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Ten Hag praises Man United’s ‘character’ after bonkers FA Cup win over Fulham

Manchester United are through to the FA Cup semi-final after they secured a bizarre 3-1 win over Fulham at Old Trafford.

Erik Ten Hag’s side have looked tired in recent weeks and Marco Silva’s Fulham were by far the better side throughout the first half.

The Cottagers would deservedly take the lead in the 50th minute when Aleksandar Mitrovic stole in at the back stick to fire a left-footed volley home from a corner.

The big Serbian striker almost made it two soon after, but David de Gea pulled off a superb save to keep his header out of the net.

Then in the 70th minute, all hell broke loose. Jadon Sancho rounded the keeper and looked set to fire into an open net only to be denied on the line by Willian. However, replays showed the Brazilian midfielder had handled the ball and Fulham boss Silva was shown a red card for remonstrating with the referee while the official was checking the incident on the pitch side monitor.

After the ref re-entered the pitch and showed Willian a red card, Mitrovic lost his head and pushed the official for which he was also given his marching orders.

Bruno Fernandes stepped up and confidently despatched the penalty and in the space of a few minutes Fulham had gone from being a goal up and the better team to the scores being level and their manager and two of their best players had been sent off.

A couple of minutes later and United were ahead, Marcel Sabitzer expertly directing a Luke Shaw cutback into the net for his first goal for the Old Trafford outfit.

Fernandes put the cherry on the cake in injury time when he raced through on goal and drilled a powerful finish into the top corner.

United will now face Brighton in the semi-final at Wembley and speaking afterwards Ten Hag was happy to be going into the international break on the back of an important win.

“That was the aim,” Ten Hag told ITV Sport. ”We did it, we are happy with the win. We showed great character. Every time this team comes out, they show the personality and the determination needed.

“Fulham are a good team and you have to be good to overcome them. I think we had a good first half. We had great moments in the attacking transition and we should have been two or three goals up.

“The next [FA Cup] game is a long way away. The players will go away on the international break while we analyse the recent period. Then it’s about Newcastle, Brentford and Everton.”

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