Jose Mourinho has helped Manchester United set an eye-watering FA Cup record v Blackburn

Manchester United v AS Saint-Etienne - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: First Leg

The FA Cup is an opportunity for teams up and down the country to embrace the magic of the competition and hope to make some special memories and set some records along the way.

Sutton United have already shown that by getting themselves a hard-earned fifth-round tie at home to Arsenal on Monday night, while fellow non-league outfit Lincoln City have sensationally reached the quarter-finals after knocking out Burnley.

But while the magic of the cup tends to favour the dark horses and lower league teams in the competition, it seems that, despite the odds being stacked in the big teams' favour, there are records still being set by England's top clubs.


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And Manchester United did exactly that when they headed to Blackburn Rovers in the fifth round on Sunday afternoon, even before a ball had been kicked.

The Championship outfit took a shock lead through Danny Graham's fine finish after 17 minutes, before Marcus Rashford repaid Jose Mourinho for his rare start with the equalising goal just before the half-hour mark. And Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed victory with a 75th-minute striker, after coming off the bench.

But regardless of the Swede entering the field of play, Mourinho's selection of substitutes set an FA Cup record that was quite astonishing.

Expensive taste

Per the Daily Mail, United's bench against Blackburn had a total value of £192 million - the most expensive in FA Cup history.

Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dean Henderson all made up the Red Devils bench at Ewood Park, handing rare starts to the likes of Rashford and Anthony Martial.

Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round

Pogba - the world's most expensive player at £89 million - was left to watch on alongside the likes of £30 million signings Shaw and Bailly, while Schweinsteiger set back United £6.5 million at the beginning of last season and Mata joined for £42.5 million.

Only free transfer Ibrahimovic and United youngster Henderson did not influence the figure which is £30 million more than what Manchester City had on the bench against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup at the end of January.

Big spenders

Ultimately, Pogba's role on the sidelines significantly aided that record. But United's bench on Sunday afternoon was just another reminder of the club's hefty spending in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.


And Mourinho could break the bank next summer if he is successful in landing forward target Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid, with it understood that United are ready to smash the world transfer record they set last summer in order to land the Frenchman.

But if the Portuguese does land his primary summer target, there will be further pressure on the former Chelsea boss to start replicating the kinds of success Ferguson had during his time at Old Trafford.

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