Alexis Sanchez stars as Manchester United defeat Tottenham, advance to FA Cup final
Manchester United 2 - 1 Tottenham

Alexis Sanchez stars as Manchester United defeat Tottenham, advance to FA Cup final

22/04/2018

Ander Herrera has Manchester United dreaming of FA Cup glory after Tottenham Hotspur again suffered semifinal sorrow.

It was a season-defining clash for both clubs as a manager driven by silverware faced one driven by progress at Spurs' temporary home.

And it was Jose Mourinho, the relentless winner, who emerged victorious at Wembley Stadium, where Alexis Sanchez cancelled out Dele Alli's opener before Herrera secured a 2-1 triumph as Tottenham failed to progress from a record eighth successive FA Cup semifinal.

United will now return to the capital next month for the showpiece finale against Southampton or Chelsea, who Mourinho managed to victory in his only previous final appearance in 2006.

He could become just the third manager to win the FA Cup with two different clubs, but that possibility looked unlikely when Alli gave Spurs an 11th-minute lead.

Paul Pogba was not alert enough to catch up with Christian Eriksen before he could send in his cross but made amends by taking possession off Mousa Dembele and swinging in a cross for Sanchez to nod home.

Sanchez's eighth goal in as many Wembley appearances for club and country was followed by Eric Dier hitting the post -- but Herrera took the headlines.

He rifled a low shot past back-up goalkeeper Michel Vorm for a 62nd-minute strike that secured victory in United's record-equalling 29th FA Cup semifinal as Spurs bowed out in the final four for the second successive season.

Spurs wilted after a start that was similar to January's comprehensive 2-0 win at Wembley in the Premier League.

It took only 11 seconds to open the scoring that evening. This time it was 11 minutes.

Davinson Sanchez aimed a long, hopeful ball down the right flank, catching Ashley Young out of position and Pogba off guard. Eriksen scampered away, crossing to the far post for Alli to turn in.

Harry Kane was inches away from latching onto Son Heung-Min's cross, then Eriksen turned wide -- but Spurs' boldness in possession turned into overconfidence in the 24th minute as Dembele made the decision to try to nutmeg Pogba.

Pogba stood his ground, shrugged off the Spurs midfielder and sent over a clipped cross that Sanchez headed home.


The belated reaction re-energised United and Jesse Lingard tried his luck as play swung from end to end, with Antonio Valencia picking up a booking for a challenge shortly after Son received a yellow card.

Pogba saw a deflected 25-yard attempt tipped wide by Vorm as half-time approached before Dier's long-range strike deflected off Chris Smalling and onto the post.

Alli was cautioned for a challenge on Lingard five minutes after the restart and United's attacking midfielder was bemused not to have been awarded a penalty when pushed over by Jan Vertonghen shortly after.

Then, in the 62nd minute, Lukaku directed onto Sanchez and flicked on the return ball, with Lingard leaving it for Herrera to rifle in.

Spurs were stunned and Lukaku fizzed into the side-netting before being comfortably denied by Vorm.

Eriksen shot just wide as United began to sweat, with Young booked and then Valencia perhaps fortunate not to get another yellow card.

Pogba had an attempt before Dier, substitute Marcus Rashford and Herrera were cautioned as play broke up and United looked to batten down the hatches, which they did successfully.

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