Manchester United defeated Brighton & Hove Albion on penalties after their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday ended 0-0 after extra time.
Their triumph has now set up the first all-Manchester final.
Solly March, Brighton’s sixth shootout participant, fired the ball over the crossbar.
Manchester United then won the shootout 7-6 thanks to Victor Lindelof’s goal.
“It felt great,” Lindelof subsequently stated. “It was a huge relief, and we’re thrilled to be in the final.”
“I have confidence in myself, and I knew which penalty kick I wanted to take, and that’s what I did.”
After 120 goalless minutes of wild swings in a game that careened from end to end all night, the nail-biting climax was fitting.
In a heavy downpour, the penalty kicks were of exceptional quality, with Manchester United scoring on all seven of their attempts.
Brighton’s first six attempts were all equally impressive before March shot wide.
“They were great penalty kicks,” remarked Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea. “I was prepared as usual.” I attempted to put the takers under duress.
“There’s still a long way to go before the final, but it will be a big game against one of the best teams in Europe and the world.”
Manchester United, a 12-time FA Cup winner, is aiming for a Cup double after winning the League Cup in February.
Manchester City await in the final after defeating Sheffield United 3-0 in the semi-finals on Saturday.
“We demonstrated at home that we can beat them (Manchester City).” So, let’s hope,” remarked De Gea.
Manchester United defeated Manchester City 2-1 at Old Trafford in the English Premier League (EPL) on January 14.
“We’re on the right path. One trophy, two finals, and a battle for the top four. It’s not enough, but it’s a significant improvement over last season.”
The semi-final on Sunday was a replay of the 1983 final, in which Brighton lost to Manchester United in their sole appearance in the showpiece game.
Fans at Wembley were on the edge of their seats as both teams had multiple chances to break the deadlock, including several in extra time.
In the extra period, Marcus Rashford’s deflected shot was pushed wide by Brighton’s diving goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, and he subsequently blasted a long shot that flew just wide.
Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma nearly won it late in extra time, but collided with De Gea in the box.
“It was a very close game.” “We faced a very good team,” De Gea remarked.
“Brighton is a fantastic football team.” We are now in the final, but we have another crucial game on Thursday (in the Premier League against Tottenham). As a result, we must return home to rest.”
Brighton’s remarkable run came to an end, as did The Seagulls’ dreams of winning their first major prize.
The FA Cup final will take place on June 3 at Wembley Stadium.(Reuters/NAN)
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