Updated: Saturday, 18th August 2018 @ 8:23am

Sir Alex Ferguson sees shades of '99 in strikeforce as Manchester United sweep aside Fulham in FA Cup

Sir Alex Ferguson sees shades of '99 in strikeforce as Manchester United sweep aside Fulham in FA Cup

By Alex Bysouth

Sir Alex Ferguson likened his strike force to the treble-winning class of 1999 after Manchester United eased past Fulham into the FA Cup fifth round.

Ryan Giggs’ spot-kick put United ahead at Old Trafford before a second half Wayne Rooney effort and a Javier Hernandez double meant Aaron Hughes’ late header proved only a consolation.

And Ferguson – who left Robin van Persie on the bench – believes if the current crop continues their impressive scoring form it will be a successful season for United.

“The four in ‘99 were fantastic players and you couldn’t possibly criticise any of them,” Ferguson told ESPN. “But we’ve got forwards today who are equally as good.

“What I’m really pleased with today is Chicharito got two and he’s up to 14, Ryan got one and Wayne got one.

“So if we get three or four players around the 20 mark we’re in business.”

Giggs was the only player in the United starting line-up to have collected an FA Cup medal and Ferguson is determined his side will go all the way this year.

“There won’t be any slip ups because the FA Cup is an important trophy for us,” he added. “We haven’t won it for ten years, so we really need a big performance this year.

“Rio Ferdinand has never won an FA Cup medal and we have to do something about that - we respected Fulham and we played a very strong team today.

United took the lead after 72 seconds when Hughes was judged to have handled the ball in the area and Giggs coolly converted from the spot.

It took until the second half to increase their lead, but Rooney added United’s second with a fine left footed strike before cutting back for Hernandez to fire home from six-yards.

Hernandez booked the Red Devils place in the fifth round with his second and United’s fourth, collecting Anderson’s through ball before wrong footing Mark Schwarzer with a deflected effort.

Hughes, arguably at fault for two of United’s goals, made the most of some poor marking to grab Martin Jol’s outfit a late consolation, heading home from Giorgos Karagounis’ corner.

Image courtesy of BBC Sport, via YouTube, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.