The FA Cup final will be contested between the Premier League’s two Manchester clubs for the first time ever after United beat Brighton and Hove Albion 7-6 on penalties yesterday following a goalless 120 minutes at Wembley.
In a match where neither side took their opportunities, both Manchester United and Brighton enjoyed 15 shots on goal. The Seagulls had five shots on target to United’s six but the goals failed to come in both the regulation 90 minutes and extra time.
The two sides exchanged penalties to conclude the initial shootout 5-5 but Solly March missed Brighton’s seventh penalty – the 13th overall – in what was the first penalty shootout to go to sudden death in an FA Cup semi-final.
Manchester United on the march
Victor Lindelof made the most of the Brighton error with goalkeeper Robert Sanchez unable to save the Sweden international’s decisive spot kick to hand United their first ever FA Cup penalty shootout win.
The result ensures Manchester United remain on course for a cup double having beaten Newcastle United earlier on in the season to lift the Carabao Cup.
For Brighton hope remains of concluding the domestic Premier League season with European qualification.
“It was a very tight game, we played against a very good team who played very good football,” Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea said last night.
“We are in another final. I thought they took great penalties, I tried to put pressure on the takers.
“I’m sure [the final] is going to be a great game, against one of the best teams in Europe, and the world, but we’ve shown already that we can beat them.”
Manchester City beat Championship side Sheffield United 3-0 on Saturday to book their spot in the final on 3 June.