HomeFA CupCoventry 3-3 Man United (2-4 on penalties): FA Cup final date v...

Coventry 3-3 Man United (2-4 on penalties): FA Cup final date v Man City beckons after epic semi-final

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Manchester United set up a second successive FA Cup final against Manchester City despite an incredible comeback by Coventry City as Rasmus Hojlund scored the decisive penalty in a shootout at Wembley.

Second-tier Coventry recovered from 3-0 behind with 19 minutes remaining to force extra time, had a goal disallowed during the second half of extra time and took the lead in the shootout after Casemiro’s miss.

Ben Sheaf and Callum O’Hare then failed to score, affording Hojlund a chance he took to send United through in an epic.

United lost last season’s final 2-1 to City and will have a chance for revenge at Wembley on May 25.

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The serenity of the first half in this epic contest will seem a distant memory for United now, but Scott McTominay poked in Diogo Dalot’s cross to open the scoring after 23 minutes and, after Coventry goalkeeper Bradley Collins produced an exceptional save to tip Marcus Rashford’s shot against the woodwork, Harry Maguire headed in Bruno Fernandes’ corner for his first goal for the club at Wembley.

Fernandes struck a stylish third from a tight angle with 32 minutes remaining, and Ellis Simms’ clinical first-time strike looked like little more than a consolation for City with their first shot on target 12 minutes later, converting from Fabio Tavares’ excellent cross.

There was lavish unexpected drama to come, though, when O’Hare’s shot from 20 yards took a deflection off Aaron Wan-Bissaka and looped over goalkeeper Andre Onana.

In a thrilling finish to the 90 minutes, United were initially indebted to Onana for parrying Victor Torp’s fierce drive from distance behind while Rasmus Hojlund spurned a chance to settle the contest from close range.

Wan-Bissaka’s handball gave Haji Wright a chance he took with commendable composure to equalise in the 95th minute, sending Coventry’s fans, who had been understandably flat before Simms scored, into raptures in front of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the new boss of United’s football operations.

United v Coventry: Penalties decide tie

Fernandes struck the woodwork during the first half of extra time and Simms smashed the underside of the crossbar with penalties looming before Torp’s winner in added time of extra time was ruled out because Wright was deemed offside.

Collins saved Casemiro’s weak opening penalty but Sheaf sent his effort over the crossbar and O’Hare’s spot kick was saved by Onana.

The nature of United’s performance is likely to be seen as an embarrassment by fans.

The Sky Blues have had a fine season but are unlikely to make the play-offs and had lost three of their previous four matches.

Led by former United striker Mark Robins, their most recent defeat had been a 3-0 thrashing eight days earlier at neighbours Birmingham City, who are currently in the relegation zone.

Coventry had reached the semi-finals with a last-gasp comeback win at Premier League side Wolves in another all-time classic in the competition.

Wolves recovered from 1-0 behind to take the lead in the 88th minute before Simms scored in the 97th minute and Wright made it 3-2 with 100 minutes played.

Man City reached the final by scoring the only goal of the game through Bernardo Silva against Chelsea on Saturday.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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