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    Man United beat Brighton to set up the final with Man City

    Manchester United defeated Brighton & Hove Albion in a penalty shootout at Wembley Stadium on Sunday to advance to the FA Cup final, where they will face cross-town rivals Manchester City. The semi-final game ended in a goalless tie after extra time, with United winning on penalties 7-6. Victor Lindelof scored the game-winning penalty for Manchester United after Solly March missed for Brighton.

    The game was played in front of an estimated 81,000 people, and neither team was able to break the deadlock in regulation or extra time. Despite the draw, the result was significant for United because it created a potential opportunity to derail Manchester City’s treble hopes. City hopes to emulate Manchester United’s 1999 team, which won the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup all in the same season.

    United won the League Cup earlier this season, their first trophy in six years, but they will need to improve their form if they are to compete with Pep Guardiola’s red-hot Manchester City team.

    Erik ten Hag’s team made several changes from the team that lost to Sevilla in the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday. Luke Shaw replaced the suspended Harry Maguire at center-back, while Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes came in for Jadon Sancho and Marcel Sabitzer.

    Brighton, who had won the previous two league meetings between the sides, took the lead early on when Kaoru Mitoma was brought down on the edge of the box by Antony in the sixth minute. Before Julio Enciso flashed a shot wide, Alexis Mac Allister hit a fine curling effort that David De Gea did well to keep out.

    Despite Brighton’s possession dominance, United created a flurry of chances just before halftime, with Fernandes, Anthony Martial, and Christian Eriksen all failing to convert.

    Brighton came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, with Enciso forcing De Gea into a smart save and former United forward Danny Welbeck heading over from the resulting corner. However, neither team could break the tie, and referee Craig Pawson blew for extra time.

    In extra time, the game became stretched, with half-chances at both ends, but neither side could find the back of the net. The game was eventually decided on penalties, with Lindelof scoring the game-winning penalty for United.

    Ten Hag praised the performances of Lindelof and Shaw, who were filling in for injured central defenders Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane. He also praised De Gea’s performance, in which he made some brilliant saves, especially given his poor performance against Sevilla the night before.

    The win sets up an intriguing FA Cup final between Manchester United and Manchester City, with both teams vying for a trophy and bragging rights in one of English football’s most heated rivalries. United will need to improve their form if they are to compete with a City side that has won 22 of their last 23 games in all competitions.

    Overall, United’s victory over Brighton is a significant result for the club, as they look to add to their trophy cabinet this season. The final against Manchester City is sure to be exciting, with both teams looking to establish their dominance in English football.

    Main Image: Punch Newspapers

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