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Red Devils sweet win over Toffees

Written By: Robert Halter

Everton faced Manchester United in the F.A. Cup semi final at Wembley stadium, late April. On four minutes from a Marcos Rojo pass, it took a block from John Stones to keep out Anthony Martial and within a minute Joel Robles saved a header from Marouane Fellaini through a cross by Daley Blind. But Everton responded when from a Robles kick, striker Romelu Lukaku turned past David De Gea, and it took a goal line headed clearance by Wayne Rooney, to clear the danger. But on seven minutes, after Aaron Lennon pulled down Martial, a well executed free kick from Rooney, was headed narrowly wide of the right post by Rojo. After an Everton effort by Ross Barkley was saved by De Gea from a Lennon assist in the tenth minute, United pressed a minute later, first as Rooney’s right footed shot from outside the box missed to the left and then a sprawling save by Robles kept out the advancing Jesse Lingard, from an over the top ball by Rooney. In the fifteenth minute, from a through ball by Tom Cleverley, at a tight angle by the right post, De Gea stooped down to fend away a low strike from Lukaku. But on twenty one minutes, as Rooney combined with Lingard, the ball found Martial, who blazed over in range of the target. Two minutes later, from a delivery by Blind and knock on from Fellaini, the ball was driven into Robles, by Marcus Rashford. On the half hour mark, a strike by James McCarthy was kept out by De Gea, from a pass by Barkley. Three minutes later from the inter play of Lingard, a strike by Rooney was comfortably stopped by Robles, who within two minutes was picking the ball out of the net as from an incisive Rashford pass and a cut back on the left by Martial, the ball was despatched by Fellaini, into the left side of the goal. Then in the thirty eighth minute, a Fellaini header missed to the right from a Blind cross. On fifty four minutes, from Martial’s back heel the ball was driven wide by Lingard, out to the left. But the Toffees were awarded a spot kick by referee Anthony Taylor, after Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s clumsy challenge on Barkley, but Lukaku’s penalty was saved by De Gea, as he dived to his right and then carelessly Fosu-Mensah fouled Barkley again from outside the area, but Barkley’s curling free kick was stopped by De Gea on the line, in the fifty eighth minute. Then in the next minute, a low cross by Lennon was driven over the upright by Cleverley with the goal gapping. On the hour mark, a James McCarthy strike from outside the area was saved by De Gea from a Phil Jagielka cross and then Barkley missed with an effort to the right from a Cleverley assist. The Red Devils responded by replacing Fosu-Mensah with Antonio Valencia. Another chance went begging for Lukaku, as he headed over a right wing cross from Cleverley in the sixty third minute. Two minutes on, from Martial’s ball in, Jagielka and Robles had to scramble away Fellaini’s close range effort. Everton made a change of Lennon with Gerard Deulofeu. But the Toffees got on level terms in the seventy fifth minute, when from a pull back by Lukaku and a low right wing cross by Deulofeu, the ball was turned into his own net by the outstretched leg of Chris Smalling. Two minutes later, a shot by Martial was stopped by Robles from an assist through Michael Carrick and on seventy nine minutes, Deulofeu shot straight at De Gea from Barkley’s ball through before Lukaku spurned a header wide from a Leighton Baines delivery in the eightieth minute. Two minutes on, Lukaku had his shot blocked by Fellaini, from the play of Deulofeu before from a Baines corner, a header was put wide by Jagielka. After Fellaini missed with a header from Valencia’s cross, Ander Herrera took the place of  Fellaini. In stoppage time, casual defending by De Gea, nearly paid dividends for Lukaku from Valencia’s back pass. But it was heartbreak for the Toffees at the end as United sealed victory as from Herrera’s pass, the ball was driven into the bottom right corner by Martial before Kevin Mirallas replaced Darron Gibson.