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Martial the man as United reach FA Cup Final

Winning goal

By Chris
April 24 2016

Manchester United will face Crystal Palace in the 2016 FA Cup final, making their first appearance in the showpiece contest in nine years.

The Red Devils last featured in the Cup final in 2007, losing 1-0 to Chelsea in the first final at the new Wembley Stadium.

Since then, the Cup has proved a frustration for United, with rivals Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal all claiming success in the Red Devils' absence.

However, the wait for an FA Cup final came to an end on Saturday - with Anthony Martial's last-gasp winner securing a 2-1 victory over Everton.

The semi-finals should not be played at Wembley. They downplay the Final's significance, and make a Wembley trip too accessible, lowering the special nature of a visit to England's national stadium.

However, Wembley it was - and United quickly became familiar with the surroundings, bossing much of the opening period, and breaking the deadlock on 34 minutes courtesy of Marouane Fellaini.

David de Gea kept United ahead when he denied Romelu Lukaku from the penalty spot on 57 minutes, but Everton started to mount pressure and a horror own-goal from Chris Smalling, turning home Gerard Deulofeu's cross, restored parity.

The game seemed destined for extra-time, but Martial sent United into the Final, as he latched onto Ander Herrera's pass and drilled home a composed, calm, collected finish.

The atmosphere at FA Cup semi-finals suffers at Wembley, but the sight of United's fans celebrating jubilantly was a terrific one as Martial wheeled off in delight. Indeed, the Cup could yet prove the ideal tonic to a mixed league campaign, and diminishing hopes of a top four finish.

Crystal Palace stand in the way of United's first Cup triumph since 2004. The Eagles beat Watford 2-1 on Sunday, setting up a repeat of the 1990 final, which Sir Alex Ferguson's men won after a replay.

Full Time - Manchester United 2-1 Everton
Attendance - 86,064

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24/04/2016 19:24
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