Lukaku, Matic send Man-U into Cup semis

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Mar 2018 10:40:59


 

MANCHESTER (England),

(Reuters),

HEADERS by Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic earned Manchester United an unconvincing 2-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion in a low-key FA Cup quarter-final played in freezing conditions on Saturday. United, looking to make amends after their feeble Champions League defeat by Sevilla, struggled to impose themselves against Brighton before Lukaku broke the deadlock by heading home Matic’s curling, left-foot cross at the far post after 37 minutes.

The goal was Lukaku’s 12th goal in 11 FA Cup games and the Belgian’s 25th of the season in all competitions, including goals in each round of the FA Cup.But once again, United were unable to build on the opener and lost their way in the second half as a slow tempo and lack of fluency restricted their attacking potency.Brighton, in contrast, grew more confident as the game went on and dominated possession in the second half to keep United goalkeeper Sergio Romero busy.

Dutch forward Juergen Locadia was twice foiled by Romero and was off-target with a header from a promising Solly March cross. But Matic calmed the nerves around Old Trafford seven minutes from time when he stole in to nod Ashley Young’s teasing free kick into the net.“It was difficult for us after the defeat against Sevilla, of course we were very sad after the game. It was important to see a reaction today and we’re through to the next round and we’re happy,” Matic said.

Southampton beat Wigan to reach semis

SOUTHAMPTON reached the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 victory over third tier Wigan Athletic on Sunday as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Cedric Soares were on target in manager Mark Hughes’ first match in charge.Hughes was appointed Southampton boss on Wednesday following the sacking of Argentine Mauricio Pellegrino and his side, 18th in the Premier League, struggled in the opening 45 minutes against League One promotion chasers Wigan. Wigan, who had beaten three Premier League teams in the Cup including Manchester City in the previous round, could not convert their chances, however, and Southampton came out strongly after the break.