2016/17 English FA Cup, Round 5
  • Danny Graham (17')
  • Marcus Rashford (27')
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (75')

Zlatan Ibrahimovic strikes as Man United edge out Blackburn

Zlatan Ibrahimovic spared Manchester United's blushes at Ewood Park as the FA Cup holders came from behind to beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 and reach the quarterfinals.

United's reward for reaching the last eight is a trip to Premier League leaders Chelsea and a return to Stamford Bridge for Jose Mourinho.

It was far from straightforward at a gloomy Ewood Park as Rovers attempted to join surprise packages Lincoln and Millwall in the quarterfinal draw -- a dream that came a step closer to becoming reality as Danny Graham smashed home a stylish opener after 17 minutes.

The outstanding strike was matched in its quality by the Henrikh Mkhitaryan pass that put Marcus Rashford through to level in the 27th minute, but United struggled to build on the goal despite controlling possession.

Mourinho turned to his star-studded bench to ensure the win, and the move paid dividends 15 minutes from time as Ibrahimovic smartly turned home Pogba's clipped pass to the delight of the 7,283 travelling fans.

Charlie Mulgrew and Anthony Stokes saw goals chalked off in the second half of a match in which Blackburn's performance belied that of a side sitting in the Championship relegation zone.

Owen Coyle's men started brightly and, having tested United's backline from the flanks, sent an early shot across the bows as Marvin Emnes' dangerous drive called Sergio Romero into action.

It was a warning United failed to heed. Emnes showed excellent strength and skill to keep possession under pressure, before slipping through Graham to rifle an outstanding effort across Romero and into the top corner.

Ewood Park erupted and even Mourinho joined the home support in appreciation of a strike that seemed to jolt United into life.

Jesse Lingard and Mkhitaryan had tame efforts either side of an Ander Herrera drive that forced Jason Steele into a fine stop.

That attacking intent bore fruit in the 27th minute thanks to Mkhitaryan's vision and pass.

The Armenia international's perfectly weighted pass with the outside of his foot put Rashford through to easily round Steele and slot home.

Craig Conway came close to putting Blackburn back ahead under pressure, although United were dominating possession without creating clear-cut chances.

The second half began in a similar fashion as Romero stopped a low Conway strike as the visitors bossed the play without a testing Steele -- little wonder Pogba and Ibrahimovic were sent on in the 62nd minute.

The latter was inches from making an immediate impact as Herrera's low shot just beat him, shortly before Blackburn endured similar frustration as Liam Feeney's cross-cum-shot evaded teammates.

Pockets of fans celebrated as Mulgrew found the net unaware the referee had blown and moments later it was the visiting support making themselves heard.

United's substitutes combined as Pogba's excellent pass over the top found Ibrahimovic, whose excellent first-time finish beat Steele.

The Swede's first FA Cup goal relieved the tension, albeit only temporarily.

Romero spilled a shot from the lively Connor Mahoney and then stopped Emnes, only for the ball to spill for Stokes to prod home -- a leveller ruled out for offside.

Rovers pushed until the stoppage time but there was no stopping the FA Cup holders.

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