Manchester United will need a replay to decide their fourth-round FA Cup tie with League Two side Cambridge United after a 0-0 draw at the Abbey Stadium on Friday night.
United had the better of the chances over the 90 minutes, particularly in the second-half, but couldn’t break down the home side’s resolute defence, as Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria and substitute Robin van Persie all failed to convert late opportunities.
While captain Wayne Rooney was absent, manager Louis van Gaal still fielded a strong side which began the match in a 4-4-2 diamond midfielder formation, with youngster Adnan Januzaj earning a rare start under the Dutchman.
The 19-year-old midfielder certainly appeared to be one of United's better players on the night, looking lively in possession and especially dangerous after the break, when he provided a couple of neat crosses which his teammates should have put away.
However, whether it will be enough to convince his manager to hand him more minutes moving forward remains to be seen, having drifted out onto the fringes of the first-team squad in recent months.
Hailed as the next big thing after his breakout performances last season, the Belgium international is now being linked with an Old Trafford exit in the current transfer window, but it’s clear that the majority of fans think that would be a mistake judging from some of the reactions on Twitter at the final whistle.
Of all the questions that game begs, the biggest one is why in the world isn't Adnan Januzaj playing every game? #mufc— Harry Dodsworth (@harrydodsworth) January 23, 2015
One thing learnt from tonight: Januzaj should be given more game time. #mufc— Alex McMahon. (@almacca93) January 23, 2015
Januzaj looked very bright tonight despite the result deserves a start against Leicester imo. #MUFC— Ben Moody (@MoodyMufc2013) January 23, 2015
Glad Januzaj got a full 90mins under his belt, just lacking a bit of confidence but got better as the game went on #MUFC— Ram™ (@Ramfiki) January 23, 2015
Januzaj slows play down too much. Good player but needs to be much faster on the ball, esp on counters #MUFC— Prashant (@Prashant_10_) January 23, 2015
The one positive is that Januzaj played well, but he should be against Cambridge #MUFC— Reece Dix (@reecedix1) January 23, 2015
Januzaj impressed me as the game went on. Took on a man and whipped the ball in on several occasions. #mufc— james MUFC sheppard (@jamershepp) January 23, 2015
Januzaj showing glimpses of what he's capable of was the only positive in that match for me. #MUFC— Lee Parkinson (@P4RTY) January 23, 2015
I thought Januzaj put on a fairly decent performance. I didn't understand the stick he got at HT, thought he played ok. #mufc— Amarpreet Singh (@Amarpreet_87) January 23, 2015
Best player tonight was Januzaj simple as that. But not beating Cambridge is BAD. #MUFC— jamie mufc gretton (@gretton123) January 23, 2015
Dear Januzaj, please pass more often. You don't have to try and skill your way past a defender EVERY TIME YOU GET THE BALL, FFS. #MUFC— Vivegan Murali Daran (@vivegan193) January 23, 2015
Januzaj was easily our most influential player today... #MUFC— TheReds (@Mufc_The_Reds) January 23, 2015
Commentators were having a go but actually thought januzaj did really well tonight. Needs to be used more. #mufc— Carly Priestley (@CarlyPriestley) January 23, 2015
Januzaj showed in some areas what he can bring speed and passing wise, but again he is used wrong + no chances #mufc— FIGHT4MUFC (@mufc4thefans) January 23, 2015
Januzaj was our best player today. What does that say about the rest of our players? #mufc— MUFC Los Angeles (@LAREDARMY) January 23, 2015
WTF up with Januzaj. He sucks compared 2 last year. Nobody can cross the ball to our A1 strikers 2 score. We need some proper wingers #mufc— Paras Tanna (@paras1973) January 23, 2015
Poor result & poor performance, dominant in possession until we have to create something. Januzaj our best player. Falcao looks lost #mufc— Rob Hawkes (@rob_aux) January 23, 2015
There's a world class player in Januzaj by the way #mufc— Andrew Callaghan (@CallaghanHj) January 23, 2015