Mon | May 21, 2018

Mourinho's Man United in another Cup final

Published:Sunday | April 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Manchester United's Chris Smalling (right) holds off the challenge of Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane during the English FA Cup semifinal at Wembley stadium in London, yesterday.
Manchester United's Ander Herrera (right) scores his side's second goal past Tottenham's Ben Davies during the English FA Cup semifinal match at Wembley stadium yesterday. Manchester United won 2-1.
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LONDON (AP):

A third cup final with Manchester United for Jose Mourinho. More FA Cup semifinal misery for Tottenham.

While Mauricio Pochettino wins admiration for his style of football, the manager has yet to actually win a trophy in management.

A 2-1 collapse to United at Wembley Stadium yesterday left Tottenham reeling from an eighth successive loss in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Pochettino is responsible for two of the setbacks, having also fallen short against Chelsea last season.

At the stadium where Tottenham have been playing their home matches this season, Dele Alli's goal gave the 1991 FA Cup winners hope of turning around their miserable record in world football's oldest knockout competition.

But Alexis Sanchez levelled in the 24th minute and Ander Herrera struck the winner in the second half. It ensured that Mourinho, who won the League Cup and Europa League in his first season at United, has a chance to also end this campaign with silverware against Chelsea or Southampton in the FA Cup final.

"We're getting used to being in finals," Herrera said. "This club is all about titles and finals."

While Mourinho has fallen short in the English Premier League behind newly crowned champion Manchester City, United are second and on course for their highest finish since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

Tottenham would settle with holding on to fourth place to secure a third season in a row in the Champions League.

Liverpool missed a chance to considerably stretch their advantage over Tottenham in one of Saturday's two league games. Juergen Klopp's side threw away a two-goal lead to draw with last-place West Bromwich Albion 2-2 and move only three points ahead of Tottenham.

 

POGBA TRANSFORMED

 

When United fell behind to Tottenham, Paul Pogba was culpable.

When a high ball was launched forward by Tottenham, a lethargic Pogba didn't try to break sweat in an attempt to prevent it reaching Eriksen. It allowed the Dane to whip in a cross for Alli to slide on to at the far post and strike past David De Gea in the 11th minute

Had Harry Kane made a connection at the far post with Son Heung-min's cross three minutes later, Tottenham might have extended their lead.

Instead, United were able to draw level. Pogba made amends for his earlier inertia by dispossessing Mousa Dembele and delivering a cross that Sanchez headed past static goalkeeper Michel Vorm.

Sanchez did the hard work to create the winner in the 62nd, holding off Kieran Trippier and rolling the ball into the penalty area, where Jesse Lingard teed up Herrera to shoot past Vorm.

 

LIVERPOOL FRUSTRATED

 

At West Brom, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp felt that the hosts mounted a "useless comeback" given that it has little chance of avoiding being relegated.

Liverpool were in control with 18 minutes remaining thanks to Danny Ings scoring his first goal in 930 days and Mohamed Salah's Premier League record-equalling 31st of the season.

But Jake Livermore and Salomon Rondon recovered a draw that still left West Brom eight points from safety and only three games remaining.

Stoke and Southampton are also in the relegation zone. Crystal Palace pulled six points clear of Southampton by drawing at Watford 0-0.