In a tense FA Cup semi-final match, Manchester United emerged victorious against Brighton after a scoreless 120 minutes, winning on penalties. Victor Lindelof was the hero of the game, scoring the decisive penalty in a high-quality shootout that dashed Brighton’s dreams in dramatic circumstances. Lindelof’s teammates reeled off in celebration as Solly March was left heartbroken after his effort, the 13th of the game, flew over the bar to hand United the win. This was their first penalty shootout victory in the FA Cup.
Both teams played almost perfectly during the penalty shootout, with neither David de Gea nor Robert Sanchez able to do much about the other penalties from both sides. Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho both scored two master penalties each, which was a stark contrast to their last efforts at Wembley for England.
During extra-time, Erik ten Hag hauled off Bruno Fernandes to raise eyebrows as one of United’s best penalty-takers with Wout Weghorst coming in. However, Brighton will be kicking themselves after missing a host of glorious chances at Wembley while they comfortably dominated possession for large portions of the match.
United had opportunities to break the deadlock towards the end of the first half, most notably through Bruno Fernandes. The 28-year-old nearly squeezed one past Sanchez with seconds left before injury-time but that was the closest they got throughout the first 90 minutes. After the break, it was Brighton that ramped it up as they forced De Gea into three good saves.
Danny Welbeck, Alexis Mac Allister, and Julio Ensico were all nearly folklore legends at Brighton but not for the expertise of De Gea, who has come under flak in recent weeks. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, and Diogo Dalot all had to be at the time of their game with Brighton dominating possession with nearly two-thirds of the ball. This was largely down to a formidable display from Moises Caicedo, who ate up ground and greedily bolted around the pitch, winning the ball back and starting attacks.
The win sets up an all-Manchester final next month after Manchester City beat Sheffield United on Saturday. Both sides will be chasing down silverware until the very last kick of the season.