Manchester United to face Blackburn Rovers in FA Cup fifth round

Manchester United to face Blackburn Rovers in FA Cup fifth round

The Red Devils have been handed their first trip to Ewood Park for almost five years.

Matthew Brown

Manchester United have been drawn away to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup fifth round.

The Red Devils will travel to Blackburn’s Ewood Park on the weekend of February 18, with the tie sandwiched between a Europa League double-header against French outfit Saint-Etienne.

A return to Ewood Park

Owen Coyle’s side overcame Queens Park Rangers and most recently Blackpool to reach this stage. They last faced United in April 2012, as Sir Alex Ferguson’s men triumphed by a 2-0 scoreline in Lancashire as Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia struck a goal each.

The tie will see Phil Jones return to his former club for only the second time. He played in the last meeting between the two sides in that 2-0 win at Ewood Park, but was still in his first season with the club at that time after signing for around £16.5 million from Rovers the previous summer.

The meeting will also pit Paul Pogba against Rovers for the first time. He was infamously overlooked for a midfield place during the teams’ last encounter at Old Trafford – where United surprisingly lost 3-2 with Rafael and Park Ji-Sung preferred in the engine room in December 2011.

A similar challenge

United will be hoping to continue their FA Cup title defence after comfortable home wins against fellow Championship sides Reading and Wigan Athletic in previous rounds.

Blackburn are currently second bottom in the Championship, level on points with Wigan but trailing on goal difference.

United’s rivals at the top of the Premier League have all also been handed away draws for this last 32 stage, with Arsenal’s trip to non-league Sutton United perhaps the standout, while Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur will all, like the Red Devils, face sides from the second tier.