Three red cards in a span of two minutes to Fulham players allowed Manchester United to make a late comeback in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday at Old Trafford, as they defeated the London club by 3-1.
Before the red card fiasco, Fulham went against the odds to stun the entire Old Trafford for the majority of the game. Aleksandar Mitrovic broke the deadlock from a set piece in the first five minutes of the second half with a pinpoint finish to beat Manchester United's goalkeeper David De Gea.
Mitrovic had a chance to double the lead but this time David De Gea made a stunning save to keep the hosts in the game. The Spaniard stretched every inch of his body to change the direction of the ball.
But everything started to fall apart for the visitors in the 70th minute of the game. Former Chelsea Brazilian winger Willian's hand denied Jadon Sancho from bringing the game back on level terms. VAR intervened to check the incident. In the end, the referee decided to award Manchester United a penalty. This decision enraged Mitrovic and Fulham's manager Marco Silva.
Mitrovic got sent off for pushing the referee, while Marco Silva was shown a red card for losing control over his emotions and getting out of his technical area. In the post-match conference, Marco Silva highlighted the inconsistencies in the referee's decision-making throughout the match.
"It's a clear penalty on Mitro," Silva said. "Luke Shaw pushed Mitro clearly, the referee is in a position to see, and the VAR in their office, for sure.
"It's pressure to play at Man United away from home at Old Trafford. Until 70 minutes, we did it brilliantly, because we were clearly the best team on the pitch," Silva continued.
With two men down on the pitch and Silva's absence in the technical area was enough to spark a feeling of making a comeback in the final 15 minutes of the game. After the red card incident, Bruno Fernandes scored by converting the penalty to level the game in the 75th minute of the game. Two minutes later Marcel Sabitzer gave the hosts a 2-1 lead with a tap-in from close range. Bruno Fernades scored in the final seconds of the game to seal the victory for the Red Devis.
Manchester United's manager Erik ten Hag was impressed by the performance of his team. In the post-match conference, he said, "Once again, we showed great character. It's not that easy. We've played the most games of every team all over Europe, every third day, and every time we showed personality, resilience, determination to win the game, today was tough but we didn't expect any different before the game because Fulham is a good team and you have to be good to outplay them."
Manchester United's hope of securing a quadruple is still alive and they will continue their journey on April 2 against Newcastle after the end of the international break. (ANI)