Man United overcome 9-man Fulham with chaotic comeback to reach FA Cup semifinals


Manchester United on to Wembley after Fulham reduced to 9 men

A disastrous penalty incident for Fulham that saw two players sent off was the turning point in Manchester United's 3-1 win in the FA Cup quarterfinals.

Manchester United scored twice in two minutes to come from behind to beat nine-man Fulham 3-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday and book their place in the FA Cup semifinals.

Aleksandar Mitrovic opened the scoring and put Fulham in the ascendancy, but a capitulation on 70 minutes saw the goalscorer sent off, alongside Willian as Bruno Fernandes scored the resulting penalty with Marcel Sabitzer giving United the lead two minutes later. Fernandes made sure of victory with another goal deep in stoppage-time.

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United will face Brighton & Hove Albion at Wembley Stadium in the semifinals, with rivals Manchester City facing Championship side Sheffield United.

"It's a massive win," Sabitzer said. "We wanted to go back to Wembley and we did it.

Asked whether United won it or Fulham gave it away, Sabitzer said: "We won it. Why not? We scored three, they scored one. We were concentrated and focused; we came back and that's the important thing."

There was little to separate the two sides in the first half in an eventful opening period which lacked quality.

But Fulham came out for the second half in explosive style, with Antonee Robinson and Willian forcing smart saves out of David de Gea before Mitrovic opened the scoring on 50 minutes.

Fulham's pressure told as Issa Diop flicked on a corner and Mitrovic was in the right place to tap home, despite calls for a foul on Marcus Rashford which were dismissed by a subsequent VAR check.

The Serbia striker came close to doubling Fulham's lead 15 minutes later as his looping header was brilliantly kept out by De Gea.

The game, which seemed to be heading in Fulham's favour, plunged into chaos and turned on its head 20 minutes from time after a VAR check awarded the hosts a penalty for a handball by Willian.

Marcel Sabitzer scored Manchester United's second goal as they secured a place in the FA Cup semifinals.
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Antony played in Jadon Sancho, who rounded Bernd Leno before firing into the recovering Willian. The former Chelsea winger was adjudged to have handled the ball on the goalline and was sent off for the infringement.

An incensed Mitrovic was then also given his marching orders for confronting referee Chris Kavanagh as Fulham, still holding the 1-0 lead, lost all control they held in the match.

Marco Silva was also shown red by referee Kavanagh as Fulham were sent crashing out of the cup with their third successive defeat.

Silva said his red was for leaving the coach's area, adding: "Up until the red card we were clearly the best team on the pitch."

Fernandes remained calm to dispatch the penalty five minutes after Willian handled Sancho's shot.

And Erik ten Hag's side made their numerical advantage count on 76 minutes, as they took the lead against their nine-man opposition through Sabitzer.

Luke Shaw was released down the left by Sancho, his low ball was inventively turned in by the Austria midfielder with the back of his heel to complete the turnaround and set United on their second trip to Wembley.

Fernandes furthered United's cushion with his second goal six minutes into stoppage-time.

"Up until the red card we were clearly the best team on the pitch," Ten Hag said.

"We are in a position to win trophies but we have to fight for it," he added. "We need the whole squad. We've already played from Christmas on, every three or four days a game, and that will continue to the end of the season and that is what we love. It will give us energy."

Information from Reuters was used in this report.