Manchester United made the FA Cup’s final four with a 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at a snowy Old Trafford on Saturday. It wasn’t a classic performance from José Mourinho’s men, though goals from Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matić proved enough to secure victory.
The game got off to a slow start, with United struggling to turn their control into chances. It took half an hour for that to change, when some intricate passing on the edge of the Brighton box bought Juan Mata space to pull the trigger, though his shot was charged down. The subsequent corner landed at the feet of Chris Smalling, but his effort was tipped onto the post by the Seagulls’ keeper Tim Krul.
Two minutes later, Brighton responded with a chance of their own. Lewis Dunk slipped his marker on a Pascal Gross corner, though a flying Sergio Romero save kept the strong header out.
Within five minutes, United were ahead. Despite their dominance, it was a goal almost from nothing, with a deep Nemanja Matić delivery met at the back stick by Lukaku. From there, there was only one outcome, and the Belgian powered a header beyond Krul to net his 25th goal of the season. Not bad.
United maintained their lead to the interval, though were reliant on the reflexes of Romero to retain it to the hour mark. The Argentinian keeper was forced into a fine stop to repel Jürgen Locadia’s snapshot from the edge of the penalty area, as Mourinho’s men held onto their slender advantage.
The hosts didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic about chasing a second, and Brighton remained the more enterprising of the two sides. But the Seagulls’ resistance broke first, as Matić killed the game off with seven minutes left on the clock. It was a goal as simple as Lukaku’s opener, with a curling Ashley Young free-kick nodded home by the Serbian at the back post. Game, set, and match.