Manchester United proved too strong for League One Wigan Athletic as Erik ten Hag’s side moved into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Diogo Dalot fired the 12-time winners into a 22nd-minute lead with a fine curling strike after the impressive Marcus Rashford had a shot blocked.

Rasmus Hojlund’s diving header clipped the bar, Rashford had an attempt fumbled against the post by Wigan goalkeeper Sam Tickle and Alejandro Garnacho’s well-hit 20-yard effort also bounced off the woodwork as United pushed for a second.

Martial Godo failed to make a clean connection from six yards to waste a rare chance of an equaliser for the hosts before United secured the victory in the second half.

Bruno Fernandes won a penalty, with his foot clipped by Liam Shaw’s challenge, before the Portuguese midfielder got up to convert from the spot for United’s second goal.

The draw for the fourth round took place just before kick-off and Manchester United will play at either Newport County, 18th in League Two, or non-league Eastleigh – 11th in the National League and the second-lowest ranked side remaining.

Those clubs will have a replay next week after it ended 1-1 at the weekend in south Wales, with round four taking place over the last weekend of January.

‘A massive competition everyone wants to win’

United had 33 attempts, scoring twice, with Tickle doing well to keep the score down to just 2-0 and Ten Hag was content with the victory.

“It’s all about the win,” the Dutchman said. “In the first half the way we played, how we worked the ball and created a lot of chances, was pleasing to see.

“We should’ve scored more but the good thing is we created the chances. We have so many [players out with] illness or injured and we still had quite a good side.

“We were confident of winning this game and we would never underestimate an opponent. We knew they would fight for their lives as it was the game of their lives but we took the game well.

“This is a massive competition and everyone wants to win it, every manager is eager to win it so we took it seriously.”

The match was played in front of the first sold-out crowd at DW Stadium in more than 10 years, with Wigan, who almost went out of business in the summer before being rescued when local businessman Mike Danson bought the club, looking to cause the shock of the round.

The attendance of 22,870 was the highest at the ground since 23,001 watched Wigan play Aston Villa on 19 May 2013 – the Latics’ last match in the Premier League.

Sir Dave Brailsford
Sir Dave Brailsford (second right), who will become one of the Manchester United directors when Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25% purchase of the club goes through in February, was at DW Stadium sitting next to former United chief executive David Gill (second left)

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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