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Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho in focus

Mourinho’s United advanced to the final.

Old friends Jose Mourinho and Mauricio Pochettino were up against each other in the FA Cup semi-final
Old friends Jose Mourinho and Mauricio Pochettino were up against each other in the FA Cup semi-final

Jose Mourinho is one win away from a third major trophy in two seasons at Manchester United as they beat Tottenham 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera saw United come from behind and condemn Spurs to an eighth successive last-four defeat in this competition.

They went ahead through Dele Alli but further questions will be asked of Mauricio Pochettino, whose wait for a first trophy at Tottenham goes on.

Here, Press Association Sport focuses on the two managers at Wembley.

Team selection

Both teams were in midweek Premier League action and made changes. Mourinho, whose side beat Bournemouth on Wednesday, brought Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Nemanja Matic back into the side as part of five changes. Pochettino also swapped things around after Tottenham’s 1-1 draw at Brighton, bringing back Alli, Davinson Sanchez, Kieran Trippier, Michel Vorm and Eric Dier. The decision to leave goalkeeper Hugo Lloris out was a big one.


Pochettino was the first to blink as he reacted to falling behind by bringing Lucas Moura on and changing the shape of his side, with Victor Wanyama following him on 10 minutes later. Neither were able to make an impact, though. Mourinho made his first changes after 80 minutes as Valencia, lucky to be still on the pitch, was replaced by Matteo Darmian and the turbo pace of Marcus Rashford added extra threat to United on the break. Marouane Fellaini’s late arrival was a classic time-wasting introduction.

Touchline antics

Mourinho and Pochettino are allies from their time spent in Spain and they shared some friendly moments in the first half, exchanging pleasantries in the technical area. It was the Portuguese who was getting the most animated in the opening 35 minutes delivering an arm-waving rant to his players as they were second best. That outburst seemed to work as United turned the game around, though Mourinho did not celebrate either goal with any vigour. As Spurs fell to yet another semi-final defeat Pochettino spent much of the final half hour with his hands on his hips. The two embraced on the final whistle but Mourinho emerged triumphant.

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph