FA Cup fifth-round draw: Solskjaer targets silverware at Man Utd
Norwegian’s Red Devils facing tough trip to Stamford Bridge to take on holders Chelsea in last 16
If Manchester United are to equal Arsenal’s record of 13 FA Cup victories, they’ll have to do it the hard way after being drawn against holders Chelsea in the fifth round.
The Red Devils beat Arsenal at the Emirates in last Friday’s fourth-round clash and will be back in the capital next month to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
That is undoubtedly the pick of the fifth-round ties, with the only other top six Premier League club, Manchester City, drawn away to the winner of next week’s fourth-round replay between Middlesbrough and Newport County.
Barnet, the only non-league side still in the competition, drew 3-3 with Brentford last night, and whoever wins the replay will travel to Swansea City.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United’s interim manager, played his last game for the club in the 2007 FA Cup final against Chelsea, so the fifth-round tie is sure to stir old memories for the Norwegian.
Unlike one or two other Premier League managers, Solskjaer recognises the importance of the FA Cup and of filling the trophy cabinet with silverware.
“We’ve got the Champions League, we’ve got the FA Cup, we can’t just say top four and that’s it,” said Solskjaer. “We’ve got to look at, ‘Can we win something this year?’, and I go into every single game as a Man Utd manager thinking we can win this game.”
The Premier League title is out of reach this season - with United placed sixth, 16 points behind leaders Liverpool - but the Red Devils are still in the FA Cup and Champions League, and Solskjaer is realistic about what can be achieved in the next five months.
“We’re Man Utd, you should always aim to win the league,” said the team boss, who has guided United to eight straight wins since replacing Jose Mourinho last month. “We can’t do that this year but we’ve just got to look forward to it again.”
United play Burnley at Old Trafford this evening (8pm), and should they pick up three points Solskjaer will become the first manager to win his first seven Premier League games in charge of a club.
Currently level with Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola on six wins, Solskjaer will nonetheless be wary of a Burnley side who are unbeaten in the league in 2019, having won three and drawn one of their last four matches.
“We know we’re up against a team that’s going to come here and fight for three points,” he said.
FA Cup fifth-round draw
- Bristol City vs. Shrewsbury Town or Wolverhampton Wanderers
- AFC Wimbledon vs. Millwall
- Doncaster Rovers vs. Crystal Palace
- Middlesbrough or Newport County vs. Manchester City
- Chelsea vs. Manchester United
- Swansea City vs. Barnet or Brentford
- Portsmouth or Queens Park Rangers vs. Watford
- Brighton & Hove Albion or West Bromwich Albion vs. Derby County
- Ties to be played 15-18 February
This week’s Premier League fixtures and TV guide
Tuesday 29 January (7.45pm unless stated)
- Arsenal vs. Cardiff City
- Fulham vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
- Huddersfield Town vs. Everton
- Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. West Ham United
- Manchester United vs. Burnley (8pm)
- Newcastle United vs. Manchester City (8pm, live on BT Sport 1)
Wednesday 30 January (7.45pm unless stated)
- AFC Bournemouth vs. Chelsea
- Southampton vs. Crystal Palace
- Liverpool vs. Leicester City (8pm, live on BT Sport 1)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Watford (8pm)
Saturday 2 February (3pm unless stated)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Newcastle United (12.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Watford
- Burnley vs. Southampton
- Chelsea vs. Huddersfield Town
- Crystal Palace vs. Fulham
- Everton vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Cardiff City vs. AFC Bournemouth (5.30pm, live on BT Sport 1)
Sunday 3 February
- Leicester City vs. Manchester United (2.05pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Manchester City vs. Arsenal (4.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
Monday 4 February
- West Ham United vs. Liverpool (8pm, live on Sky Sports)