Man City reaches FA Cup semis United knocked out by Wolves


Wolverhampton Wanderers outstanding second-half performance to overpower Manchester United and reach their first FA Cup semi-final. Manchester United has only one remaining chance for silverware after being dumped out of the FA Cup by Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Wolverhampton Wanderers produced an outstanding second-half performance to overpower Manchester United and reach their first FA Cup semi-final for 21 years on an atmospheric night at Molineux. But Manchester City win the Premier League Title again. Watford also reached the semis after substitute Andre Gray scored two minutes after coming off the bench to secure a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace. Wolves held on to win a game it dominated, but Swansea couldn’t protect its 2-0 lead against a City side that benefited from two refereeing mistakes. The City was incorrectly awarded a penalty that led to the equalizer before Sergio Aguero scored the winner from an offside position to end Swansea’s hopes of pulling off a massive upset.

Third-seeded Seton Hall (20-13) should be able to live with an impressive, guts-on-their-sleeve performance 18 hours after Friday's emotionally wrenching, historically contentious semifinal win over Marquette. The Pirates, who were ranked eighth in the Big East's preseason coaches' poll, gave top seed and 25th-ranked Villanova (25-9) all it could handle.

"I'm so proud of what we accomplished and where we are," Hall coach Kevin Willard said. "That's a good basketball team out there cutting down the nets. They deserve it. They fought hard. They had some big stops. But I love the fact my team fought, and we had a chance to win it. I'll take him (Powell) shooting the last-second shot every day."

United goalkeeper Sergio Romero, in for David de Gea, had kept United level with brilliant saves from Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez either side of the interval, before the Mexican striker swivelled in the area to finally give Wolves the reward their domination merited with 20 minutes remaining. Wolves were rampant and it was no surprise when the dangerous Jota doubled their lead six minutes later, shrugging off United's Luke Shaw on the break before shooting low past the exposed Romero.

United defender Victor Lindelof was shown a red card by referee Martin Atkinson for a touchline challenge on Jota, but it was downgraded it to yellow after a VAR review and, even though Marcus Rashford pulled one back in stoppage time, Wolves were worthy winners. City almost saw its FA Cup campaign ended by a Championship side for the second straight season, having lost to Wigan in the fifth round last year.

In a game played in driving rain, Matt Grimes gave Swansea the lead from the penalty spot in the 20th minute. Bersant Celina then doubled the lead by finishing off a sublime move with a curling first-time finish into the corner in the 29th. It was a goal that had all the hallmarks of City's slick attacking play, which was missing from the visitors for most of the match. Guardiola's team still found a way back into the game in the 69th when Aguero had a shot blocked before playing the ball out to Bernardo Silva, who rifled a shot with the outside of his boot into the corner.

CITY COMPLETES COMEBACK


City continued to pressure Swansea and the penalty came when Cameron Carter-Vickers was adjudged to have fouled Raheem Sterling in the box, even though replays clearly showed he got the ball. The celebrations on and off the pitch at Molineux when the final whistle sounded demonstrated what this win means to Wolves. Their resurgence under Nuno was exemplified by how they were simply too powerful, too energetic and too inventive for United as Solskjaer suffered his second successive defeat.

Wolves have real quality running through the side with the class and experience of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho in midfield augmented by the movement, pace and threat of Jota and Jimenez. They have the backbone of captain Conor Coady and Willy Boly and the bottom line was they were simply better than United in all areas of the pitch. Now they head to Wembley and, make no mistake, they have the quality and confidence to threaten any team left in the FA Cup.

The Argentina striker then headed the winner in the 88th. However, replays showed he was offside when the cross was delivered, highlighting the absence of video reviews for the game. VAR was only in use at Premier League stadiums in the quarterfinals. "If it's not a penalty, I'm sorry. If it's offside, I'm sorry," said Guardiola, who added he had not seen replays of either incident. "Why is VAR not here? That's the question for the authorities." Swansea manager Graham Potter refused to blame the referee.

"City had chances, of course, you can't deny if you look at the game that they deserved to win," Potter said. "But for the players, it's disappointing to lose goals in that manner. That's life, referees make mistakes as well." Solskjaer and United have deservedly been showered in praise for their dramatic rejuvenation since Jose Mourinho was sacked in December, the highlight of which was the stunning Champions League turnaround against Paris St-Germain in France earlier this month.

This, though, was a performance that rolled back the months to the Mourinho era and was arguably worse than some of the displays turned in under the Portuguese. Paul Pogba was restored as captain as another Mourinho move was wiped away but he was poor - although he was not alone there. United barely threatened Wolves keeper John Ruddy and, slowly but surely, their performance crumbled to almost shambolic levels in the second half as Wolves were all over them and ran them ragged.

WOLVES HANG ON


Wolves reached the semis for the first time since 1998 after Raul Jimenez and Diego Jota scored in a six-minute span in the second half. Solskjaer will hope it is just a temporary slump but the fight is now right on for the top four and Champions League opponents Barcelona will not lose a wink of sleep after watching United here. In the early game, Gray latched on to Roberto Pereyra's chip into the area and volleyed in left-footed in the 79th minute as Watford became the first team to book a place in the last four.

Jimenez swiveled in the box and fired a shot that went past two defenders and goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who had made a string of saves to keep United in the game. Jota then finished off a lightning counter-attack to double the lead, which never looked under threat until Marcus Rashford pulled back a consolation goal deep into injury time. "We started too slowly and played into their hands. Our possession wasn't bright enough and quick enough," Solskjaer said. "This was a big step backwards, mainly because of the quality of the possession and the passing." In the last quarterfinal, Millwall hosts Brighton on Sunday.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, speaking


"We started too slowly and played into their hands. Our possession wasn't bright enough and quick enough, so it's disappointing. "I didn't think we had enough quality in the last third, enough combination play. We had decent dominance with the ball in the first half but that doesn't help if you give the ball away and they can counter. "This was a big step backwards, mainly because of the quality of the possession and the passing."

Wolves have reached their 15th FA Cup semi-final and their first since 1997-98. They have been eliminated in each of their last four semi-final appearances. Wolves have won three consecutive FA Cup games for the first time since February 2003.
United have lost back-to-back games for the first time under Solskjaer, last doing so in December 2018 in Mourinho's last two matches in charge. United have lost a FA Cup clash with Wolves for the first time since January 1973, and for the first time in their four such meetings at the quarter-final stage. Wolves have won six of their last seven home matches across all competitions.
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