• July 19, 2024

Man Utd players vindicate Cristiano Ronaldo in embarrassment FA Cup scare vs Coventry

United did what was expected of them in the first 70 minutes of their fourth match at Wembley Stadium in the last 14 months. But as has become a trademark in Ten Hag’s second season in charge, his players crumbled at the slightest sniff of adversity – Ellis Simms’ 71st-minute strike. Callum O’Hara’s wicked deflection off Aaron Wan-Bissaka to reduce the deficit to one goal made Coventry look destined to come back. Haji Wright’s 95th-minute penalty ensured they did.

Victor Torp thought he had sealed one of the greatest comebacks in the history of English football at the death in extra-time, only for VAR to spare United’s blushes. Manchester derby FA Cup finals didn’t exist until last season. However, a 4-2 win on penalties confirmed that it would be United vs Manchester City under the arch for a second successive year on May 25. But there’s a reason it felt like the Red Devils were the losing team after Sunday’s semi-final.

The latest collapse once again displayed that standards aren’t where they should be. In September 2023, former United assistant Mike Phelan suggested that Ronaldo wasn’t happy with the players’ standards after he returned under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2021. “He still had massively high standards and was terrific to work with. “He had been at Man United, he had been Portugal’s ever-present, he had been at [Real] Madrid.

I liked it because he didn’t want his standards to drop; he wanted other people’s standards to come up. “And sometimes you lose a few people along the way when that happens. I remember certain times when he pushed and pushed hard, and he didn’t get much reaction or much response. And there was frustration.

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