Manchester United 1-0 Sheffield United: Wayne Rooney scores injury-time penalty
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 10/01/16 7:56am
Wayne Rooney's injury-time penalty gave Manchester United an uninspiring 1-0 win over Sheffield United in the FA Cup third round at Old Trafford.
The captain's spot kick, earned after Memphis Depay was brought down by Dean Hammond in the 93rd minute, came at the end of a game severely lacking in clear-cut opportunities.
Louis van Gaal's side had to wait until the 69th minute for their first shot on target, through Matteo Darmian, which was met with ironic cheers from the home crowd.
League One Sheffield United, 46 places below their opponents in the English football pyramid, had just one shot on target of their own.
The hosts had the majority of the possession in the first half, but had little in the way of cutting edge and failed to force a save out of Sheffield United goalkeeper George Long.
Their only half-chance of the opening 45 minutes came when Rooney rounded Long after a superb through ball from Darmian, but the England striker could not net from an acute angle eight yards out.
It meant Van Gaal's side went into the half-time break without a goal for the 10th match in a row at Old Trafford in all competitions.
The second half yielded much of the same, and when substitute Depay's amibitous shot from 25 yards ended up wide of Long's goal on 65 minutes, the home crowd ironically applauded.
Their reaction was the same two minutes later as Darmian's left-footed effort from inside the area fell into the arms of Long, and their best chance did not come until three minutes from time.
After Andreas Pereira's dangerous free-kick fell kindly to Anthony Martial on the penalty spot, the Frenchman's effort was superbly blocked by John Brayford inside the six-yard box.
But the hosts got their winner in stoppage time after Hammond's trailing leg brought down Depay on the left of the area after the Dutchman used his skill to get the better of the Sheffield United defender.
Rooney stepped up and sent Long the wrong way from 12 yards to send Manchester United into the fourth round, but questions will still be asked of their performance.