Man Utd survive Coventry scare to reach FA Cup final

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  • Post published:April 22, 2024

Manchester United fought hard to secure their place in the FA Cup final after claiming a 4-2 win in a penalty shootout against Coventry City in an entertaining semi-final at Wembley.

At one point, United was behind in a penalty shootout, but they prevailed in a very contemporary thriller.

Victor Torp’s shot in injury time during extra time was disallowed for offside by video assistant referee Peter Bankes, which is how a very extraordinary battle only made it that far.

However, following Bradley Collins’ stop of United’s opening penalty kick from Casemiro, Andre Onana denied Callum O’Hare, then verbally challenged Ben Sheaf, unsettling him so much that the Coventry captain missed and Rasmus Hojlund won.

It would be interesting to know what Sir Jim Ratcliffe, United’s co-owner, thought of it. Sir Alex Ferguson’s job was saved thirty-four years ago by Mark Robins’ remarkable goal-scoring performance in the FA Cup. Who knows how much the Coventry side of Robins has hurt Erik ten Hag’s prospects of holding his?

With goals from Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, and Scott McTominay, United led 3-0 and seemed like they were on their way to a rematch of last season’s championship match against its neighbour, Manchester City.

However, United collapsed in front of co-chairmen Joel and Avram Glazer, new technical director Jason Wilcox, and Ratcliffe, who had finished the London Marathon earlier in the day, and Coventry exploited the situation to its fullest.

Ellis Simms and O’Hare cut the lead, but Haji Wright maintained composure in stoppage time to score from the spot and force extra time.

For a split second, Torp gave ecstatic Coventry supporters hope that their team would return the following month to attempt to repeat the heroics of the Sky Blues’ 1987 victory over Tottenham.

It was not meant to be. But after it was all done, Ten Hag and his men were walking rather sheepishly to the changing rooms, while the Championship players were receiving the applause of their supporters.