Mourinho trumps Pochettino in Cup semifinal as Spurs falter again

Romelu Lukaku celebrates at the final whistle. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA
Romelu Lukaku celebrates at the final whistle. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

Jose Mourinho guided Manchester United over Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham on Saturday to book another FA Cup final date. It was Tottenham’s eighth consecutive loss in the semi-final of the FA Cup and the search for a first trophy under Pochettino continues.

Of all the players on the Wembley pitch on Saturday – Ander Herrera would not have featured on most bookies’ bets as the match winner. But it was the United midfielder who got the winner in the 62nd minute as Mourinho’s men came from a goal down to drown out Tottenham 2-1.

Dele Ali got Spurs on the front foot with an early goal – in the 10th minute, when he got on the end of a Christian Eriksen cross. Spurs were all over United like a rash in the opening minutes but United settled down gradually.

Then they got a helping hand in the 24th minute as the normally stable Mousa Dembele lost out to Paul Pogba on the left flank and the French midfielder perfectly picked out Alexis Sanchez, who guided a header past a stranded Michel Vorm.

It was frenetic stuff but it calmed down, as the half became a physical battle with referee Anthony Taylor waving play on for some crunching tackles. The second half started cautiously until 13 minutes into the second stanza as Chris Smalling had to put his body on the line to block a Harry Kane shot.

With Mr Sanchez and Mr Romelu showing good understanding – the two combined to set up Mr Herrera for the win on 62 minutes. It was déjà vu for Tottenham all over again as they could not muster a comeback. United now await the winner of the second semifinal between Chelsea and Southampton, that will be played on Sunday.

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