Captain fantastic Maguire hailed by Reds’ boss after Canaries’ cup winner
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saluted his captain fantastic Harry Maguire after an extra-time strike sealed Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final place.
United had to dig deep against Daniel Farke’s Premier League strugglers as Odion Ighalo’s fifth goal in four starts for the club was cancelled out by Todd Cantwell’s strike from distance.
Timm Klose was sent off in the 89th minute for bringing down Ighalo, after which United found stubborn resistance from Tim Krul during extra-time, but the Norwich goalkeeper was beaten when Maguire reacted quickest to direct home in the 118th minute.
“Harry has been magnificent since he’s come to the club, his leadership skills are there to be seen, he helped us with the build-up,” said Solskjaer. “I think he won every single header and every challenge, so I’m very pleased with Harry.”
Maguire’s close range effort was his second goal in this season’s competition, after a 25-yard pile-driver against Tranmere in January.
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“The two goals are two different goals,” he added. “Maybe two goals you don’t expect from him - one from 30 odd yards in the top corner and then a poacher’s goal.”
Solskjaer also had warm words for Ighalo, who continued his record of scoring at least once in every United game he’s started.
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“Odion knows how much we value him in and around the dressing room and, of course, on the pitch,” he said. “He’s a goalscorer and a poacher, he’s strong and we can play the ball into him like we did on the winning goal.
“He’s performing well and that also gives me the chance to rotate with Marcus (Rashford), Anthony (Martial) and Mason (Greenwood) so they can get a rest and be fresh for every game.”
Maguire warns United must improve to lift the trophy.
“It would mean everything (to win the FA Cup),” said Maguire, speaking to the BBC. “I joined this club to win trophies. We’re in a semi-final of the FA Cup, it’s a great tournament, and we’re going to look forward to it. Hopefully when the semi-final does come, and whoever we’re drawn against, we play a lot better. It was a difficult game and we made hard work of it.”