Following a miss by Solly March, Victor Lindelof scored the go-ahead penalty kick to help Erik Ten Hag’s squad win 7-6 and maintain their chances of winning both the domestic cup competitions.
After extra time, the semi-final in front of more than 81,000 spectators ended scoreless because no team displayed the decisive edge needed to break the tie.
In the first-ever matchup between the rivals in an FA Cup final, United will have the opportunity to prevent City from matching their extraordinary feat of winning the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup.
But if the Red Devils are to compete with Pep Guardiola’s scorching squad, they will need to rediscover greater form after winning the League Cup earlier this season to snap a six-year trophy drought.
In reference to their dreadful performance against Sevilla in the Europa League on Thursday, Ten Hag told the BBC, “I saw a team I didn’t recognize but today we went back to normal.”
“I observed tenacity and fortitude. We engaged in fierce competition for every yard and fight. We stood a chance.
Following Thursday’s 3-0 loss in Spain, which resulted in a 5-2 loss on aggregate in the Europa League quarterfinals, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes were inserted in place of Jadon Sancho and Marcel Sabitzer, and Harry Maguire, who was out due to suspension, was replaced at center-back by Luke Shaw.
Brighton had won the previous two league meetings between the teams and arrived at Wembley on a high after defeating Chelsea the previous week. Brighton lost the FA Cup final replay against United 40 years earlier.
When Kaoru Mitoma was clumsily hauled down on the outside of the box by Antony in the sixth minute, the south-coast club took the initiative and had an early chance to score.
Prior to Julio Enciso’s wide-open attempt, World Cup champion Alexis Mac Allister of Argentina produced a beautiful curling effort that David De Gea did well to stop.
Brighton, led by Roberto De Zerbi, had the majority of the possession, with United appearing prepared to stand back and try to take advantage of Rashford and Antony’s quickness.
In United’s first significant attempt at goal, Fernandes’ shot was stopped by Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez. After a disastrous match for the Spaniard in Seville, the throngs of Brighton supporters were eager to get on De Gea’s nerves every time the ball came to his feet.
Shortly before halftime, United, who had been stumbling for long stretches, created a flurry of chances, but Fernandes, Anthony Martial, and Christian Eriksen all missed their opportunities. At the start of the second half, Brighton got going immediately. Enciso pushed De Gea into a deft save, and Danny Welbeck, a former United attacker, misdirected the next corner kick. However, neither team was able to break the tie, therefore referee Craig Pawson signaled for extra time.
The match dragged on with half-chances at both ends, but after several adjustments, neither team was able to make a breakthrough.
With 10 minutes left, United’s leading scorer Rashford, who was having trouble finding his best form, blazed wide before De Gea cleared after a goalmouth melee at the opposite end.
A superb shootout took place in front of throngs of Brighton supporters.
When United’s replacement Sabitzer went up to take his penalty kick with the score at 5-4, Sanchez got a hand on it but could not block it, and Sabitzer’s heart would have skipped a beat.
Prior to March’s agonizing miss with the 13th kick, Brighton’s Adam Webster and United’s Wout Weghorst both scored. This offered defender Lindelof an opportunity, which he did not waste.
Since first-choice central defenders Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane are both sidelined, Ten Hag commended “cool” Lindelof and Shaw and stated he was satisfied with De Gea’s performance.
He stated, “He made some brilliant saves.” “On Thursday, when he erred, it stung.
As a keeper, you frequently face the consequences of your mistakes. We let him down by not standing up for him. We recovered today though.