Like Manchester United one step closer to the treble of a trophy, Fulham He scored a less welcome hat-trick. Where there was a statue of United’s holy trinity, Fulham had his own unholy trinity instead. After a day of excellent performance for 70 minutes, they finally came out. FA Cup in shame. Three red cards, rarely seen in a kick-ass while Fulham was still ahead, irreversibly changed the quarter-final and allowed United to reverse the tie. Bruno Fernandes and Marcel Sabtizer had a quick hit in a row as Fulham, like Barcelona and Manchester City before them, took the lead at Old Trafford and then lost, as the Portuguese added third at injury time.

But not in such extraordinary circumstances. Because if Fulham lose their chance to win their first major trophy in their 144-year history, they’ll lose their heads too. Only William 100 percent of the knocked-out trio could have deserved any sympathy: Jadon blocked Sancho’s shot from the line with his hand, almost making a great defense. But the manager marco silva and top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic He saw red due to their encounter with referee Christopher Kavanagh. Until then, Silva’s game plan was terrific and brilliantly executed, and Mitrovic put on an excellent show. Now fines and bans are calling after each has disappointed their side.

It became a formality as Fulham finished with nine men and a manager. United, mediocre against 11, advanced to the semi-finals with Brighton. Their season may yet come to an end with a Manchester derby at Wembley. Their undefeated streak at Old Trafford stretches to 23 games, but while this was their 20th win at the time, it looked like one of Real Sociedad’s worst performances since their September victory.

Marco Silva is shown a red card and leaves the field.


Then Fulham was caught in a counterattack. Antony freed Sancho, who rounded and fired Bernd Leno. Tireless Willian rushed back from the United half, somehow making his way back to the goal line and deflecting the shot wide. He pointed to his chest; In the age of VAR, that didn’t matter.

Referee Kavanagh was referred to the monitor. Before he could even see the replay, Silva had insulted him enough to be dismissed. Seeing this, Willian, who did not complain, was duly given the same punishment. Mitrovic plunged into the referee, his actions or words causing him to be ejected for the third time within minutes. In the end, Fernandes calmly avoided the resulting penalty.

Fulham improved by playing 4-2-3-1. Relegated to a 4-3-1 formation, they barely lasted a minute. Luke Shaw passed, Sabitzer countering with a backheel to score his first United goal. Old Trafford was so happy, Fulham left to grieve for what might have happened.

Mitrovic could receive more penalties for pushing referee


They looked more energetic, perhaps unsurprisingly, as it was their third game and United’s sixth game in March. From a bright start, Issa Diop’s header capsized and Willian took a wide shot. As they started the second half at a similar pace, David de Gea turned Antonee Robinson’s booming shot and Willian’s drive just beyond the post. This time the reward came. While Wout Weghorst worked ineffectively, a top-notch, old-fashioned number 9 performance came in a white shirt.

Mitrovic had not scored since January 3, but a strong, purposeful performance brought the first goal in 10 games. He returned at close range after a well-executed corner routine. Andreas Pereira, who played better for United than most of the time, took the ball, Diop took a hit and Mitrovic secured the finish.

Fulham was perfect until their stunning collapse


It has already been pointed out that United were unable to cope with Mitrovic. Starting back-to-back games for the first time since August, Harry Maguire was shown the yellow card for wrestling him to the ground: long before there were more memorable displays of indiscipline, the centre-back was eliminated from the semi-finals. After scoring, Mitrovic faced another Pereira corner with a head shot from De Gea, which was brilliantly cleared, and was gone with a full open head seconds later.

At that stage, it didn’t seem like a second goal was needed. United had hardly threatened, with Leno spraying the kind of shots he only needed to save. The costly sending out looked like Casemiro did against Southampton last week, with Harrison Reed and Joao Palhinha dominating midfield, who were also returning from a penalty.

But Ten Hag have made a number of impressive substitutions this season, and while their bench options may seem meagre, they have created another. Scott McTominay was replaced by Antony and on the next substitution Sancho moved to the left wing.

The return can be attributed to a tactical change. But the emotional element likely played a larger role. Silva and Mitrovic’s redundant moves exhausted Fulham more than they should have, and Sabitzer was in disarray as he scored. Fernandes scored the third goal in the 96th minute. And so both clubs will play in London in five weeks, but Fulham will be stuck at Craven Cottage as United head towards Wembley.