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Man Utd survive huge scare to beat Coventry on penalties and reach FA Cup final

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Manchester United survived a huge scare to reach the FA Cup final (Picture: Getty)© Provided by Metro

Man Utd sneak past Coventry on penalties as epic FA Cup comeback just falls short – 5 talking points

COVENTRY 3-3 MANCHESTER UNITED: Erik ten Hag’s side win as Coventry succumb 4-2 on penalties after a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down by Championship side at Wembley.

Manchester United forward Rasmus Hojlund scores the winning penalty against Coventry to send his side through to the FA Cup final (Glyn KIRK) Manchester United survived an astonishing collapse to beat Coventry on penalties in an FA Cup classic on Sunday, setting up a second straight final against Manchester City.

Rasmus Hojlund of Manchester United celebrates

Rasmus Hojlund scored the winning spot-kick (Image: James Baylis – AMA/Getty Images)

Manchester United survived a huge scare to beat Championship side Coventry City on penalties after throwing away a three-goal lead in an incredible FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Goals from Scott McTominay, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes put Erik ten Hag’s side in complete control but United’s problems were exposed yet again as Coventry mounted an incredible fightback.

Ellis Simms reduced the deficit and Coventry, FA Cup winners in 1987, scored again through Callum O’Hare to set up a tense final ten minutes.

Momentum was with the Sky Blues and they stunned Manchester United with a last-minute goal, Haji Wright converting a late penalty to take the semi-final to extra-time.

Both teams has chances in extra-time and Coventry thought they had snatched a late winner through Victor Torp, but his goal was disallowed by VAR for an incredible tight offside in the build up.

United looked shell-shocked during Coventry’s comeback but held their nerve during the penalty shootout and will now meet local rivals City in a repeat of the 2023 final.

Even in the shootout Coventry found themselves on the verge of the FA Cup final after Casemiro’s tame effort was saved, but Callum O’Hare’s effort was well saved and then Ben Sheaf blazed over before Rasmus Hojlund scored to take United through.

Coventry City almost stunned the Premier League giants (Picture: Getty)© Provided by Metro

Mark Robins’ Sky Blues enjoyed a brilliant FA Cup run – scoring a 100th-minute winner to beat Wolves in the quarter-finals – and produced more epic scenes at Wembley after being outplayed for an hour.

Coventry beat United on the way to lifting the FA Cup in 1987 but the Old Trafford club avoided an embarrassing defeat this time around as they chase a 13th FA Cup trophy.

Ten Hag has been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks – his United team are just seventh in the Premier League and may miss out on European football – but winning the FA Cup would at least ensure a positive end to the campaign.

Standing in Manchester United’s way is Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, who beat Chelsea 1-0 in the first semi-final as they bid to win a domestic double.

As expected, United dominated the early stages, Alejandro Garnacho fluffing his side’s first chance inside five minutes before Marcus Rashford prodded wide after latching onto a pinpoint ball from makeshift centre-back Casemiro.

McTominay gave United a deserved lead midway through the first half, tapping in after Diogo Dalot’s inviting cross bisected Coventry’s defence and goalkeeper.

Coventry, sitting eighth in the Championship, created their best chance of the first half through Josh Eccles, who burst into the box before a tempting cross was intercepted superbly by Dalot before Simms could poke home.

England defender Maguire delivered a hammer blow to Coventry’s dreams of a second FA Cup final on the stroke of half-time, placing a powerful header past Bradley Collins after the Sky Blues keeper tipped over Rashford’s effort.

Fernandes bent an effort just wide shortly after the break and appeared to put the game to bed on the hour mark, taking advantage of a defensive blunder to scored United’s third courtesy of a deflection.

Maguire almost scored a second when firing over from close-range before O’Hare sent a diving header over with a rare Coventry chance.

United will face Manchester City in the FA Cup final (Picture: Getty)© Provided by Metro

From almost nowhere Robins’ side got a goal back with 20 minutes remaining, Simms swivelling to convert a cross from Fabio Tavares and give the Coventry fans, audible throughout, hope.

Coventry were right back in the game eight minutes later courtesy of O’Hare’s strike that deflected off Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s back and looped over a helpless Andre Onana.

Wan-Bissaka also inadvertently played a role in Coventry’s stunning equaliser, conceding a penalty for handball in the 95th minute that was calmy converted by Wright.

Manchester United were inches away from restoring their lead early into extra-time, Fernandes striking the underside of the bar with a strike that had Collins beaten.

The intensity naturally dropped as a long match and season began to take its toll but both sides were still creating chances, Sheaf firing wide and youngster Omari Forson forcing a save from Collins.

Coventry came agonisingly close to the FA Cup final (Picture: Getty)© Provided by Metro

Coventry’s keeper was required again to keep out Maguire’s whipped shot but the underdogs twice came agonisingly close to a winner, first when Wright dragged a great chance wide and then as Simms hit the underside of the bar.

Even in the dying seconds this incredible match kept providing drama and Coventry thought they had nicked a winner through Torp only to see his goal ruled out for offside.

Penalties were required to separate the sides sitting 21 places apart in the English football pyramid and Manchester United emerged triumphant to reach the FA Cup final.

Coventry led early in the shootout after Casemiro’s tame effort was saved but Onana kept out O’Hare before Sheaf’s penalty sailed over the bar.

Hojlund’s penalty sent United through but there were no wild celebrations from the Premier League players who three away a three-goal lead and were almost embarrassed by Coventry.

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