MATCH ARTICLES

22/01/2014 22:00, Report by Ben Hibbs
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The Match: Reds go out

We assess the key details behind Wednesday's semi-final exit to Sunderland...

The match

Manchester United put your emotions through the mill, and this semi-final second leg’s denouement had plot-twists aplenty – but sadly no fairytale ending. United were moments from Wembley in extra time, then stared down defeat by grabbing a late lifeline from Javier Hernandez to ensure penalties, only to be scuppered again. Hernandez could have put the tie out of sight earlier in extra time, and David De Gea’s spilling of Phil Bardsley’s shot allowed Sunderland back in. But David Moyes admitted that, whether inside 120 minutes or from 12 yards, his side didn’t do enough to deserve victory.

The goals United opened the scoring when Danny Welbeck steered Adnan Januzaj’s corner to the far post, where Jonny Evans bagged his second goal of the season. Bardsley’s strike for Sunderland came via a rare De Gea lapse in concentration in extra time, before Chicharito struck in injury time after 120 minutes. From the spot, only Darren Fletcher scored, and there ultimately was the reason for United’s exit.

Star men Early in the game Januzaj looked bright. His rise from rookie to set-piece centre-piece is a clear indication of his growing stature even at 18. He took hits from Fabio Borini and Marco Alonso in the first half, but kicks don’t halt his tricks. His corner led to Evans’ goal and he always wanted the ball. You could say he occasionally shot when a pass was prudent, but his confidence and positivity should not be tamed. Rafael and Chicharito too were lively.

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