Home ยป Match report: Brighton and Hove Albion 0 – 0 Manchester United (6-7)

Match report: Brighton and Hove Albion 0 – 0 Manchester United (6-7)

by Zoe Hodges

Manchester United have beaten Brighton on penalties to set-up a mouthwatering Manchester derby in the final of the FA Cup.

Neither team could make the breakthrough in the 90 minutes and despite chances for both sides they couldn’t be separated after added time either.

An early chance for United saw Rashford make a good run before cutting inside but he tried to play in the unsuspecting Antony and both men ended up sprawled on the floor.

Antony gave away a free-kick in a dangerous area for Brighton, it was struck well but De Gea made the save.

Enciso got himself in a good position on the edge of the area, the cutback came to him but his shot was wide.

Brighton seemed to have the better start but both teams had their chances. Fifteen minutes in and Fernandes blasted a shot goalwards from outside the area forcing Sanchez into a diving save to push it out.

Fernandes was the Reds’ brightest spark in the opening twenty minutes or so, but he went down a few times and despite receiving treatment wasn’t moving freely. The Reds have a full medical room at the moment and don’t need to add Fernandes to that list.

A chance came for the Seagulls as Mitoma ran into a good position, he was tackled by Wan-Bissaka but the ball fell into the path of Enciso who took it first time. it was just wide.

At the other end, a hot-headed Fernandes found a moment of calm where he wasn’t being bullied off the ball and went on a blazing run down the right. He had Martial to his left but he took the shot on himself and was just a fraction wide.

United were beginning to get more of a foothold in the game, Eriksen with a lovely ball to pick out Rashford, he waited in the box and cut it back to the unmarked Eriksen who smashed it goalwards but Sanchez saved it with his foot.

With the second half underway, Antony launched an explosive counter attack but tried to square it instead of taking on the shot himself and could only find a Brighton player.

At the other end Brighton had a spell which put pressure on the United goal especially since Casemiro lost possession in his own box.

Enciso forced a sublime save from De Gea as he tipped his powerful shot over the bar.

Antony had a chance at the other end, he had options to his left and right but took the shot on himself and it was too tame, Sanchez easily gathered it.

The tempo was ramping up and Wan-Bissaka showed such skill as he won the ball back and kept hold of it despite Brighton challenges flying in but unfortunately the attack amounted to nothing.

Antony had another chance but it was easily saved again by Sanchez. Martial collected and tried to get it back in, it found its way to Rashford who was brought down by Enciso.

Fernandes hit the free-kick straight into the wall before blasting the rebound over the bar.

The game was wide open as extra-time loomed and in the 82nd minute, De Gea had to make another good save, low to his left to keep the scores level.

All level after 90 minutes, Sabitzer came on for Antony as the game kicked off again.

Undav was unmarked inside the box but his first touch took the ball away from him and allowed Dalot time to get across him and clear it.

Sancho went on a good run, he had support from Dalot who passed it back to him. His cross to the far post found the head of Sabitzer but his header was wide.

It was end to end but the finishing was appalling from both sides.

A chance for Rashford on the edge of the area took a deflection and forced a superb save from Sanchez. United couldn’t make anything of the corner.

With less than ten minutes to play, Casemiro delivered a beautiful long ball to the feet of Rashford but his powerful shot was off-target.

Mitoma had a golden opportunity to put Brighton ahead but he took a heavy touch before slamming into De Gea.

Brighton won a corner in the last minute as the ball took a deflection, almost sneaking in at De Gea’s near post, luckily the set-piece was defended well.

Penalties it was…

It was a historic moment as for the first time 14 penalties were taken in a semi-final, previously it had never gone beyond ten.

Neither keeper made a save but Solly March skied his penalty, meaning Lindelof had to just keep his cool to win it for Manchester United.

Team: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka (Malacia 101), Shaw, Lindelof, Dalot, Fernandes (Weghorst 101), Casemiro, Eriksen (Fred 62), Antony (Sabitzer 90), Martial (Sancho 85), Rashford

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