Ighalo put up a fine performance as the Red Devils edged out Norwich City 2-1 in their quarter-final tie at the Carrow Road on Saturday night.
The 31-year-old gave United the lead early in the second half but Todd Cantwell’s 20-yard drive, and an inspired performance from goalkeeper Tim Krul, forced extra-time after Timm Klose’s dismissal for a last-man challenge on Ighalo.
Harry Maguire found the winner with seconds remaining to book a semi-final spot for Solskjaer’s side for the third time in six seasons.
“It was very important (to keep him at the club), that was important for me and we worked hard to do it, Odion knows how much we value him in and around the dressing room, he’s a goal scorer, a poacher, he’s strong, we can play the ball into him, he showed for the second and Paul (Pogba) found him,” Solskjaer said after the game.
“He’s performing well but it also gives me the chance to rotate with Marcus (Rashford), Anthony and Mason (Greenwood) so they can get a rest and we’re fresh for every game.”
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