Man United beats Derby in FA Cup to ease strain

Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, right, celebrates after scoring during the English FA Cup fourth round soccer match between Derby County and Manchester United at the iPro Stadium, Pride Park in Derby, England, Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. (Rui Vieira/AP)

DERBY, England — Manchester United eased the pressure on manager Louis Van Gaal following a 3-1 win over second-tier Derby in the FA Cup on Friday.

Goals from Wayne Rooney, Daley Blind and Juan Mata saw United advance to the fifth round of the competition.

Rooney curled home from the edge of the area in the 16th with a fine effort beyond the outstretched arm of Derby goalkeeper Scott Carson.

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The hosts equalized in the 37th through George Thorne, who after being picked out by Chris Martin, brought the ball down with one foot before stabbing beyond David De Gea with the other from 12 yards.

United responded after the interval and Blind steered home Jesse Lingard's right-wing cross deep inside the penalty area after surging forward from defence.

Anthony Martial laid on the third for Mata in the 83rd for his sixth goal of the season.

"It was really important for us to win. It is not easy to come here, even though they are not in the Premier League, they are a good team and are physically strong, like to press, and I think we did a good job," Mata said.