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Arsenal send United crashing out of FA Cup

Welbeck returns to haunt Van Gaal
Welbeck returns to haunt Van Gaal

MANCHESTER UNITED: 1 ARSENAL: 2

Danny Welbeck came back to haunt Louis van Gaal as the Manchester United manager was subjected to a night of despair and defeat at Old Trafford.

Welbeck sent Arsenal through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a 61st-minute winner after Wayne Rooney had equalised Nacho Monreal's opener.

To pile yet more misery on the United boss, he watched Angel di Maria get sent off towards the end of the 2-1 defeat for pulling referee Michael Oliver's shirt as he reacted angrily to being booked for diving.

Replays showed Di Maria was pulled back by Aaron Ramsey before he tumbled to the ground, but the way in which he reacted will not please United boss Van Gaal.

Di Maria can have little reason to complain. The £59.7m signing snatched at Oliver's shirt as he turned away after issuing him with a booking and the red card was the only outcome.

The dismissal is the latest episode in a long list of disappointments for the British record signing, who Van Gaal hoped would bring silverware to Old Trafford.

With United 10 points behind Chelsea in the league, that dream is almost certainly over. After a mildly encouraging performance in the first half, United wilted and looked blunt after the restart. Welbeck, the Longsight lad who left his boyhood club for north London last summer, provided the killer touch after a clanger from Antonio Valencia.

Van Gaal claimed he controversially ditched Welbeck last summer because the striker did not score enough goals.

And while the forward has hardly been prolific at Arsenal, he will have enjoyed showing Van Gaal what he is missing here.

For Van Gaal, the dream of silverware may be over, but Arsene Wenger's side are now very much favourites to regain the FA Cup after registering their first win at Old Trafford in nine years.