18 Feb 2015

Man United to face Arsenal

1:17 pm on 18 February 2015

Joint record winners Manchester United and Arsenal will meet in the quarter-finals of English football's FA Cup, following United's win over Preston North End on Tuesday morning.

Wayne Rooney of Man Utd celebrates after scoring.

Wayne Rooney of Man Utd celebrates after scoring. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Premier League side beat League One Preston North End 3-1 to set up the last-eight clash with holders Arsenal who beat them in the 1979 and 2005 finals.

Both clubs have won the famous trophy 11 times.

Manchester United were given a scare as Scott Laird's deflected 47th-minute strike gave third-tier Preston the scent of a huge upset but United regrouped and goals by Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Wayne Rooney guided the Premier League side through.

United produced another laboured first-half performance under manager Louis van Gaal and they were stunned when Laird's speculative shot burst through goalkeeper David de Gea's grasp after hitting Antonio Valencia.

Van Gaal withdrew ineffective Colombian striker Radamel Falcao and Herrera soon squeezed a shot in off the post after 65 minutes.

Fellaini, moved into the forward line, won a far-post header seven minutes later and reacted quickly to slam home the rebound following an initial save by German goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann.

United controlled possession and Rooney won a penalty when he was fouled by Stuckmann, the England captain dusting himself down to smash the spot-kick high into the net two minutes from time.

In the FA Cup draw, Giant-killers Bradford City of League One, who caused one of the biggest ever upsets by beating Chelsea in the fourth round before accounting for Premier League Sunderland in the fifth, got the home tie their manager Phil Parkinson wished for.

The third-tier side will face Reading, struggling in 16th place in the Championship (second tier) and have a good chance of reaching the last four for the first time since 1911 when they won their only FA Cup.

The draw was also kind to Premier League side Liverpool, who were paired with mid-table Championship side Blackburn Rovers.

England manager Roy Hodgson, who helped make the draw and has managed both clubs, did Liverpool the bigger favour.

Brendan Rodgers' side are in a rich vein of form after a sluggish start to the season and will be favourites to reach the semi-finals for the first time since they lost the 2012 final to Chelsea.

However, Blackburn have beaten Premier League Swansea City and Stoke City in the last two rounds after coming from behind in both matches.

New Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood will be looking for two victories in four days over local midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion as his side battle against relegation and seek a place in the last four.

Villa and West Brom, who contested three FA Cup finals between 1887 and 1895, will meet at Villa Park on March 3 in the Premier League before the Baggies make the short trip back there for the FA Cup clash.

The quarter-finals will be played on the weekend of March 7-8.

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