Dhaka, 22 April, Abnews: 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.
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.
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.
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. - The FA