Manchester United will have the chance to win a first FA Cup in 12 years after booking a return trip to Wembley in next month’s final in the most dramatic fashion with an injury-time winner from Anthony Martial, following yet more heroics from David De Gea.
Former Toffees man Marouane Fellaini, one of four changes to the side with Tim Fosu-Mensah, Marcos Rojo and Michael Carrick, put the Reds in front on 34 minutes before De Gea saved a Romelu Lukaku penalty and Chris Smalling put through his own net. Then followed the classic United late drama as substitute Ander Herrera put Martial through and the Frenchman coolly slotted home in front of the jubilant United fans.
The Reds had already enjoyed two wins out of two from the season’s league meetings with Everton and the opening quarter of the match brought hope a third would follow, with United dominating possession and looking sharp in attack. But in Lukaku, Everton had a pacy, skilful outlet and, while the Reds created the majority of the early openings, United still needed De Gea to make some customary solid stops and Wayne Rooney, playing in a midfield role once more, to run the length of the field to head off the line as Lukaku threatened.
In Rooney, Martial and Marcus Rashford, the Reds had three attackers who looked well in the mood. Martial was off and running at the Everton defenders from the start and should have scored on 21 minutes when Jesse Lingard put him through, but the Frenchman blasted over.
Before that, Rojo had headed wide, Lingard had seen a shot saved by Joel Robles in the Everton goal after being found brilliantly by Rooney. Rashford was next to be denied by Joel after taking aim from Fellaini’s knock-down as the frenetic pace continued.
United’s deserved breakthrough duly arrived 11 minutes before the break when Martial burst towards the touchline for the umpteenth time and pulled the ball back for former Everton man Fellaini to steer home from close range.