Manchester United and Arsenal won replays 1-0 to advance to the fourth round of English soccer’s F.A. Cup.
Wayne Rooney’s goal on his return from a five-match injury layoff lifted United past West Ham last night, while Jack Wilshere scored in Arsenal’s victory over Swansea.
United will play Premier League rival Fulham in the next round of England’s top club competition, while Arsenal faces Brighton of the second-tier Championship as it seeks its first trophy since 2005.
“We know what the F.A. Cup means in England,” Wilshere said in an interview with ESPN. “It’s a great competition and we wanted to be in the next round, but we’ve got a tough game away at Brighton.”
Both United and Arsenal were forced to replays after 2-2 away draws in their third-round matchups this month.
“I’m pleased,” United midfielder Ryan Giggs told ITV. “It’s the F.A. Cup and anything can happen. We have to give credit to West Ham, they were tough to play against.”
United scored after nine minutes at Old Trafford as Javier Hernandez got behind the West Ham defense on the left and sent a pass toward the far post to Rooney, who slid and put the ball into the open net.
United’s Nani had a shot cleared off the line by West Ham’s Daniel Potts and Alexander Buttner hit the post as the host looked to increase its lead before halftime.
West Ham had an appeal for a penalty kick for handball against Rafael da Silva turned down by referee Phil Dowd early in the second half and Matt Taylor sent a shot over the crossbar.
United were then awarded a penalty kick in the 79th minute after Jordan Spence handled Giggs’s cross. Rooney blasted his kick well over the crossbar.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was furious his team wasn’t awarded a penalty kick, while United was.
“There’s no doubt about the difference between Rafael’s handball and Jordan Spence’s,” he told ITV. “Spence plays for West Ham and the away team, while Rafael plays for the home team at Old Trafford. You see it time and time again at Old Trafford.”
At the Emirates Stadium in north London, Swansea had the best chance of a scoreless first half as Kyle Bartley hit the crossbar with a header.
Arsenal dominated after the break. Swansea twice cleared the ball off the goal line, Swans goalkeeper Michel Vorm made several saves and Bacary Sagna hit the post with a cross that Theo Walcott missed.
The Gunners broke through in the 86th minute as Wilshere took a pass from Olivier Giroud and fired a left-footed shot from the edge of the area past Vorm.
“It was unbelievable that we couldn’t score but we got it in the end,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “We persevered and we were rewarded.”
F.A. CUP FOURTH-ROUND SCHEDULE ------------------------------ Friday, Jan. 25 =============== Millwall vs Aston Villa Saturday, Jan. 26 ================= Stoke vs Manchester City Norwich vs Luton Macclesfield vs Wigan Derby vs Blackburn Hull vs Barnsley Middlesbrough vs Aldershot Brighton vs Arsenal Reading vs Sheffield United Huddersfield vs Leicester QPR vs MK Dons Bolton vs Everton Manchester United vs Fulham Sunday, Jan. 27 =============== Brentford vs Chelsea Leeds vs Tottenham Oldham vs Liverpool
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