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Manchester United reach FA Cup final after shootout victory over Brighton



Manchester United beat Brighton & Hove Albion in a thrilling penalty kicks shootout after their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday finished 0-0 after extra time.

Their victory has now set up the first all-Manchester clash in the final.

Solly March, Brighton’s seventh player to step up to the spot in the shootout, launched the ball over the bar.

Victor Lindelof then found the net to secure a 7-6 shootout victory for Manchester United.

“It felt great,” Lindelof said later. “It was a great relief and we’re glad to be in the final.

“I have confidence in myself and I knew which penalty kick I wanted to take and that’s what I did.”

The nail-biting finale was a fitting ending after 120 goalless minutes of wild swings in a game that careened from end to end all night.

The quality of the penalty kicks in a torrential downpour was superb with Manchester United finding the net with all seven of their kicks.

Brighton’s first six efforts were equally impressive until March fired wildly off target.

“They were great penalty kicks,” Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea said. “I was prepared as always. I tried to put pressure on the takers.

“There’s still a long way to the final but it will be a big game against one of the best teams in Europe and the world.”

Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United, 12-times FA Cup winners, are chasing a Cup double after winning the League Cup in February.

Treble-chasing Manchester City await in the final after they beat Sheffield United 3-0 in their semi-final clash on Saturday.

“We showed at home we can beat them (Manchester City). So, let’s hope,” De Gea said.

Manchester United beat Manchester City 2-1 in the English Premier League (EPL) at Old Trafford on Jan. 14.

“We are on the right track. One trophy, another final and fighting for the top four. It’s not enough, but it’s a big step from last season.”

Sunday’s semi-final was a rematch of the 1983 final, when Brighton lost to Manchester United in the south coast side’s only appearance in the showcase game.

It had fans on the edge of their seats at Wembley with numerous chances for both sides to break the deadlock, including several in extra time.

Marcus Rashford’s deflected shot in the extra period was pushed wide by Brighton’s diving goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, and then he fired a long shot that sailed just wide.

Kaoru Mitoma nearly won it for Brighton late in extra time, but collided with De Gea in the box.

“It was a very tight game. We played against a very good team,” De Gea said.

“Brighton play really good football. We are now in the final but we have another big game on Thursday (against Tottenham in the Premier League). So, we need to go home and recover.”

The loss ended Brighton’s superb run and ended The Seagulls’ hopes of clinching a first-ever major trophy.

The FA Cup final is on June 3 at Wembley Stadium.

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