Man Utd set up FA Cup semis clash against Brighton

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  • Post published:March 20, 2023

Manchester United set up a FA Cup semi-final clash against Brighton & Hove Albion after they secured a 3-1 victory over Fulham at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Mitrovic was shown one of three red cards in a matter of seconds as he barged into Chris Kavanagh for awarding Manchester United a penalty following a VAR review for Willian’s handball on the goal line.

In addition to Fulham manager Marco Silva, the Brazilian was also ejected from the game.

United capitalised as two goals from Bruno Fernandes and Marcel Sabitzer’s first goal for the club kept Erik ten Hag’s squad on track for a cup treble.

“Mitro should control his emotions a bit,” said Silva. “If he wants to give me the red card I have to accept it because he didn’t listen to me at all. As I left my area I have to accept it.”

VAR did not grant a penalty for a foul committed by Mitrovic in the first half, which contributed to Fulham’s anger.

“It is a shame the ref wasn’t shown VAR for the first-half moments,” added Silva. “It is difficult to be Fulham at Old Trafford, the VAR feels the pressure too.”

Mitrovic’s goal early in the second half put the Cottagers in position to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time in 21 years.

United’s goalkeeper David de Gea had to make a remarkable save to deny the Serbian a second goal before one incident 18 minutes from time completely altered the outcome of the match.

Willian prevented a certain goal by deflecting Jadon Sancho’s shot with his hand.

Kavanagh initially awarded only a corner, but reversing his decision after viewing the replay to cause chaos.

Silva was the initial player to receive a red card for approaching an official near the VAR monitor.

Mitrovic faces the most severe ban after pushing the referee on the arm and then confronting Kavanagh. Willian was subsequently dismissed.

Fernandes leveled the score by sending Bernd Leno the wrong way from the penalty spot.

United quickly capitalized on their two-man advantage when Luke Shaw crossed the ball for Marcel Sabitzer to score.

On April 23, Fernandes delivered the knockout blow when he scored in the sixth minute of added time to send United to Wembley.

“This team has great character,” said Ten Hag after his side shrugged off the fatigue of playing away to Real Betis in the Europa League on Thursday.

“We are mentally and physically fit, and I’m happy with our progress as a team.”

Photo by EPA/Adam Vaughan