Graham Poll for the Daily Mail

Manchester United put their Premier League woes behind them to defeat lower league Shrewsbury Town 3-0 at New Meadow on Monday night to progress into the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Spaniard Juan Mata netted the Red Devils’ second in added time at the end of the first half, either side of a Chris Smalling opener and a Jesse Lingard clincher.

But Sportsmail’s Graham Poll looks at whether the 27-year-old’s free-kick goal should have stood.

Juan Mata (centre) is mobbed by his Manchester United team-mates after curling in a delightful free-kick

Juan Mata (centre) is mobbed by his Manchester United team-mates after curling in a delightful free-kick

The Spaniard left Jayson Leutwiler without a chance, athough some United players were in offside positions

The Spaniard left Jayson Leutwiler without a chance, athough some United players were in offside positions

Manchester United’s second goal really should have been disallowed.

These days many offsides are incredibly difficult to detect because of the pace and speed of movement of players, but this was not one of those incidents.

Three United players stood clearly in an offside position as Juan Mata prepared to take the free-kick to double the away side’s lead at Shrewsbury Town.

They were also clearly obstructing the view of the home side’s goalkeeper, Jayson Leutwiler.

The tactic seemed to be for them to run out before the ball was struck, but they were still in offside positions and interfering with the view as Mata took the kick.

It’s hard to defend the assistant for this basic error and also referee Bobby Madley, who must have seen the three United players, and therefore should have checked with his assistant to see if they were in offside positions before giving the goal.

Shrewsbury midfielder Shaun Whalley (left) twists away from Mata as the League One side look to attack

Shrewsbury midfielder Shaun Whalley (left) twists away from Mata as the League One side look to attack

 


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