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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan

Ten Hag: We will have to play perfect game to beat City, De Zebri reckons his side should be final

By Paul Lagan at Wembley Stadium

Brighton 0 Man Utd 0 (Utd win 7-6 on penalties)

Brighton suffered sudden death penalty heartache as Solly March lashed his spot kick high and wide of David de Gea’s crossbar to send Manchester United into the FA Cup Final.

It was the South Coast outfit’s seventh and final kick at Wembley.

Up until that point both sides had gone toe-to-toe over 90 minutes with neither side creating sufficient attacking prowess to break the deadlock.

The subsequent 30 minutes of extra time mirrored the regulation time and so it went to the spot kick drama.

All five nominated players from each side produced excellent spot kicks. Neither goalkeeper got close to a save.

Then it went to sudden death.

At 6-6, tensions ramped up even more - then came March’s slashed ill-fated effort.

It still meant United had to score - Victor Lindorf did not disappoint the red half of Wembley Stadium.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag was naturally happy with the result.

He said: “We practice penalties all through the season, it’s part of an our coaching and training.”

He also suggested to his supporters that they will not roll over to their rivals in the final.

Coming back from the loss to Sevilla in the Europa League on Thursday Ten Hag admitted he didn’t have too much time to think bout it.

He said:”It was our worst game of the season.”

United now face City in the first Manchester FA Cup Final on June 3.

Ten Hag knows what it means to his supporters.

“We have to,play the perfect game to beat City,” he admitted.

“We proved we can bounce back against difficult occasions, and show personality, and stuck to the game plan.

“Even on Thursday we had chances to bounce back through the game.

“We will do everything to give out supporters the trophy - we can do it, we have proved it, it will not be easy, they have great team and we have great team.

“I want to win every game. We can only give 100 per cent - we will give everything.”

Of their opponents in the semi-final, the Dutchman said: “Brighton are a great team. They have a good philosophy of football, and they made it great game for the neutral.

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi was disappointed his side lost, and felt it should be them facing City in the final.

He said: “I think we deserved to win because we played better and had more chances to score.

We suffered in the middle of the second half only. But for rest of game we commanded the play, and played in their half.”

Of Solly March who missed the decisive spot kick, he said “He was one of the best players in terms of quality of performances, I’m proud of him.”

For the rest of the season De Zebri reckons he is on target to reach their goals.

He said: “We are focused on our targets. We are playing well and to achieve our Europa League target, we have to fight on Wednesday against Nottingham Forest. It will be tough.

“We have to close the page of this sad day, but we are proud of this performance.

“I’m always positive, I love my players.

We can grow, when you lose an important game.

“If you win, win, it’s difficult to improve.

We have to focus on next game and the last games of the season

“We have a lot of young players with big, big potential.”


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