London: The third round of the English FA Cup swung into action with the Premier League teams joining the competition as 10-times winners Manchester United avoided any upset by thumping first division leaders Portsmouth 4-1. United grabbed the breakthrough after four minutes - Ryan Giggs was chopped down by Linvoy Primus inside the penalty area and Ruud van Nistelrooy strolled up to send Hislop the wrong way and bury his 19th goal of the season. On 17 minutes, David Beckham with the inch perfect free kick, made it 2-0 in the favour of United. Beckham almost did an encore with another free kick, but it came off the post. Minutes before half time the visitors pulled one back - Steve Stone hammered in the goal after the United defence failed to clear the ball. Portsmouth had a great chance to level it but Nigel Quashieas shot went way over the post. With ten minutes to go, United had a second penalty when Van Nistelrooy was brought down by Hayden Foxe. The Dutchman slotted home his 20th goal of the season. And then with the final whistle just minutes away Paul Scholes got behind the Portsmouth defence to add a 4th goal.
Topics : Football