Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera on either side of half-time fired Manchester United to a comeback win over Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semifinal.
Manchester United made it through to the finals of the FA Cup, after they defeated Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at the Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho’s men started the game on a bad note as Spurs got the lead as early as the 11th minute when Dele Alli got on the end of a stunning Christian Eriksen cross to prod home from close.
However, Manchester United bounced back from the early setback, with Alexis Sanchez scoring a brilliant header after being set up by Paul Pogba in the 24th minute.
The second-half saw Manchester United control the game better as they sat deep and tried to hit the North Londoners on the counter. And two minutes past the hour mark, the Red Devils were ahead courtesy of Ander Herrera’s driving strike from the edge of the box to complete the comeback.
FT: #MUFC 2 Tottenham 1.
Let the celebrations commence! pic.twitter.com/equtgBOM78
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 21, 2018
Tottenham tried to turn things around, but were unable to find a way through a resilient Manchester United backline as they held on for a famous win at the Wembley. They will face the winners of Sunday’s encounter between Chelsea and Southampton in the finals next month.
Here’s how we rated the performances of the Manchester United stars on the day;
David De Gea: 6/10
There wasn’t a lot the Spanish international could do to stop Alli’s opener. Was beaten by a deflected strike from Eric Dier, which hit the bottom of the post. Did not have any important stops to make. Distribution was on point.
Antonio Valencia: 5/10
The Manchester United captain was given some problems on the right by the movement of Son Heung-Min. Booked in the first period and was walking on thin ice ever since. Could have easily seen a second yellow for a foul on Alli in the second half. Came off injured late in the game.
Phil Jones: 7.5/10
Picked ahead of Eric Bailly, the England international justified his selection with a dogged and determined display in the heart of United’s defence. Made an important block on Alli’s effort with the score at 1-0 and continued to put his body on the line throughout the game. Brilliant display.
I loved this passion from Phil Jones with Chris Smalling. Both were excellent today. #mufc
— United Report (@ManUtdReport_) April 21, 2018
Chris Smalling: 7/10
Was caught out for Alli’s goal but the Englishman improved from thereon and went on to put a dominant display alongside his compatriot. Hardly gave Harry Kane a sniff at goal with a block on an effort from the Spurs’ forward in the second half particularly standing out.
Ashley Young: 5.5/10
The makeshift left-back was nowhere to be seen as Eriksen hared down his flank and hit in a beautiful cross to set Alli up for the goal. Grew into the game with time and was more solid as the game progressed, but the initial mistake highlighted United’s need for a new left-back once again.
Ander Herrera: 8/10
Manchester United’s unlikely hero on the day. The Spaniard was in his elements from the get go as he pressed aggressively in the middle of the park and was always available to support his defence when Spurs broke forward. Capped an energetic display with a wonderful finish to seal the victory for his side.
Nemanja Matic: 6/10
The Serbian powerhouse started the game on the backfoot as he struggled to cope with Tottenham’s pressure in the first 25 minutes. Grew steadier from there on and did his job well at the base of the midfield. Disciplined and composed.
Paul Pogba: 7/10
The Frenchman failed to track Eriksen leading to the opening goal but amends for it soon after, as he dispossessed Mousa Dembele deep in the Spurs’ half and hit a wonderful cross for Sanchez to head home and equalize. Made driving runs forward, his passing was crisp and did not shrug his defensive responsibilities.
Jesse Lingard: 6/10
Started off a tad slowly but his darting runs down the channels and sharp movement helped stretch the Tottenham defence. Could not make a telling impact on the game but was an energetic presence on the field before being taken off for Marcus Rashford.
Romelu Lukaku: 6/10
The Belgian striker may have failed to score but his work off the ball was noteworthy once again. Was let down by his touch on occasions, but ran down every ball till the last moment of the game, led the line with great gusto. Played a role in the winner, albeit inadvertently.
Alexis Sanchez: 8/10
The Chilean’s love-affair with Wembley Stadium continued on Saturday as he scored his eighth goal in his eighth appearance at the national stadium with a brilliant header. Played a huge role in setting up the winner for Herrera. Showed great desire throughout the match and is starting to prove himself in United colours.
Matteo Darmian: N/A
Came on for the injured Valencia for the last ten minutes. Solid enough.
Marcus Rashford: N/A
Replaced Lingard in the 83rd minute. Booked for simulation. Wasted a great chance to put the game to bed late on.
Marouane Fellaini: N/A
On for Alexis in the stoppage time.