‘Embarrassed to win’: Legend’s savage verdict as Man Utd survive all-time choke in FA Cup semi final

    Manchester United overcame an astonishing collapse to beat Coventry on penalties in an FA Cup classic on Sunday, setting up a second straight FA Cup final against Manchester City.

    Erik ten Hag’s men won the shootout at Wembley 4-2, with Rasmus Hojlund scoring the decisive spot kick after the teams were level at 3-3 after extra-time.

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    The game perfectly encapsulated a chaotic season for Ten Hag’s men, who are well off the pace in the Premier League and had a Champions League campaign to forget.

    There was no hint of what was to come when United coasted into a 3-0 lead against their second-tier opponents in the London sunshine, with goals from Scott McTominay, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes.

    But they have made a habit of tossing away leads in recent weeks and the match against Coventry proved no different.

    Second-half strikes from Ellis Simms and Callum O’Hare gave the 1987 FA Cup winners hope and Haji Wright levelled from the penalty spot in the 95th minute, capping a scarcely credible comeback.

    United legend Roy Keane was left baffled as to how the Premier League heavyweights were still able to celebrate the win despite throwing away a 3-0 lead to a Championship team and questioned the team’s character once again.

    “Some of the United players and supporters weren’t going over the top with the celebrations,” Keane told ITV.

    “They were almost embarrassed to win at the end.

    “Whenever I see this United team I don’t like what I see. Talk about leadership and characters, I don’t see that in this United team. My goodness, they rode their luck today.

    “We’re having the same conversation every week with Man United, you don’t know what you’re going to get.

    Manchester United are into the FA Cup final for a second-straight season. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source: AFP


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    “You always say you need a bit of luck. Maguire said they showed good character, I don’t see character in this group of players. I’m looking at the goalkeeper, wasting time. Just get on with the game. Show some courage.

    “Huge problems for Man United going forward but they got the job done.”

    United, 12-time winners of the competition, settled early and took the lead in the 23rd minute after a fine move down the right.

    Alejandro Garnacho fed the overlapping Diogo Dalot, whose cross went under the hands of the diving Bradley Collins and was tapped in by McTominay from close range.

    Marcus Rashford forced a fine save from Collins late in the first half but United doubled their lead from the resulting corner, with Maguire heading home from Fernandes’s cross.

    Coventry, who scored twice in stoppage time to beat Premier League Wolves in the quarter-finals, struggled to make inroads against an organised United team.

    They looked brighter in the early stages of the second half. But the wind was taken out of their sails when Fernandes’s shot found its way past Collins in the 58th minute, courtesy of a deflection off defender Bobby Thomas.

    O’Hare headed over from an angle as Coventry continued to probe but they pulled a goal back when top-scorer Ellis Simms connected with a cross from substitute Fabio Tavares in the 71st minute after United’s defence switched off.

    They made it 3-2 in the 79th minute when O’Hare’s shot from just outside the box looped off Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s back and over Onana.

    Coventry came back from a 3-0 deficit but it ultimately was not enough (Photo by Ian Kington / AFP)Source: AFP

    Coventry’s fans were now in full voice as their team mounted waves of attacks. Substitute Victor Torp hit a stinging shot from the edge of the area with five minutes of normal time to go, forcing Onana into a sharp save.

    But Coventry still were not finished.

    Wan-Bissaka was adjudged to have handled in the penalty area and Wright scored from the spot to take the match into extra time.

    Coventry looked the more likely winners in 10 long minutes of stoppage time but could not find a winner.

    United captain Fernandes rattled the crossbar in the fourth minute of extra time when set up by substitute Amad Diallo.

    Simms then smashed a shot off the underside of the crossbar as time ran out. Coventry thought they had won it in the dying moments when Torp poked the ball past Andre Onana but a VAR check ruled that Wright was marginally offside.

    The Championship side drew first blood in the shootout when Casemiro’s weak penalty was saved by Collins.

    But O’Hare and captain Ben Sheaf failed to convert, leaving Hojlund with the job of sending United through and he made no mistake.

    Manchester City beat Chelsea 1-0 in the other semi-final on Saturday.

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