Man United seal Emirates FA Cup Final spot over Spurs as we pick five key points

Saturday 21 Apr 2018
Manchester United will take part in their 20th FA Cup Final on Saturday 19 May

United seal Final spot

Manchester United became the first club to confirm their place in this term's Emirates FA Cup Final, following Saturday’s 2-1 semi-final success against Tottenham Hotspur. Jose Mourinho’s men are back in the showpiece event for the 20th time, following on from 2016 when they won the Cup for a 13th time with a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace. Prior to that, they featured in the first Cup Final at the new Wembley in 2007 when Mourinho was in charge of Chelsea and led them to a 1-0 win.

Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
  • The Emirates FA Cup
  • Semi-Final
  • Saturday 21 April 2018
  • Wembley Stadium connected by EE
  • Live on BBC One

Flying first half

Both sets of fans at Wembley were treated to an excellent opening 45 minutes, with the teams going toe-to-toe in an enthralling contest. Despite the warm and humid conditions, there was no let-up in the pace of the game from either side. Spurs started the brighter and took a deserved early lead when Christian Eriksen’s cross from the right was met by Dele Alli from close range. But United came back, and when Paul Pogba picked Mousa Dembele’s pocket on the left, his point-perfect centre was guided gloriously home by Alexis Sanchez.

Textbook header

The phrase ‘cushioned header’ was reverberating around the commentary box at Wembley in the aftermath of Sanchez’s first-half equaliser. And it’s the perfect description for the Chilean’s skilful finish. It all happened in a flash, as Pogba’s cross was fizzed into the area for Sanchez to follow the textbook rule of headed goals by guiding the ball back in the direction it came from and past Michel Vorm to give United a lift at just the right time.

Alexis Sanchez cradles a header home to equalise for United in the first half


Leave it Lingard

Ander Herrera’s winning goal was struck as sweetly as you’d like, but it’s certainly worth crediting Jesse Lingard for his role in the goal. He might not pick up the ‘assist’ which Sanchez will claim for his pass across the box, but he sensibly and selflessly chose to let the ball roll across him and into the path of the onrushing Herrera, who duly sent the Reds into the Final.


Semi-final woe for Spurs

There was a feeling of semi-final deja-vu for Spurs and their fans, who started the afternoon in good voice but left in despondency almost a year to the day when they exited the competition at the same stage last season. That’s now four semi-final defeats at Wembley in the last eight years as their search for a first trophy since their League Cup success of 2008 goes on.

Spurs suffered semi-final defeat for the second season in a row

Click here to see all the stats from the game on our OPTA match page.

Manchester United: 1 David de Gea, 4 Phil Jones, 6 Paul Pogba, 7 Alexis Sanchez, 9 Romelu Lukaku, 12 Chris Smalling, 14 Jesse Lingard, 18 Ashley Young, 21 Ander Herrera, 25 Antonio Valencia (c), 31 Nemanja Matic.

Substitutes: 36 Matteo Darmian for Valencia 80, 19 Marcus Rashford for Lingard 83, 27 Marouane Fellaini for Sanchez 90

Substitutes not used: 40 Joel Pereira, 2 Victor Lindelof, 8 Juan Mata, 11 Anthony Martial

Manager: Jose Mourinho

Goals: Alexis Sanchez 24, Ander Herrera 62

Cautions: Antonio Valencia 26, Ashley Young 71, Marcus Rashford 86

Tottenham Hotspur: 13 Michel Vorm, 2 Kieran Trippier, 5 Jan Vertonghen, 6 Davinson Sanchez, 7 Heung-Min Son, 10 Harry Kane (c), 15 Eric Dier, 19 Moussa Dembele, 20 Dele Alli, 23 Christian Eriksen, 33 Ben Davies.

Substitutes: 27 Lucas Moura for Davies 68, 12 Victor Wanyama for Dembele 78, 11 Erik Lamela for Son 86

Substitutes not used: 1 Hugo Lloris, 4 Toby Alderweireld, 17 Moussa Sissoko, 24 Serge Aurier,

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

Goals: Dele Alli 11

Cautions: Heung-Min Son 28, Dele Alli 50, Eric Dier 81

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance: 84667

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels at Wembley Stadium