Manchester United 2 Brighton 0 match highlights: Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku score in FA Cup quarter-final win to put Champions League shame behind them

The Special One ranted about his club’s European pedigree after getting dumped out of the Champions League last week.

But Romelu Lukaku’s headed opener and Nemanja Matic’s 83rd-minute clincher made sure they bounced back from the midweek defeat by Sevilla and booked a place at Wembley for a Cup semi-final.

Mourinho’s now infamous 12-minute rant ahead of this tie moaned about a lack of “football heritage” when it came to United in Europe.

Perhaps he is right and United’s level at the moment is scrapping for domestic trophies instead of fighting for the Champions League.

Even in this game, Brighton gave them massive scares and threatened to take the game into extra-time.


But United are now just a couple of wins away from being tied as the most successful FA Cup team in history with 13 triumphs.

It is hardly the “football heritage” Mourinho was brought to Old Trafford — more like clutching at straws.

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But this victory will be a massive wake-up call in terms of Mourinho’s tirade and also his team selection.

Two of his big signings were dumped on the bench for a game they needed to win to save their season.

Alexis Sanchez was finally axed for the first time since arriving in January. The Chilean forward has been a flop since arriving on £505,000-a-week wages yet this was the first time he was among the subs.

And Paul Pogba joined him for the third match in a row as a replacement, the Premier League’s most expensive player at £89million left wrapped up in blankets and gloves on the bench.

Fixture congestion is hardly an issue now United have been dumped out of Europe and the title race.

So seeing two of United’s biggest names was a clear message from Mourinho.

Goalscorers  Matic and Lukaku were the only outfield players who emerged unscathed from Mourinho’s  rant.

The rest were told to “grow up” and deal with expectation of being a United player, with Sanchez and Pogba the ones in the firing line.

There was a seriousness from Mourinho right from the warm-up when he was on the pitch overseeing last-minute preparations.

The conditions were freezing — just as cold as the atmosphere from fans towards Mourinho after getting humbled on Tuesday night.

Groundstaff were helped by 18.4metres of undersoil piping to get the pitch ready, but a blizzard arrived at kick-off, with the ball leaving a trail across the snow as it settled.

It certainly made it difficult to deliver the slick, attacking football the United fans are craving.

Aside from potshots from Lukaku and Jesse Lingard, there was not too much early action to warm up the United faithful.

They were up against a Brighton side who had top scorer Glenn Murray on the bench and were well organised.

Chris Hughton’s side were packed in defence and midfield and tried to break on the counter-attack from wide areas.

It meant Mourinho was not happy at all — the Special One was animated on the touchline as his team were not firing as he wanted them to.

He was ordering his players forward, pointing to where he wanted runners and even accidentally kicked snow at a cameraman.

His players finally went through the gears on the half-hour mark and started to look dangerous.

Juan Mata got a sighter of goal after a flurry of passes exchanged with Anthony Martial before Markus Suttner snuffed him out with a block.

From the corner, Chris Smalling wriggled free from his marker and had a shot hit the post thanks to a block from Seagulls keeper Tim Krul.

Then they made the breakthrough thanks to the only two players Mourinho praised pre-match.

Matic whipped the ball into the box with terrific pace and Lukaku was there to thump his header home after nipping ahead of Lewis Dunk.

The Belgium striker has now scored in every round of the cup and is relishing the competition instead of wanting rest.

It was slightly harsh on Brighton, who had been a match for United until the opener.

They even forced a save from Sergio Romero when Dunk thumped a header goalwards from Pascal Gross’ corner.

Luke Shaw looked no worse than any other United player, but Mourinho took him off at half-time for Ashley Young.

And United looked shaky without him as Brighton started to create chances.

Gross curled an effort just wide with the outside of his boot from the edge of the area to give United a warning.

And Jurgen Locadia fired off two shots Romero needed to save, the second one a spectacular stop with the Dutchman’s effort heading for the top corner.

Locadia also headed over when left unmarked from Solly March’s cross, but  Matic settled any nerves heading home Young’s free-kick at the back post.

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