Manchester United on Saturday weathered an early Tottenham Hotspur storm at Wembley to come from behind to win 2-1 and reach a 20th FA Cup final.
Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera canceled out Dele Alli’s opener and ensured that Tottenham’s decade-long wait for a trophy continues.
“We want to win trophies, we have the staff that want to win. We can’t keep doing this,” Alli said. “We can’t throw it away. We have got to improve.”
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino beforehand played down the importance of winning his first silverware as a coach to back up four years of undoubted progress at Tottenham, saying it “wouldn’t change their lives.”
However, Spurs started like the side determined to make a statement.
Just 11 minutes in, Davinson Sanchez’s long ball picked out Christian Eriksen perfectly as Paul Pogba failed to track the Danish midfielder’s run down the right.
His cross was perfect for Alli to apply the finishing touch for his 13th goal of the season.
“We were dominant from the first minute and it only looked to be going one way,” Alli said. “We let ourselves down, it’s very disappointing.”
In contrast to Spurs’ long wait, United are into a third final in less than two years under Jose Mourinho, having won the League Cup and Europa League last season.
“We are in another final and we’re getting used to being in finals,” Herrera said as United look ahead to a final against either Chelsea or Southampton. “This club is all about titles and finals.”
Mourinho said Pogba had shown what he is capable of in Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Bournemouth after being substituted just four days earlier in a shock 1-0 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion that handed Manchester City the Premier League title.
Having showed the side of his game that Mourinho detests for Spurs’ opener, Pogba demonstrated his combination of physical power and technical ability as he out-muscled Mousa Dembele before delivering a pin-point cross for Sanchez to head home his third United goal.
Spurs will likely seal their place in the Champions League for a third successive season in the coming weeks as Pochettino’s proof that progress is being made.
However, with their only three defeats of this year all coming at Wembley against the toughest of opposition in Juventus, Man City and now United, questions remain over Pochettino’s ability to turn Tottenham into trophy winners.
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