VICTOR LINDELOF fired home the winning penalty as Manchester United ended their shoot-out curse to set up the first ever Mancunian derby Cup Final.
After 12 straight successful spot-kicks, Solly March ballooned his effort over the bar and United, who had lost seven of their previous eight penalty contests, gave themselves a chance of spiking City’s treble bid in the FA Cup on June 3.
After a goalless, largely dismal, match, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford – who had both missed in England’s Euros final defeat by Italy – were among United’s seven scorers from the spot.
United’s only shoot-out victory in the last 14 years had been against Rochdale in the League Cup and David de Gea had saved only two penalties in the last seven years.
But the Spaniard did not need to produce any heroics as United’s takers held their nerve, to make amends for Thursday’s shocking Europa League drubbing by Sevilla.
United now have the chance to complete a domestic cup double and secure a top-four Premier League finish in Erik ten Hag’s first season.
Yet they were scrappy and shoddy here for the first 90 minutes – the histrionics of their skipper Bruno Fernandes being their most eye-catching contribution.
It was one of the worst FA Cup semi-finals in living memory – with Brighton shading the 90 minutes and United on top in extra-time.
But as a contest between two of the Premier League’s top eight teams, it was a huge disappointment.
While he presumably doesn’t own a hairdryer, Ten Hag had given his players a double-barrelled blasting after their dismal Europa League exit against Sevilla.