Man United seize on Fulham’s indiscipline to e book FA Cup semifinal spot

MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United booked a document thirty first FA Cup semifinal look with a dramatic 3-1 win over Fulham at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Fulham seemed on the right track to trigger a shock when Aleksandar Mitrovic put the guests forward early within the second half earlier than a chaotic five-minute spell noticed referee Chris Kavanagh present three purple playing cards to the London aspect. Willian was despatched off for a handball on the road, which gave Bruno Fernandes the prospect to equalise from the spot, whereas Marco Silva and Mitrovic have been each proven purple playing cards for his or her protests.

– Report: Man United beat nine-man Fulham to succeed in FA Cup semis

United took benefit of their two-man benefit to attain once more simply 90 seconds later via Marcel Sabitzer, with Fernandes including a 3rd deep in stoppage time to arrange a Wembley semifinal in opposition to Brighton.

Rapid response

1. Match turns in United’s favour as soon as Fulham misplaced their cool

Fulham deserved their lead when Mitrovic put them forward early within the second half, however the recreation was turned on its head by severe indiscipline simply because it seemed like an FA Cup shock is likely to be brewing.

When Jadon Sancho’s shot was blocked on the road by Willian, Kavanagh was despatched to the pitchside monitor by VAR Neil Swarbrick to have one other have a look at the incident. But earlier than he might even watch a reply, he needed to ship off Silva for his protests on the contact line after which, after deciding Willian had intentionally stopped Sancho’s effort along with his hand, awarded a penalty and confirmed one other purple card to Willian. Kavanagh’s card was barely again in his pocket earlier than Mitrovic charged in the direction of him, making it a hat trick of purple playing cards in a matter of minutes.

Fernandes scored the penalty to make it 1-1 and two minutes later Fulham, enjoying with 9 males and no supervisor, conceded once more when Sabitzer turned in Luke Shaw’s cross.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, extra (U.S.)

The guests seemed in management for a lot of the first 70 minutes, however price themselves an opportunity of an FA Cup semifinal via their lack of self-discipline. Even with 10 males and stage at 1-1, there was an opportunity they might nonetheless undergo, however Mitrovic, specifically, ended any hope of that by seeing purple.

2. Man United survive with out Casemiro, however solely simply

If there was any doubt about how essential Casemiro is to this United workforce, then there should not be now. Serving the primary recreation of his four-game ban following his purple card in opposition to Southampton, the outlet within the centre of the midfield was apparent from the primary minute as Fulham dominated the beginning of each halves.

It was a shock that Erik ten Hag picked each Sabitzer and Scott McTominay whereas leaving Fred on the bench. Sabitzer and McTominay have not had quite a lot of soccer just lately, they usually seemed rusty in opposition to Fulham’s midfield three of Andreas Pereira, Joao Palhinha and Harrison Reed. Pereira, who left United for Fulham in the summertime, noticed quite a lot of the ball within the areas Casemiro would have been occupying, and United additionally appeared to overlook the Brazilian’s calmness of the ball once they have been attempting to play out from the again.

There was multiple event within the second half when Harry Maguire took an eternity to play the ball into midfield due to an absence of choices, and the sport may need had a special end result if Fulham hadn’t imploded. Casemiro may even miss Premier League video games in opposition to Newcastle, Brentford and Everton earlier than he returns and Ten Hag should rethink how greatest to manage with out him.

3. Ten Hag’s cup choices repay

It would have been simple for Ten Hag to determine initially of his first season in cost that he’d prioritise a fast return to the Champions League, however he has fielded robust groups within the cup competitions and overseen 10 straight wins within the Carabao Cup and FA Cup. Victory over Fulham means United are two video games away from a home cup double — one thing even Sir Alex Ferguson by no means achieved. They are additionally nonetheless alive within the Europa League regardless of a gruelling marketing campaign that has already included 10 video games and will but imply 5 extra.

Ten Hag says his intention since he arrived at Old Trafford has been to set a “winning culture” and that is manifested in a real effort to win each recreation whatever the competitors. He has managed his squad so properly that United are on the right track to comfortably end within the high 4 and qualify for the Champions League whereas additionally including silverware. The Carabao Cup is already within the bag and Brighton stand in the way in which of a primary FA Cup remaining since 2018.

Ten Hag has been courageous along with his workforce picks within the home cups and it has paid off.

Best and worst performers


– David De Gea, GK, Man United: The Spaniard saved United in it with key saves earlier than Fulham’s 5 minutes of insanity.

– Antony, FW, Man United: Came on early within the second half and helped flip the sport in United’s favour.

– Harrison Reed, MF, Fulham: Caused United issues down their left and was key to Fulham’s good begin.


– Aleksandar Mitrovic, ST, Fulham: He put Fulham in entrance, however his purple card within the aftermath of the penalty incident price his workforce any probability of profitable the sport.

– Harry Maguire, DF, Man United: Making consecutive begins for the time since August, he seemed like a weak hyperlink in United’s defence.

– Willian, FW, Fulham: The Brazilian winger will remorse his choice to deal with Sancho’s shot on the road, a selection that triggered Fulham’s meltdown.

Highlights and notable moments

This is easy methods to rating at Old Trafford! Mitrovic put Fulham on the board first from this set piece…

… after which got here the chaos! Willian’s handball on the purpose line earned him an apparent purple card, however Mitrovic and supervisor Marco Silva quickly joined the Brazilian within the locker room.

Playing in opposition to 9 males was definitely going to make Man United’s activity simpler, and two objectives in two minutes promptly put them within the FA Cup semifinals.

After the match: What the gamers/managers mentioned

“A massive win. We wanted to go back to Wembley; we did it. 1-0 down it was hard and tough, but we came back and won it. We were concentrated, focused until the end. I think it was a deserved win. We came back and that’s the important thing.” — Manchester United midfielder Marcel Sabitzer

“Let’s discuss all the sport and never only one second. Until the penalty we have been clearly the very best workforce of the pitch — clear. The [red card] was a choice that VAR could make. What is troublesome for us to know is why the 2 moments of their field within the first half: one in every of them is a transparent penalty on Mitrovic, and nobody checks, nobody needs to see something. … I wish to know what the referee will write [in his report] about what I mentioned to him. — Fulham supervisor Marco Silva

Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Information)

– Aleksandar Mitrovic: second purpose in seven profession video games vs. Man United in all competitions (first since 2016 with Newcastle). Man United is the third of the Big Six golf equipment in opposition to which he has scored a number of objectives (two vs. Arsenal, two vs. Liverpool)
– Willian: third profession purple card in all competitions. It was his first since March 2014 for Chelsea and first straight purple card since April 2007 (Corinthians vs. Náutico)
– Aleksandar Mitrovic: eight profession purple playing cards in all competitions — all of them straight reds
– Bruno Fernandes scored his tenth purpose of the season throughout all competitions. He joins Marcus Rashford (27) as the one Manchester United gamers in double figures, and joins Lionel Messi as the one gamers from Europe’s high 5 leagues with not less than 10 objectives and 10 assists in every of the previous three seasons (all competitions)
– Man United: seventh win this season in all competitions when trailing at any level. They have come again to win three of their previous 4 matches when trailing

Up subsequent

Manchester United: Ten Hag & Co. face a busy week after the worldwide break, with three league fixtures in every week. First comes a visit to Newcastle (April 2) earlier than back-to-back dwelling video games with Brentford (April 5) and Everton (April 8).

Fulham: After the break, the Cottagers journey to Bournemouth (April 1) within the Premier League earlier than a house date with fellow London membership West Ham on April 8.