Man Utd scrape past Coventry to reach FA Cup final

21 Apr 2024
Man Utd FA Cup

Red Devils set up repeat of 2023 final with Man City after winning on penalties despite surrendering 3-0 lead

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Manchester United booked their place in the FA Cup final with an unconvincing win over Championship side Coventry City on penalties, after taking a 3-0 lead.

Scott McTominay, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes put the Red Devils in control of the contest after 58 minutes. 

But goals from Ellis Simms, Callum O'Hare and a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time from Haji Wright completed Coventry's sensational comeback and sent the match into extra-time.

Coventry thought they had won the match in the final minutes of the second period of extra-time, only for their goal to be ruled out for offside following a VAR decision.

Man Utd won 4-2 in the shootout to set up a repeat of the 2023 final with Manchester City, who beat Chelsea 1-0 in the other semi-final.

How the match unfolded

Man Utd made one change from their draw at AFC bournemouth with McTominay coming in for Willy Kambwala.

Coventry made two changes from the side who lost 3-0 at Birmingham City last weekend as O'Hare and Josh Eccles replaced Victor Torp and Kasey Palmer.

Man Utd started on the front foot and took the lead after 23 minutes when Diogo Dalot's low cross went through the gloves of Bradley Collins to McTominay, who poked the ball into an empty net from close range.

McTominay goal

Moments later, Marcus Rashford forced a superb save from Collins, who tipped the Man Utd forward's shot onto the crossbar.

The second goal arrived in first-half stoppage-time as Maguire found space in the box before powering a header into the net from Fernandes' corner, who then got on the scoresheet via a deflected strike from a tight angle in the 58th minute.

Fernandes goal

But then came Coventry's comeback, which started in the 71st minute when Simms swept home a shot from 10 yards out. Eight minutes later, O'Hare's shot from 20 yards out took a huge deflection off Aaron Wan-Bissaka before looping into the net.

And deep into stoppage time, Wan-Bissaka was penalised for a handball to give Coventry a penalty.

Wright stepped up and sent his effort to the right of the goal, with Andre Onana diving the other way.

Wright goal

Extra-time provided more drama as Fernandes and Simms each hit the crossbar.

Coventry thought they had sealed an incredible turnaround when Wright played in Victor Torp who crept the ball in from six yards out.

However, to United's relief, the goal was disallowed for offside.

And in the shootout, Dalot, Fernandes, Christian Eriksen and Rasmus Hojlund kept their composure to seal Man Utd's place in the final against rivals Man City.

Man Utd's focus now switches back to the Premier League as they look to host bottom-placed Sheffield United on Wednesday.

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