Tuesday, April 23, 2024

FA Cup Semifinals

Perhaps never has a victory been more embarrassing than Manchester United’s defeat of Coventry in the FA Cup semifinal. The Red Devils were ahead 3-0 after 70 minutes before an epic comeback by their second-tier opponent. Coventry scored three unanswered goals to send the deadlocked match into extra time. There the epic comeback stalled when a potential game winning goal by Coventry in the extra period was disallowed on a tight off-side call. Manchester United then recovered to take the match in penalty kicks. Rasmus Hojlund scored the winning penalty in the shootout but received little in the way of congratulations from many of his shamefaced mates. The young striker presented a solitary figure as he attempted to celebrate with supporters. Topping off the cringey display was the sight of Manchester United’s Antony, a late and ineffectual substitute in the match, taunting Coventry players after the contest.

The end result, however, advances Manchester United to an all-Manchester final for a second consecutive season as defending cup holders Manchester City prevailed 1-0 over Chelsea in the other semifinal. Bernardo Silva scored the winner in the 84th minute, providing some redemption for his missed penalty in the midweek loss to Real Madrid. It was to Manchester City’s credit that they rose to the challenge after a short turnaround from Wednesday’s Champions League loss. Chelsea, meanwhile, squandered numerous opportunities with striker Nicolas Jackson failing to convert on at least three gilt edged chances. Chelsea’s futility in high profile domestic cups continued as the club’s scoreless run at Wembley Stadium now extends to 344 minutes. 


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