Man Utd 3 Fulham 1: Cottagers melt down in manic five-minute spell as hosts fight from behind to reach FA Cup semis
FULHAM SAW triple red in one incident on a dramatic afternoon as Manchester United booked a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
Behind to an Aleksandar Mitrovic goal in the 50th minute, the Red Devils roared back as a storm blew up at Old Trafford.
GettyAleksandar Mitrovic was sent off for pushing referee Chris Kavanagh[/caption]
ReutersMitro was dismissed after Fulham star Willian was also sent off for a handball on the goal line[/caption]
GettyFulham boss Marco Silva was also sent off[/caption]
PABruno Fernandes converted from the spot after referee Chris Kavanagh overturned his decision and gave Willian his marching orders[/caption]
GettyMarcel Sabitzer netted to put the Red Devils ahead[/caption]
Fulham boss Marco Silva, plus Willian and Mitrovic, all got their marching orders in quick succession.
Jadon Sancho’s shot had been blocked on the line by Willian and referee Chris Kavanagh went to check on the pitchside screen to see if he had handled it.
As he did Silva had a go at him and was dismissed.
Kavanagh then agreed it was a penalty so Willian had to go.
Mitrovic was so incensed he turned all Paolo di Canio barging into the ref as he shouted in his face – so he was off too as a melee then ensued.
Eventually Bruno Fernandes was able to take the spot kick in the 75th minute – sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Old Trafford was up, the nine from Fulham were all over the place and before the celebrations for the equaliser had died down a second came just two minutes later.
Luke Shaw burst into the box from the left and fired the ball into the six yard box where Marcel Sabitzer executed a clever flick with his instep past Brend Leno.
Fernandes would then round things off in injury time.
To think it had been a rather dull first half, although Silva was going mad from the start.
There was a chance and controversy in the opening moments as Fulham went straight on the attack.
First Issa Diop’s looping header had David de Gea worried so he tipped it over the bar rather than attempt a catch.
From the resulting corner their appeared a clear push by Shaw on Mitrovic but the referee played on.
It wasn’t even checked by VAR and Silva went crazy with fourth official David Coote.
Quite what he had to do with it is another thing.
From that moment on to the break it was virtually all United.
Fernandes was at the centre of everything.
He can regularly give the ball away but that is because he takes risks to put players in.
It doesn’t always work but when it does a chance is on.
The first chance for the home side unfortunately for them fell to Wout Weghorst.
Marcus Rashford found him on the top of the box, the Dutchman cut inside and his shot barely reached the goalkeeper.
Harry Maguire kept his place at the heart of the defence with Raphael Varane having a slight injury.
Although he knew early on that if United were to win this game he would not be taking part in the semi-final.
When he pulled back Mitrovic a yellow was shown ruling him out on the totting up procedure.
Mitrovic was trying for another penalty when this time he went down under the slightest touch from Martinez who was pulling out the challenge.
The referee was having non of it.
Fulham began the second-half on the front foot.
When an attempted clearance by Maguire rebounded back into his own box Willian was onto it.
He flicked the ball to Antonee Robinson whose angled drive was nicked over the bar by De Gea’s fingertips.
The resulting corner flew outside the box to Willian whose shot was touched round the post by De Gea again.
The next corner, however, brought Fulham’s 50th minute opener.
Former United midfielder Andreas Pereira delivered it, Diop produced a great flick header which reached Mitrovic who fired past Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the line.
The home side claimed Marcus Rashford had been pushed over in the box by Fulham captain Tim Ream as the flick came over but the goal stood.
It was very nearly a second for Mitrovic in the 66th minute from another corner but his header was clawed away by the United goalkeeper who was having a busy afternoon.
Not as busy as the referee was about to be as all hell broke loose with the Willian incident.
United emerged from it all with another trip to Wembley.
Fernandes fittingly finished off with a thumping shot into the far top corner in injury time.