Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United will on Saturday evening clash with Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. The Egyptian is in the box seat to finish the season as Premier League top scorer and will see a trip to basement boys West Brom as a ideal opportunity to add to his tally. Those praising his ability to see them over the line in the League Cup and Europa League last season are at odds with the critics, who see the Portuguese’s brand of tepid football as an uneven trade-off for those relatively unfancied pieces of silverware.
Leeds United won a replay 1-0 in that year after the first game ended goalless; the Yorkshire club also beat Sir Matt Busby’s team 1-0 in 1970, this time in a second replay after two 0-0 draws.
One concern is this match, which kicks off at 5.15pm on Saturday, turns into a chess game and isn’t the lively spectacle we’re all hoping for.
“It’s the build-up and it’s exciting”.
Former Premier League star and current pundit Robbie Savage has torn into Tottenham over their lack of silverware and dealt a damning blow to manager Mauricio Pochettino for his trophy record. I just feel we have the upper hand, we’ll be focused and we have a great opportunity’.
“Until that, win the FA Cup or the League Cup, it will be fantastic for our fans but is not going to move the club to a different level”. Now we are going to share with United. Meanwhile, Dembele might get the pick over Sissoko for the game. For Spurs, a chance to break their ten year trophy drought.
That victory against Everton propelled United to the FA Cup title since they defeated Crystal Palace 2-1 in the Final.
“Obviously a year ago we picked up a couple of trophies and I think the manager has instilled that in terms of his training preparations”, said the defender, who scored in Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Bournemouth as well as the victor in the recent Manchester derby. He does not need to show anyone that he is one of the best.
“Obviously I will play with Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku but this eleven have told me they want to be there and they are ready”. With the days of club loyalty largely gone with the exception of a few, it seems likely players will leave if trophies don’t come. Despite the two clubs having proud records in the competition, we have never contested a final. Lingard has made it a habit of scoring in big games, particularly in the domestic cup competitions where he comes to the fore for United.
Paired with a well organised defence and prodigious talents like Harry Kane and Dele Alli – not to mention Hugo Lloris in goal – Tottenham will feel quietly confident ahead of their trip to the familiar environs of Wembley.
“He’s someone who is clearly getting better and better”, Smalling said of his England team-mate.