Man United beat Brighton on penalties to reach final – Taipei Times
Manchester United beat Brighton & Hove Albion on penalties at Wembley on Sunday to set up an FA Cup final against treble-chasing Manchester City after the match finished goalless.
Victor Lindelof scored the decisive spot-kick as manager Erik ten Hag’s team won 7-6, following a miss by Solly March, staying on course for a domestic cup double.
The semi-final in front of a crowd of more than 81,000 finished 0-0 after extra-time, with neither side showing the cutting edge required to break the deadlock.
The result means United have the chance to derail City’s bid to match their unique achievement of winning the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League and FA Cup in the first-ever meeting between the rivals in an FA Cup final.
However, the Red Devils, who won the EFL Cup earlier this season to end a six-year trophy drought, must find better form if they are to compete with Pep Guardiola’s red-hot team.
“On Thursday I saw a team I didn’t recognize, but today we went back to usual… I could see determination and resilience,” Ten Hag told the BBC, referring to their UEFA Europa League horror show against Sevilla.
Luke Shaw came in at centreback for the suspended Harry Maguire, with Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes replacing Jadon Sancho and Marcel Sabitzer following Thursday’s 3-0 defeat in Spain, which meant a 5-2 defeat on aggregate in the Europa League quarter-finals.
Brighton settled first and had an early sight of goal when Kaoru Mitoma was brought down clumsily on the edge of the box by Antony in the sixth minute.
Argentine World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister hit a fine curling effort that David de Gea did well to keep out before Julio Enciso flashed a shot wide.
Coach Roberto de Zerbi’s Brighton were dominating possession, with United apparently content to sit back and try to exploit the pace of Rashford and Antony.
The massed ranks of Brighton fans were keen to play on the nerves of De Gea whenever the ball landed at his feet following a nightmare game for the Spaniard in Seville.
Neither side could break the deadlock and referee Craig Pawson blew for extra-time.
The game became stretched, with half-chances at both ends, but there was still no breakthrough for either side despite multiple changes.
A high-quality shootout took place in front of the massed ranks of Brighton fans.
United substitute Sabitzer stepped up to take his spot-kick with United 5-4 down and his heart would have missed a beat as Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez got his hand to it but he could not keep it out.
Brighton’s Adam Webster and United’s Wout Weghorst both scored before March’s painful miss with the 13th kick gave defender Lindelof a chance he did not squander.
Ten Hag praised “cool” Lindelof and Shaw and said he was impressed by the performance of De Gea.
“He made some brilliant saves,” he said. “It hurt when he made mistakes on Thursday. Often when you make mistakes as a keeper you get punished. We let him down, we didn’t fight back for him. We bounced back today though.”
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