Manchester United striker Wout Weghorst admitted trying to get into Solly March’s head before the Brighton player missed from the spot in the FA Cup semi-final penalty shootout at Wembley.
March took Brighton’s seventh penalty, which proved costly when Victor Lindelof scored afterwards to send United back to Wembley for the final in early June.
The 28-year-old, who has had an outstanding season for the Seagulls, took the penalty after Weghorst had converted. The United striker was seen to pass on some words that he thinks may have contributed to March missing the target.
Weghorst explained that he had suggested to his teammates that they should all try and knock the Brighton players off their game, but he was the only one to actually do it.
“I already said to some of our guys do it before we started,” the Dutchman admitted. “But nobody did it. I scored, saw the ball and tried to get a few advantages to maybe help us win it.”
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Weghorst even revealed he actually felt sorry for March in the end because he was ultimately the only player of 14 from either team who didn’t scored in the tense shootout.
“I walked to him and said some things but at the end, I went to him because I felt sorry because that was the one that missed. I just tried everything and normally it doesn’t make a difference but maybe it did,” the United player said.
Manchester United are aiming to lift the FA Cup for the first time since Louis van Gaal oversaw an extra-time win against Crystal Palace in 2016. Jesse Lingard scored the famous decisive goal that day to mark the end of his debut season as a first-team player.
United later returned to the final in 2018 under Jose Mourinho when a mistake from Phil Jones saw Eden Hazard score the only goal of the game for Chelsea at Wembley. Ole Gunanr’s Solskjaer got as far as the semi-finals in 2020, but again United lost to Chelsea.
When United won the FA Cup in 2004 – a teenage Cristiano Ronaldo bossed the final against Millwall – it was an 11th victory in the competition. At the time, that was an FA Cup record that had belong to the Red Devils since their 1999 triumph, the second leg of that season’s treble.
But with United only winning the FA Cup once more this century (in 2016 as mentioned) Arsenal’s flurry of wins – four in the last nine years alone – has allowed to overtake and reach 14 wins. Should United beat Manchester City in this season’s final, they would move on to 13 FA Cups wins. No other club has won more than eight in the 151-year history of the competition.
On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders & Rob Blanchette discuss Man Utd’s progress to the FA Cup final following a penalty shootout win over Brighton, and Thursday’s crucial Premier League trip to Spurs.
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