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HomeFA CupMaguire admits 'world wanted' Coventry to win semi-final

Maguire admits ‘world wanted’ Coventry to win semi-final

Harry Maguire has said the ‘world wanted’ Coventry City to beat Manchester United in their thrilling FA Cup semi-final.

Manchester United booked their place in the FA Cup final after a penalty shootout win over the second-tier side, who produced an astonishing comeback from 3-0 down to force extra time and penalties.

Erik ten Hag’s side were cruising towards the decider when Maguire headed home to add to Scott McTominay’s opener at Wembley, before Bruno Fernandes put the Red Devils three ahead after the break.

 

Coventry, whose never-say-die spirit saw them turnaround a quarter-final with Wolves earlier in the competition, fought back with goals from Ellis Simms and Callum O’Hare. A contentious penalty call, awarded after Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s handball, saw Haji Wright level in the 95th minute from the spot, forcing an additional 30 minutes.

Both teams hit the woodwork in the additional time and Coventry thought they’d won it when Viktor Torp turned home in the final seconds. However, VAR deemed Wright had been offside in the build up and a shootout was required to decide the tie.

O’Hare and Ben Sheaf missed for Coventry, as United won 4-2 on penalties to squeeze through to a decider against Manchester City.

“We found a way,” Maguire reflected to ITV.

“We started the game really well and then conceded a sloppy goal. We were unfortunate to concede the second goal.

“I think the penalty was so harsh but all credit to Coventry. They made it tough for us in the second half of extra time.

“It sums up our season, we had great control and played well for 60 minutes but then we conceded out of nothing.

“Then I don’t know, it seems like the world wanted Coventry to go on and do it. We showed great character to stick with it and it was important to win the shootout.”

 

Bruno Fernandes criticised his team for failing to kill off the game and said FA Cup success would not count as success for Manchester United, who must improve in all areas.

“When they scored a goal [in extra time] we thought it might be offside, we couldn’t tell from the front,” Fernandes said.

“We put ourselves in a difficult position and should have killed it earlier but we didn’t. We have to do so much better.

“We’ll never be successful if we win [only] the FA Cup.

“The standard of this club is much higher than what we have been doing. We have to do better in the league, the League Cup and in Europe.”

Read – Five of the best FA Cup semi-finals of modern times

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