FA Cup semi-final: United waltz past Everton to final

Stadium: Wembley . Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final . 2016
Everton

Everton
1
Chris Smalling 75′
Final
Manchester United

Manchester United
2
Anthony Martial, 90’+3′
Marouane Fellaini 34′

“It’s fantastic when you see the joy in the eyes of the players. But also for the fans, because I think we deserved to reach the final.” – Louis van Gaal.

________________________________

Manchester United is on the road to the Emirates FA Cup Final after a thrilling football match between the Red Devils and the Toffees at Wembley Stadium on Saturday April 23, 2016. I am damn sure that United will win a first FA Cup in 12 years after booking a return trip to Wembley in next month’s final.

This feat was achieved in the most dramatic fashion with an injury-time winner from Frenchman Anthony Martial, following yet more heroics from Spanish armada, David De Gea.

Former Everton striker, Marouane Fellaini, one of four changes to the side with Tim Fosu-Mensah, Marcos Rojo and Michael Carrick, put the Reds in front on 34 minutes before De Gea saved a Romelu Lukaku penalty and Chris Smalling put through his own net in an own goal that got me stark-starring mad with the England international.

Then followed the classic United late drama as substitute Ander Herrera put Martial through and the Frenchman coolly slotted home in front of the jubilant United fans.

I was in a state of ecstasy as Martial’s ball waltzed into the Toffees’ net.

HALF-TIME STATISTICS

Possession: Everton 42% United 58%

Shots: Everton 5 United 11

Shots on target: Everton 4 United 5

Corners: Everton 0 United 4

FULL-TIME STATISTICS

Possession: Everton 45% United 55%

Shots: Everton 16 United 22

Shots on target: Everton 8 United 7

Corners: Everton 2 United 7

THE TEAMS

Everton: Joel, Baines, Gibson, Stones, Jagielka (c), Lukaku, Lennon (Deulofeu 70), Cleverley, McCarthy, Besic, Barkley.

Subs not used: Howard, Hibbert, Oviedo, Mirallas, Osman, Pennington.

Booked: Barkley

United: De Gea, Fosu-Mensah (Valencia 61), Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Carrick, Fellaini (Herrera 87), Lingard, Rooney (c), Martial, Rashford.

Subs not used: Romero, Darmian, Schneiderlin, Mata, Memphis.

Booked: Rooney, Herrera, Martial

VAN GAAL: THE WEMBLEY VERDICT

Manchester United boss, Louis van Gaal, spoke to MUTV and BBC. In his press conference after Manchester United’s thrilling Emirates FA Cup semi-final win over Everton, the boss in answers to major questions said, below:

Van Gaal & Anthony Martial.jpeg

Photo: The boss, Louis Van Gaal (2nd left) laughs with United’s young French football maestro, Anthony Martial (3rd left) after the thrilling Emirates FA Cup semi-final United victory over Everton, 2-1, at Wembley Stadium on Saturday April 23, 2016.

Reflections on the match

It’s fantastic when you see the joy in the eyes of the players. But also for the fans, because I think we deserved to reach the final. We were the better team in the first half and had so many chances – we could have finished it much earlier. It was an exciting game for the neutral fans and we are lucky that we scored in the last minute, but we deserved to win. I told [Chris] Smalling he was a lucky guy because now we can smile! He played a very good match. Both teams showed a lot of passion and will to win, so I’m very happy that we were the winners. 

Pressure of a semi-final

I think the pressure was also for Everton. I think tomorrow when you see the other semi-final, the pressure is very high for every player because every player wants to play in the final, so it is always in my eyes the same. It is not different.

On matchwinner Anthony Martial

He could have scored in the first half when he was in the same situation, so I told him at half-time to shoot low into the corner – and he did that! It was a fantastic finish. I think he can do much better [in the future] because I see a lot of things that he can still improve and he shall improve. Only by training and by playing can you improve. Also, when you are playing at a higher level then you improve. When you are older you know all the things shall happen again. Then you have experience and you can decide much better in the same situation as before.

Martial scores winning goal at FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley

Photo: Anthony Martial (left) celebrates after waltzing Manchester United to The Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley next month.

Can Martial become like Cole or van Nistelrooy?

I don’t think that he is a striker; he is more of a wing player, but maybe in the future. But I don’t think so – he is a different type of player to van Nistelrooy and the other examples of United strikers.

On goalscorer Marouane Fellaini

Fellaini is a player who wants to perform what we have agreed and I like that. He is also good with his head at set-plays – both for and against us – because we have a small team and he can help us.

De Gea

Photo: Manchester United’s Spanish wonder goalkeeper, David De Gea.

On David De Gea

Yesterday we had an exercise with penalties. 20 penalties we have taken – Sergio Romero saved one and David De Gea zero. But today was the most important!

Wayne Rooney's early goalline clearance gave Manchester United the platform to go on and open the scoring

Rooney excels in quarterback role

Photo: Captain Wayne Rooney’s early goal line clearance gave Manchester United the platform to go on and open the scoring | Getty Images.

Will Wayne Rooney stay in midfield?

It is dependable on where my players continue. I have explained it also last week. At this moment I think that [Marcus] Rashford does a very good job in the striker’s positon and now Wayne can contribute to the team more in midfield. I have seen today a great Wayne in midfield. It is not the first time he has played in midfield. Last year he also played in midfield, then your colleagues said he should play in the strikers’ position. Maybe you remember that?

Manchester United's win keeps alive their hopes of winning a first FA Cup since 2004

Photo: Manchester United’s win keeps alive our hopes of winning a first FA Cup since 2004.

Prospect of an FA Cup final

I like it very much because as a player, manager and staff member, you do everything to win a title and we are very close now.

MANUTD

__________________________________________

My Final Take On United’s Victory At Wembley

Finally, it’s overwhelming to realize that Anthony Martial’s injury-time winner sent Manchester United into a record-equalling 19th FA Cup final with victory over Everton at Wembley Stadium.

Frenchman Martial ensured that the Dutchman Louis van Gaal’s United will face either Crystal Palace or Watford with a composed finish in the dying seconds of an enthralling semi-final.

Manchester United will win the Emirates FA Cup final 2016 next month; or whenever the Fuddy-duddies at the FA fix the date for the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley.

Crystal Palace or Watford? Frankly, I don’t give a damn!

Up Man U!

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