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Report: Manchester United end Spurs’ dreams of contending for something; Poch still a loser

Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur, coming from behind, to earn an Emirates FA Cup final place this season. Dele Alli scored in the 11th minute of the game, which was cancelled out by Alexis Sanchez in the 24th minute of the match. Ander Herrera scored the winner of the match in the 62nd minute with United playing well after conceding, right the way to the end of the game.

Jose Mourinho did not really drop any big names for this match with the players the media were all talking about involved in the match, even if they were on the bench. Spurs started well with United having to defend two corners in the early stages of the match, doing what they needed to do. Alexis Sanchez seemed to be injured after Kieran Trippers challenged him, the Chilean was fine.

In the fifth minute of the match, Ander Herrera lofted the ball high into the Spurs box but Sanchez was beaten in the air by Trippier unable to find anything to put his side into the lead. Three minutes later, United had to defend again with Ashley Young going up against both Eric Dier and Christian Eriksen to deny Spurs from crossing into the United box.

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United had a chance to create heading into the tenth minute with Romelu Lukaku on the attack, Nemanja Matic playing the ball towards the Belgian and his shot going over the crossbar. Spurs then attacked through Eriksen, crossing into the United box for a rushing Dele Alli, who beat David De Gea firing into the back of the net. United found themselves a goal down in just 11 minutes.

In the 14th minute of the match, with Spurs ahead and seeking to cause more damage, Son Heung-min playing Harry Kane in at the far post with the England striker unable to double Spurs’ lead. Two minutes later, Phil Jones made a great tackle to deny Alli from getting something again as Spurs were camping in United’s half, causing problems for the defence.

Spurs were on the attack again in the 20th minute of the match, in which Antonio Valencia had to involve himself, heading the ball from Eriksen’s in-swinging corner out of danger. United started to get more involved in the match from there, putting pressure on Spurs. Sanchez equalised in the 24th minute of the match after Paul Pogba played a pass to the Chilean heading past Michel Vorm.

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Valencia received the first booking of the game for a lunging tackle on Alli. A minute later, United found themselves in a great position and came close to leading the game after Romelu Lukaku chipped a cross from the right, Jesse Lingard was between Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen but could not keep his header down, going for goal ten-yards out. Son was later booked for bringing down Sanchez.

In the 35th minute, Spurs won a free-kick after Son was fouled by Pogba, in a dangerous area with Eriksen standing over the ball. Ashley Young made the clearance in the box and Lingard cleared the danger. United started to play much better, especially when penned inside their final third. Son had the chance to put Spurs ahead, but was off target and ruled offside by the linesman.

Spurs won a corner in the 41st minute, which went straight to De Gea and United were set for an attack. There was some good play going forward with Herrera passing into the box from the edge but Spurs regained possession after Lukaku had his shot blocked. United won a corner after Pogba tried to curl an effort towards goal, Vorm touching the ball. The corner came to nothing though.

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There were two minutes of added time at the end of the first half, with both United and Spurs looking to head into the break ahead. Spurs broke forward and pressured United in their box, having a shot which came off the woodwork through Dier, which took a deflection off Chris Smalling, with United then regaining possession and attempting to pressure Spurs. 1-1 at half-time.

There were no changes for either team at the start of the second half – both looking to continue where they left off at the end of the first half. Alli was booked in the 50th minute of the match for a foul on Lingard. Then, moments later, Lingard was again fouled, United winning a free-kick in Spurs’ final third. Lingard was denied anything in the 53rd minute after Vertonghen pushed him in the box.

United were building up some momentum in the Spurs half with some decent attacking play coming forward. United had the chance, through Lingard to lead the game but it was not meant to be. Spurs broke on the attack and Jones came in with a clearance just inside United’s final third. Both teams were vying to win this match, as they should be at this stage of the game.

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In the 56th minute, Lingard sliced Valencia’s ball in, just before it could reach Sanchez. Spurs then cleared the danger. United then won a free-kick on the touchline, Sanchez put the ball into the box, Spurs making the clearance and winning a throw-in themselves. United took the lead in the 62nd minute through Herrera, beating Vorm from just inside the box, both Sanchez and Lukaku involved.

United, seeming somewhat confident after taking the lead, had some swagger about them. Lukaku was on the attack again, getting into the box, firing a shot which was just off target. The momentum had built for United and it was their game to lose now. Spurs made their first substitution with Lucas Moura replacing Ben Davies.

United won a free-kick after Moussa Dembele fouled Sanchez, it came to nothing other than causing more pressure for Spurs. Young was booked in the 72nd minute of the match. Eriksen had a chance, shooting from range, beating De Gea but hitting the side netting. Pogba drew a save from Vorm in the 75th minute with a great shot on target. United still in the momentum here.

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Spurs made their second change with Victor Wanyama replacing Dembele after Spurs won a free-kick after both Valencia and Alli came together. Jose Mourinho readied Marcus Rashford and Matteo Darmian after Valencia seemed unable to continue in the game. The Italian replaced the Ecuadorian in the 80th minute with Rashford would have to wait a little longer to come on.

With United in the Spurs final third, Dier fouled Lingard, earning a yellow card, giving United a free-kick in dangerous territory. Rashford came on the Lingard in the 83rd minute of the match. United still had the momentum and Spurs were the ones with their tails seemingly between their legs heading into the final five minutes of the match.

United, back on the attack through Rashford on the left with Davinson Sanchez coming in with a sliding tackle, Rashford jumping, stumbling on connecting with the ground again and going down. The referee booked Rashford for diving. There has been some more poor refereeing in a big match this season – shock, horror!

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Spurs, venturing forward to pressure United, were on the attack on the right with Sanchez back to defend, the Chilean fouling his man, resulting in a free-kick. Erik Lamela took the free-kick with Wanyama jumping to latch onto the ball in the box, clearing the crossbar with his effort. The BBC names Alexis Sanchez as the Man of the Match in this game, playing well for United on his return to Wembley.

In the final minute of normal time, Herrera was booked for a challenge with Spurs running out of chances to get themselves back into the game. There were five minutes of added time to be played, enough time for a goal at either end. Rashford broke through with the ball, getting into the box and threatening. He was unable to get a shot on goal, luckily for Spurs.

There was a big finish to this game. Lukaku was on the attack, trying to beat Vorm, who was out of his box. Spurs then got the ball and went on the attack, Young being fouled in the United box and United holding their area and seeing the ball go out of play. Mourinho made his final change with Marouane Fellaini replacing Sanchez in the fifth minute of added time.

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Goals: Alexis Sanchez 24′, Ander Herrera 62′

Assists: Paul Pogba 24′, Romelu Lukaku 62′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia (Darmian 80′), Jones, Smalling, Young; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Lingard (Rashford 83′), Lukaku, Sanchez (Fellaini 90+5′)

Substitutes Not Used: Pereira; Lindelof; Mata; Martial

Bookings: Antonio Valencia 27′, Ashley Young 71′, Marcus Rashford 85′, Ander Herrera 90′

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