Chilean forward Alex Sanchez returned to haunt his old club with the opening goal in Manchester United’s 3-1 victory at Arsenal in a heavyweight FA Cup fourth-round clash on Friday.
In his first appearance back at the Emirates Stadium since swapping north London for Old Trafford a year ago, Sanchez silenced the inevitable boos to help continue Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s remarkable start as United’s interim manager.
Sanchez and Jesse Lingard scored within two minutes of each other in the first half but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang replied just before halftime to set up an engrossing second half.
Arsenal suffered injury blows, with defenders Sokratis and Laurent Koscielny both being forced off, although they pushed hard for an equaliser in the second period.
But United, who are second behind Arsenal in all-time FA Cup wins with 12, absorbed the pressure and sealed an eighth successive win for Solskjaer in the 82nd minute when substitute Anthony Martial tapped home after a counter-attack.
A lively tie threatened to boil over late on with United substitute Marcus Rashford and Arsenal‘s Sead Kolasinac squaring up near the touchline to spark a melee after which they were both shown yellow cards.
In the night’s other fourth-round clash Bristol City beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1.