Anthony Martial breaks Everton hearts

FA-MUFC-EFC-16Martial scored an added-time winner at Wembley today against Everton to send Manchester United through to the FA Cup Final, but it was really a lucky escape for the Red Devils, as Everton were clearly dominating them in the second half, and should have scored more with the chances they created themselves before lady luck switched to United’s side.

United could have been a goal down on the 5th minute of the first half, but Lukaku saw his goalbound shot cleared off the line by Rooney after having beaten De Gea. Martial looked very lively for the Red Devils as the game went on, but it was Lukaku yet again who had the chance to score, but this time De Gea made a straight-forward save. Martial and Fellaini then had chances but both failed to trouble Everton’s keeper Joel. Rooney then had a shot smothered by Joel just after the half-hour mark, but United eventually found the breach on the 34th minute. Rashford and Martial combined very well, with the latter drilling in the ball across the box. Fellaini managed to beat his marker and convert with his left foot for the opener. Rashford and Martial once again combined minutes later, but Lingard skewed his back-heeled attempt wide. 1-0 at half time in United’s favour, the second half was another story thou.

Everton came back with more attacking intentions, and played more high up the field that United would have liked. Fosu-Mensah, who’s had a very good start with the first team so far, had a moment to forget on the 56th minute, as he brought down Barkley in the box, resulting in a penalty. Lukaku stepped up and send in a well-taken shot, but his effort was matched by an equally impressive De Gea in goal, as the keeper dived in the right direction and put out a strong hand to deny the Belgian striker. Lukaku then headed over minutes later as Everton clearly had the upper hand with United’s defense looking disorganized. Fellaini at the other end saw his shot blocked by Jagielka’s arm, but the referee did not spot the incident, and Everton were lucky to escape from that situation. However, the Toffees continued their domination over the Red Devils, and were eventually rewarded on the 75th minute. Deulofeu’s cross seemed to be intended for Lukaku on the near post, but Smalling made a real mess of his diving intervention, and sliced the ball well past De Gea, resulting in an own-goal. This goal seemed to have set up a grandstand finish for the semi-final, as Deulofeu forced De Gea into a fingertip save, which was whiskers away from the onrushing Lukaku in the box, and one minute later, the latter easily went past Blind, but failed to connect properly to Baines’ cross with his head, as United were completely torn apart at the back. The end of the game turned into a nail-biting one, as Martial flashed a cross across the box, and Lingard was just inches away from connecting right in front of goal. 3 minutes were added on as injury time, and Martial chose the 92nd minute to definitely kill the game. United won a freekick near the half way line, and Rooney played on to Martial, who combined with Rashford, and then fed the ball to Herrera. The Spaniard seemed to have lost the ball to his marker, but in a desperate attempt managed to flick it on to Martial who was already on the move near the edge of the box. The latter slotted clinically past Joel to send the Red Devils’ fans behind the goal in ecstasy, and ensuring that the Red Devils progress through to the final, as they now await who between Watford and Crystal Palace will join them for the great showdown.

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