbed.

Martin Oliver VAR Man Utd Villa Jan22

At full-time the Old Trafford fans sang of Wembley more in hope than expectation and despite the victory earning them a winnable home clash against Championship side Middlesbrough in the fourth round, United remain 9/1 to lift the cup for the first time since 2016.

It places them fourth favourites, suggesting they may well get their Wembley wish. But it promises to be another semi-final exit for the Red Devils – United bowed out in the last four in 2020.

In contrast, Manchester City have hardened to 11/4 favourites after being handed a home draw against Fulham. It follows Pep Guardiola naming a surprisingly strong side for the third-round win over Swindon Town on Friday evening.

Man City goal celebration vs Swindon Jan22

Chelsea‘s 5-1 thrashing of National League leaders Chesterfield and subsequent fourth-round tie with League One Plymouth has seen them cut to 5/1, while Liverpool are 11/2 after their reward for beating Shrewsbury was another home tie, this time against Cardiff City.

Cup holders Leicester City are 16/1 for a repeat having been handed a tricky trip to Arsenal‘s conquerors Nottingham Forest.

At the other end of the scale, non-league side Boreham Wood are 2000/1 after being drawn to face high-flying Championship side Bournemouth.

National League North side Kidderminster, third round giantkillers of Reading, are 1000/1 ahead of a mouthwatering home clash against West Ham.

The fourth round ties are due to take place on the first weekend in February.

READ MORE: Steven Gerrard furious at VAR delay as Aston Villa bow out of the FA Cup

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