Manchester United won the FA Cup on penalties against Brighton & Hove Albion at Wembley Stadium.
The Red Devils were taken to extra time by the Seagulls, who held the Red Devils to a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes despite both teams having several good chances. After extra time failed to separate them, a thrilling penalty shootout was forced after David de Gea failed to stop a single spot-kick.
Solly March finally missed, allowing Victor Lindelof to score the game-winning seventh penalty. With United moving and poised to meet rivals Manchester City in the final despite a lackluster performance, Daily Star Sport looks at the things Ten Hag got right as United aim to capture their second trophy of the season in June.
When it comes to pivot formations, Fred is the United’s king. When selected, he provides an extra body alongside Casemiro while also making late rushes into the opposing box.
As a result, it was strange to see the Brazilian start ahead of an unfit Christian Eriksen, but Ten Hag quickly realized his mistake. Fred was introduced near the hour mark, and United immediately improved and created more chances.
1. Shaw replaces Maguire.
When Luke Shaw’s return to the starting lineup was confirmed, it would have surely calmed United’s anxieties. And with good reason, given Harry Maguire’s poor performance in midweek, which allowed Sevilla to score.
Shaw has been a big success all season as a left center-back, and he was able to shut off Brighton’s attacks. Despite being a center-back, he occasionally burst forward to help his team.
2. Using his strengths
English teams are fully aware of Brighton’s astute and patient build-up approach. United’s greatest moments came when they defended solidly, especially with Casemiro and Eriksen providing protection in the midfield.
They then did what they do best: they broke on the counter, making use of the speed of their dynamic forwards. That became clear in the second half as United pushed for a victory, as well as in extra time as the game opened up.
Ten Hag’s team came close to scoring the game-winning goal multiple times, but it was their mental toughness that gave them the advantage in the sudden-death shootout.