Player ratings as Red Devils win shootout to reach FA Cup final

Victor Lindelof convert a crucial penalty in a shootout at Wembley Stadium to see Manchester United through to the FA Cup final.

The game itself would finish 0-0 and would be decided in sudden death shootout, where Lindelof became the hero after Solly March ballooned his penalty over the bar.

The win means that Man Utd will face off against crosstown rivals Manchester City in the final.

Brighton took the game to Manchester United in the opening minutes, and they almost took the lead when Alexis Mac Allister curled a free kick goalward from just outside the penalty area. Luckily for Man Utd, David de Gea was on hand to tip the ball wide of the post.

It would take Man Utd until the 15th minute to show what they’re capable of in the final third, with Bruno Fernandes forcing Robert Sanchez into a smart save from the edge of the penalty box.

After that jaunt forward, Brighton would largely control possession and territory for the majority of the rest of the first half. That dominance, however, would rarely turned into chance creation – the only relatively notable one being created was a Julio Encisco reactionary striker from just inside the box which skewed narrowly wide of the post.

During one of the rare moments when Man Utd got forward late in the half, Fernandes once again came close to scoring. After storming into the box, the Man Utd captain-for-the-day drilled a low drilled effort just past the far left post.

Brighton hit the ground running once again at the start of the second half, piling forward in search of the opening goal. It almost came in the 86th minute, when the token ‘home team’ for the day came close on three occasions.

First Lewis Dunk saw his header from a corner kick be headed off the line by Casemiro, then Encisco was denied by the outstretched arm of De Gea who rose up to punch the youngster’s effort from just inside the box over the crossbar. And then, from the resulting corner kick, Danny Welbeck rose highest at the back post to head over from just four yards out.

Those chances seemed to spark the Red Devils into life at the other end of the park, with Antony in particular causing Brighton’s backline some problems from the right flank. The Brazilian would come close to making it 1-0 in the 65th minute when he cut in from that right flank and fired a left-footed strike goalward, forcing Sanchez into a clever save.

After that flurry, Roberto De Zerbi’s side re-gained control and, once again, forced De Gea into a decent save. This time that save would deny Solly March, who drilled the ball low and hard toward the bottom right corner, where De Gea was on hand to collect the ball.

Despite their best efforts however, Brighton were unable to find the winning goal in normal time and the game would have to be decided in extra time and penalties.

The decisive goal would so nearly come from Man Utd substitute Marcel Sabitzer in the eighth minute of extra time. The Austrian rose well in the box to latch onto a cross from Jadon Sancho, but saw his subsequent header loop just over the crossbar.

Just before the first period of extra time ended, Sanchez pulled of a truly stunning save to deny Marcus Rashford. The forward latched onto a loose ball 15-yards from goal and fired a great strike toward the bottom right corner of the net. Amazingly, however, Sanchez was on hand to tip the ball just around the post.

Rashford would come close again at the start of the second period of extra time, cutting in from the left flank and cannoning the ball narrowly wide.

That proved to be the last chance of the game, and we went to a penalty shootout.

Mac Allister, Casemiro, Gross, Dalot, Undav, Sancho, Estupinan, Rashford, Dunk and Sabitzer would all convert their penalties, thus taking an FA Cup semi-final to sudden death penalties for the first time ever.

Webster would convert Brighton’s sixth penalty, and Weghorst would then step up to convert United’s.

Then March stepped up to fire his penalty well over the crossbar and give Lindelof the chance to win the game. And it would be a chance he’d take, firing into the top right corner of the net to earn Man Utd the win.

GK – Robert Sanchez – 7/10 – Made a stunning save in extra time.

RB – Pascal Gross – 6/10 – Kept Rashford pretty quiet on the flank.

CB – Adam Webster – 6/10 – Battled well.

CB – Lewis Dunk – 6/10 – Always a threat from set pieces, and his distribution from the back was decent.

LB – Lewis Estupinan – 5/10 – Got forward with enthusiasm at times, but lacked a bit of end product when he did.

CM – Moises Caicedo – 8/10 – Seemed the quickest to every loose ball in the middle of the park.

CM – Alexis Mac Allister – 7/10 – Another very impressive performance for Brighton.

RM – Solly March – 5/10 – Got in good positions but his final ball was lacking today. Missed the decisive penalty.

AM – Julio Encisco – 6/10 – Forced De Gea into a good save in the second half.

LM – Kaoru Mitoma – 7/10 – The liveliest of Brighton’s attackers.

ST – Danny Welbeck – 6/10 – Worked hard but missed a brilliant chance around the hour mark.


Joel Veltman – 6/10 – Slotted into defence well.

Deniz Undav – 2/10 – Not good.

Manager: Roberto De Zerbi – 7/10 – His team played with their typical enthusiasm throughout.

GK – David de Gea – 8/10 – An infinitely better performance than the one he put in on Thursday.

RB – Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 6/10 – Had his work cut out for him up against Mitoma, and did a decent job against him.

CB – Victor Lindelof – 7/10 – One of his better performances in recent memory for Manchester United.

CB – Luke Shaw – 7/10 – A decent outing at the heart of Man Utd’s defence.

LB – Diogo Dalot – 6/10 – As solid defensively as ever.

CM – Casemiro – 5/10 – Booked as per and probably should’ve been sent off.

CM – Christian Eriksen – 6/10 – Played a few lovely passes from his position deep in midfield.

RM – Antony – 6/10 – Had his moments throughout the game.

AM – Bruno Fernandes – 7/10 – Looked the most likely to score for Man Utd.

LM – Marcus Rashford – 6/10 – Not at his best in normal time, then sparked into life in extra time.

ST – Anthony Martial – 2/10 – He did not play well.


Fred – 5/10 – Busy when introduced.

Jadon Sancho – 6/10 – Looked much, much better than Martial when he was introduced.

Marcel Sabitzer – 5/10 – Had a chance to win it in extra time.

Wout Weghorst – N/A.

Tyrell Malacia – N/A.

Manager: Erik ten Hag – 6/10 – Hindered by Man Utd’s lack of a striker on the books but got the win.

Man of the match: Moises Caicedo – An all-action performance in the middle of the park.