Signal as much as Miguel Delaney’s Studying the Sport e-newsletter despatched straight to your inbox for freeSign as much as Miguel’s Delaney’s free weekly e-newsletter As Manchester United moved a step nearer a cup treble, Fulham mustered a much less welcome hat-trick of their very own. At a floor with a statue of United’s holy trinity, Fulham as an alternative had their very own unholy trinity. On a day once they excelled for 70 minutes, ultimately they exited the FA Cup in shame. The rarity of three crimson playing cards in between the ball being kicked, and at a time when Fulham have been nonetheless main, irrevocably altered a quarter-final and enabled United to show the tie round. Bruno Fernandes and Marcel Sabtizer struck in swift succession with the Portuguese including an injury-time third as Fulham, like Barcelona and Manchester Metropolis earlier than them, led at Previous Trafford after which misplaced.However not in such extraordinary circumstances. As a result of if Fulham misplaced an opportunity to shut in on a primary main trophy of their 144-year historical past, additionally they misplaced their heads. Solely Willian of the expelled trio might advantage any sympathy: he had blocked Jadon Sancho’s shot on the road along with his hand in what was virtually a superb little bit of defending. However supervisor Marco Silva and prime scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic noticed crimson for his or her confrontations with referee Christopher Kavanagh. Till then, Silva’s gameplan had been terrific and executed splendidly and Mitrovic had produced an excellent show. Now fines and bans beckon after every let his aspect down.As Fulham completed with 9 males and no supervisor, this grew to become a formality. United, mediocre towards 11 males, cruised right into a semi-final with Brighton. Their season might but finish with a Manchester derby at Wembley. As it’s, their unbeaten run at Previous Trafford extends to 23 video games however, whereas this was a twentieth win in that point, it lengthy regarded like one of many poorest performances since Actual Sociedad’s September triumph.Marco Silva leaves the pitch after his crimson card (Getty)Then Fulham have been caught on the counter-attack. Antony launched Sancho, who rounded Bernd Leno and shot. The indefatigable Willian had sprinted again from the United half, by some means acquired again to the purpose line and contrived to deflect the shot large. He pointed to his chest; within the age of VAR, it mattered not.Referee Kavanagh was despatched to the monitor. Earlier than he might even view the replay, Silva had given him sufficient invective to convey his dismissal. When he did see it, the uncomplaining Willian was duly given the identical punishment. Mitrovic barged into the official, both his deeds or his phrases earned him a 3rd sending off in as many minutes. On the finish of it, Fernandes coolly tucked the ensuing penalty away.Fulham had flourished taking part in 4-2-3-1. Decreased to a 4-3-1 formation, they barely held out for a minute. Luke Shaw crossed, Sabitzer met it with a backheel flick to attain his first United purpose. Previous Trafford was euphoric, Fulham left to lament what might need been.Mitrovic might face additional punishment after pushing the referee (Getty)They’d regarded the extra energetic, maybe unsurprisingly because it was their third recreation of March and United’s sixth. In a vibrant begin, Issa Diop had a header tipped over and Willian fizzed a shot large. As they started the second half at related pace, David de Gea turned Antonee Robinson’s rising shot over and Willian’s drive simply previous the submit. This time the reward got here. Whereas Wout Weghorst laboured ineffectually, the efficiency of a high-class, old school No 9 got here in a white shirt.Mitrovic had not scored since 3 January however a strong, purposeful efficiency produced a primary purpose in 10 matches. He transformed from shut vary after a well-worked nook routine. Andreas Pereira, taking part in higher than he usually did in a United shirt, took it, Diop met it with a flick and Mitrovic provided the end.Fulham have been glorious till their beautiful collapse (Getty)United’s incapacity to deal with Mitrovic had been signalled earlier. Harry Maguire, beginning consecutive matches for the primary time since August, was booked for wrestling him to the bottom: it dominated the centre-back out of the semi-final lengthy earlier than there have been extra memorable shows of a scarcity of self-discipline. After he scored, Mitrovic met one other Pereira nook with a header that De Gea clawed away splendidly after which, seconds later, headed simply large.At that stage, it appeared as if a second purpose will not be wanted. United had scarcely threatened, with Leno solely repelling the kind of photographs he ought to save. The expensive sending off gave the impression to be that of Casemiro towards Southampton final week as Harrison Reed and Joao Palhinha, again from a ban himself, dominated in midfield.However Ten Hag has made a sequence of telling substitutions this season and whereas he appeared in need of choices on the bench, he conjured one other. On got here Antony for Scott McTominay, with Sancho shifting to the left flank within the subsequent reshuffle.The turnaround may very well be attributed to a tactical change. However the emotional aspect most likely performed a higher half. The unnecessary actions of Silva and Mitrovic left Fulham extra depleted than they might have been, in disarray as Sabitzer scored. Fernandes drilled in a 96th-minute third. And so each golf equipment will play in London in 5 weeks’ time however whereas United head for Wembley, Fulham can be caught at Craven Cottage.

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