European qualification is still possible despite our FA Cup exit

McTominay’s goal was the only moment of real class but it was tough to take.

As the players emerged from the tunnel at Old Trafford for our FA Cup fifth round tie against Manchester United, I thought back to our memorable quarter final clash there in 2016.

As Dimitri Payet lined up to take a free-kick that was as near to perfection as you’ll ever see, I still vividly remember turning to the person next to me and saying: ‘That’s too far out even for Payet’.

The celebrations that followed were wild – it was just a shame VAR wasn’t around back then as Anthony Martial’s late equaliser would never have stood and we’d have booked ourselves a day out at Wembley.

Fast forward almost five years, and just like 2016, we arrived in Manchester for a FA Cup tie during a positive, promising season and still in contention for the European places.

McTominay’s winning goal after Rashford’s deft touch was really the only moment of real class but it was tough to take.

For the first time probably since 2016, I’ve felt like we’ve had a go at the FA Cup. Yes, it helped that we’ve been doing well in the league so we could afford to focus on it but it was pleasing to see.

It wasn’t to be this year but there is still plenty more to play for in the league. It won’t be easy, but Europe is still a real possibility for us this season.

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