Ander Herrera scored the winning goal as Manchester United came back from a goal down to beat Tottenham 2-1 in the semi final of the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium.
Dele Alli put Tottenham ahead thanks to an exquisite cross from Christian Eriksen but Alexis Sanchez who was named Man of the Match equalized from a Paul Pogba cross to draw the game level.
Eriksen should have extended Tottenham’s lead after Harry Kane set him up in the box but his wayward shot did not stress David De Gea.
Tottenham hit the post through Eric Dier in first-half stoppage time but United held off Spurs’ challenge with relative ease after Herrera’s goal.
Jose Mourinho’s side will play Chelsea or Southampton, who play in the second semi-final on Sunday at 15:00 BST.
Mourinho’s Manchester United show true grit
Manchester United’s style has been criticised on a number of levels this season – but the character and resilience in Jose Mourinho’s side is beyond question.
In recent weeks alone, they have come from behind to beat Chelsea at Old Trafford then recovered from 2-0 deficits to win at Crystal Palace and, most notably, at Premier League champions Manchester City.
And they needed to call on all those reserves in the face of an opening salvo from Spurs that was fierce in its intensity and pressing, as well as bringing that opening goal from Dele Alli.
United held on, with moments of good fortune, and grasped the lifeline that came with a cheap concession of possession from Spurs, a perfect cross from Paul Pogba and an athletic header from Sanchez to beat Michel Vorm in the 24th minute.
Spurs were still left cursing their luck when Eric Dier’s shot deflected off Chris Smalling to hit the foot of the post – and when ruthlessness and a clinical edge was required it was United who provided it.
It came courtesy of Ander Herrera’s low finish and gave United an advantage they never seriously looked like relinquishing.
Mourinho, now on course for another trophy after lifting the League Cup and Europa League in his first season at Manchester United last term, prides himself on his ability to inject the strengths winners require into his players.
And his Manchester United players showed that at Wembley.
Tottenham’s curse strikes again
Tottenham must wonder when they will ever win another FA Cup semi-final – or indeed be rewarded with a trophy for all the obvious fine work manager Mauricio Pochettino has done.
This was their eighth successive FA Cup semi-final defeat, the longest sequence of losses in the history of the competition and stretching back to the victory over Arsenal at the old Wembley in 1991.
And as expectations rise and Pochettino’s side progresses, so those losses get more painful and this will feel as bad as any others coming after the way they also lost here to Chelsea 12 months ago.
The usual “Spursy” argument will be made – the team that somehow never gets across the line – and there will come a point when this undoubtedly talented side must back up the bouquets it gets with actual trophies, the true currency of success.
Pochettino’s side flew out of the blocks but simply could not put United away and there was an air of desperation and frustration about their work once Herrera put Mourinho’s side in front and time started to ebb away.
Questions must also be asked of Pochettino’s decision to persist with Michel Vorm in goal and keep first-choice Hugo Lloris on the bench. It is harsh to place defeat solely at Vorm’s door but he certainly could have done better with Herrera’s winner.
Harry Kane could not find his usual sure touch and Son Heung-min, superb this season, had one of those days when nothing went right.
The wait goes on without a trophy for both Spurs and Pochettino, who has now had four full seasons at the club.
It is something they must change soon to shed the tag of the team that always falters with the finishing line in sight.