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Manchester United 3-1 Fulham: Three talking points as the Red Devils progress to the FA Cup semi-finals after remarkable second-half drama

Manchester United kept their hopes of a Wembley Stadium double alive by beating Fulham 3-1 to book their place in the FA Cup semi-finals today.

Raphael Varane missed the matchday squad due to an injury, allowing Harry Maguire to keep his starting spot in the team.

Scott McTominay replaced Casemiro who is serving a four-match suspension after receiving his second straight red card of the season a few days ago.

Marcel Sabitzer and Jadon Sancho were also drafted into the starting XI to replace Fred and Facundo Pellistri.

Fulham were the better side and it was no surprise when Aleksandar Mitrovic opened the scoring but what unfolded after that was crazy.

A crazy 40-second spell in the second half saw Marco Silva, Mitrovic and Willian being sent off, allowing United to roar back into the game.

Bruno Fernandes scored twice and Sabitzer netted his first United goal to take their side one step closer to another final at Wembley Stadium.

They will now lock horns with Brighton & Hove Albion in the semi-final of the FA Cup. Here are our three talking points from the game.

Fixture congestion catching up with United

The Red Devils have had a cramped fixture list this season. They have remained alive in every competition which has increased the workload on the squad.

United have played 13 midweek games in a row now and their first-half performance showed the players were tired. They were lacklustre in the final third, barely making any clear-cut chances to score. 

The Cottagers got their reward with Mitrovic finding the back of the net. If not for the handball and the madness which followed, Fulham would have sealed their place in the semi-finals.

The handball incident

Antony made a lung-bursting run to lead a United counter-attack and found Sancho with a fine pass. The England international rounded Bernd Leno and placed his shot which was blocked by Willian’s hand. 

The referee didn’t give the foul but VAR intervened and Willian was rightly dismissed. Fulham manager Marco Silva was also red-carded for his protests.

Mitrovic lost his head and manhandled the official when he pointed to the spot. The striker was rightly given his marching orders.

Antony’s introduction was key

Just before the hour mark, Ten Hag took McTominay off for Antony. His arrival was a breath of fresh air.

Antony provided much-needed width on the right flank. He exhibited his breakneck pace several times and fooled Fulham defenders with his trickery.

The Brazilian winger ended the game without an assist or a goal but was responsible for bringing United back into the contest.

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