Manchester United reached the Final of the 2022/2023 English FA Cup, after triumphing 7-6 via penalties in their semi-final encounter with Brighton and Hove Albion, after regulation time and extra-time had ended goalless at Wembley.
Both teams battled in the opening exchanges, with Alexis Mac Allister’s free-kick in the seventh minute going towards the right post, only for United goalkeeper David de Gea to make the save.
A golden chance then fell to Julio Enciso, who met with a cross inside the box. The teenager produced an inaccurate effort that went wide of the left post.
Casemiro then found Bruno Fernandes with a sweet pass, but the Portuguese international couldn’t find the target as his effort from inside the box went wide of the left post.
Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma who operated on the left hand flank, couldn’t find a way past right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka who prevented the Japanese star from delivering his customary deadly crosses into the box.
The Red Devils got more clear chances to open the scoring in the second period, but were unable to find a way past the Brighton defence. The game went into extra-time as the scoreline remained goalless.
The first period of extra-time brought the biggest chance for Manchester United. Marcus Rashford’s shot took a deflection but Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez made a superb save to deny the Englishman and to keep his side in the game.
Both sides had massive opportunities to put their noses in front, with David de Gea making himself big to deny Kaoru Mitoma after the Japan star had been through on goal.
In the ensuing penalty shootout, Alexis Mac Allister, Pascal Gross, Undav, Pervis Estupinan, Lewis Dunk, Webster scored for Brighton and Hove Albion but Solly March missed for the Seagulls while Casemiro, Diogo Dalot, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Marcel Sabitzer, Wout Weghorst and Victor Lindelof converted for Manchester United to send the Red Devils to the Final, where they will face rivals and neighbours Manchester City in what will surely be a feisty derby.
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PENALTY SHOOTOUT OUTCOME: Brighton 6-7 Manchester United
END OF EXTRA-TIME AT WEMBLEY: Brighton 0-0 Manchester United
SECOND HALF OF EXTRA-TIME UNDERWAY AT WEMBLEY: Brighton 0-0 Manchester United
HALF-TIME OF EXTRA-TIME AT WEMBLEY: Brighton 0-0 Manchester United
FIRST HALF OF EXTRA-TIME UNDERWAY AT WEMBLEY: Brighton 0-0 Manchester United
END OF REGULATION TIME AT WEMBLEY: Brighton 0-0 Manchester United
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT WEMBLEY: Brighton 0-0 Manchester United
HALF-TIME AT WEMBLEY: Brighton 0-0 Manchester United
KICK-OFF AT WEMBLEY: Brighton 0-0 Manchester United
Both sides will tussle for the right to play Manchester City in the Final of the 2022/2023 English FA Cup, after the Cityzens had earlier on Saturday reached the showpiece finale by defeating Sheffield United 3-0, with Riyad Mahrez grabbing a hat-trick.
Brighton who have had a stellar campaign, will be looking to boost their chances of winning a piece of silverware come the end of the season by overcoming the Red Devils. The Seagulls look primed to qualify for continental football next season and with quality players at their disposal, a positive outcome over United seems possible.
As for Manchester United, they are looking to bounce back from their UEFA Europa League ouster in midweek, when they were soundly beaten 3-0 (5-2 on aggregate) by Spanish La Liga side Sevilla. Erik ten Hag’s men are still firmly in the UEFA Champions League slots in the Premier League, but will want to make a statement by reaching the Final of the world’s oldest club Cup competition.
Furthermore, the prospect of facing neighbours and rivals Manchester City in the Final will likely spur the Red Devils to go all out and seal qualification.