Roy Keane reacts to Manchester United's FA Cup exit

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane was on punditry duty for ITV as the Red Devils were knocked out of the FA Cup by Middlesbrough.

Keane criticised the way his old club let the game slip away from them after an impressive first half performance to see their most realistic chance of silverware this season slip away.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a first half penalty before Jadon Sancho opened the scoring but Matt Crooks scored a controversial equaliser in the second half.

There were 15 converted penalties after extra time before Anthony Elanga blazed over the bar to send Boro into the hat for the fifth round.

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“You have to be critical of United. First half fantastic, but they’re playing a Championship team at home. Not good enough,” said Keane.

“It’s unrealistic [to expect United to play well for 120 minutes] but that’s where team management comes into it. Middlesbrough were always going to have pressure at some point but you have to control it.

“The goal they conceded, they were outnumbered. Players weren’t getting back. I go back to it – that’s where you need the leadership and character. We’re off it for 10 or 15 minutes, but we’re against Middlesbrough, we’ll get back in.

“Look at Fernandes’ miss, that’s just not logical. You have to hit the target. If you said to the manager before the game, these are the chances you’re going to get, you’d take it all day long. It changes the mood in the ground tonight. I’d expect them to beat a Championship team tonight but it just added more and more pressure.”

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

This was a night which started with United playing well and making chances but still ended in a shambles and another disappointing result.

All the momentum from the two wins before the mini-break has evaporated and now the confidence of Elanga, who had been a recent bright spark, needs to be rebuilt.

Keane is right to say that United did not manage the game at all well in the second half and they should have been home and hosed if they took their chances.

That only increases the pressure on the players and Ralf Rangnick ahead of the clash with Burnley on Tuesday night.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.