All too easy for United; Villa also throughhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/all-too-easy-for-united-villa-also-through/

All too easy for United; Villa also through

English Premier League sides Manchester United and Aston Villa raeched the fourth round of the FA Cup...

English Premier League sides Manchester United and Aston Villa raeched the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday after seeing off lower league opponents Southampton and Gillingham.

United beat Championship strugglers Southampton,who played for almost an hour with 10 men,3-0 at St Mary’s Stadium and will now meet Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in the fourth round.

Aston Villa won 2-1 at League Two Gillingham with James Milner celebrating his 23rd birthday by scoring both goals. Villa will travel to play the winners of the postponed tie between Cheltenham Town and Doncaster Rovers in the fourth round in three weeks’ time.

United,who were last beaten in the third round of the FA Cup 25 years ago,weathered some early pressure from Southampton but the outcome was rarely in doubt after Danny Welbeck headed home from two metres out in the 20th minute.

Southampton were in more trouble 16 minutes later when teenage defender Matthew Paterson was sent off by referee Mike Riley for a studs-up challenge on United defender Nemanja Vidic although the challenge hardly troubled the Serbia defender.

United effectively wrapped the tie up in the 48th minute after Riley made another controversial decision,ruling that David McGoldrick had handled a Nani freekick when the ball appeared to hit his back. Nani duly converted the penalty. Substitute Darron Gibson scored United’s third after 81 minutes.

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Villa were made to work hard for their win. “Never for one minute did I feel comfortable. Gillingham were always in the game even when we were leading 1-0,” Villa manager Martin O’Neill said.