Manchester United’s latest game-changer makes a difference in win before Fulham’s three red cards

Manchester United were involved in the Five Minutes Final in 1979 and this was the Five Minutes Quarterfinals. Fulham clutched defeat in the clutches of victory over a crazy and chaotic five minutes in scenes more befitting a WWE event.

In those five minutes there were three red cards, two goals and a penalty. Both goals came at the Stretford End, which saw another remarkable United recovery.

“We’re marching with Ten Hag’s army, we’re all going to Wembley,” they sang in full-time chorus. After almost five years without a trip to the National Stadium, United supporters will be left behind in the semi-finals on April 23.

Read more: United player ratings vs Fulham

Until Willian’s improvised goalkeeper, United were lifeless and doomed to exit the FA Cup in the quarter-finals for the fifth time in nine seasons. Fulham coach Marco Silva, who was expelled in front of all his players, slipped through the tunnel in the 82nd minute, his team trailing 2-1. They were 1-0 up ten minutes earlier.

The dust had already settled by then. Had Silva seen a replay of Willian’s handball he would not have thrown a water bottle onto the pitch and started a tirade which the fourth official, David Coote, deemed worthy of expulsion.

Had Aleksandar Mitrovic, a thorn in United’s side and Fulham goalscorer all afternoon, been informed that Willian had obviously batted the ball from Jadon Sancho’s shot, he might not have aggressively confronted referee Chris Kavanagh. Mitrovic saw red, figuratively and literally.

After failing to consider a possible penalty last week, the video assistant referee ruled in United’s favor this week. Those who sat in the press box, gazing at the monitors, knew immediately that United would soon be a man. Shortly thereafter, they were leading 2-1.


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