Manchester United v Brighton – story of the match
Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic scored as United won 2-0.
Manchester United were unable to match the intensity shown during Jose Mourinho’s extraordinary press conference, but Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic headers saw them edge through to the FA Cup semi-finals at Brighton’s expense.
Reeling from the criticism that followed Tuesday’s shock Champions League last-16 exit at home to Sevilla, the Portuguese went on an impassioned 23-minute defence of his record as he spoke of the Red Devils’ “heritage” and challenges on Friday.
There were no such fireworks at Old Trafford against well-drilled Brighton, with Lukaku and Matic – the only two players the United boss highlighted as consistent performers – securing a 2-0 quarter-final win that sends United to Wembley.
What they said
Manchester United manager Jose Mopurinho: “I’m not happy with the performance at all – but I’m happy with the result. I wanted more personality in the team because many, many times I felt that (Nemanja) Matic was an island – an island of personality, of desire and control – surrounded by, not water, but by a lack of personality, of class and desire.”
Brighton manager Chris Hughton: “Delighted with the performance from our team. The only difference were the moments in front of goal and the quality they can produce. I thought we were always in the game and gave them a good enough game.”
Tweet of the match
Star man – Nemanja Matic
Matic nodded in only his second goal as a United player having teed up the opener in delightful fashion with a fine delivery into the box.
Job done for United
United did not respond to their manager’s memorable performance on Friday with a vintage display here, but the most important thing was achieved – getting the job done of advancing to the next round of the only competition still offering them a realistic chance of silverware this season.
Lukaku now has 10 goals in 14 appearances in all competitions since the start of 2018. His previous 20 United appearances across October, November and December had seen him net only four times.
Manchester United: Sergio Romero 7, Antonio Valencia 6, Eric Bailly 6, Chris Smalling 6, Luke Shaw 5, Nemanja Matic 7, Scott McTominay 6, Juan Mata 5, Jesse Lingard 5, Anthony Martial 6, Romelu Lukaku 6. Substitutes: Ashley Young (for Shaw, 46) 6, Marcus Rashford (for Mata, 75) 6, Marouane Felliani (for Lingard, 89) 5.
Brighton: Tim Krul 6, Ezequiel Schelotto 6, Lewis Dunk 6, Shane Duffy 6, Markus Suttner 6, Beram Kayal 6, Davy Propper 6, Pascal Gross 7, Jurgen Locadia 7, Leonardo Ulloa 6, Solly March 6. Substitutes: Jose Izquierdo (for March, 68) 6, Glenn Murray (for Ulloa, 76) 5.
Who’s up next?
Manchester United v Swansea (Premier League, March 31)
Brighton v Leicester (Premier League, March 31)