The sides could not be separated after an enthralling 120 minutes which ebbed and flowed, with both teams on top at various points but unable to find the net.
It fell then, to the oft-dreaded spot-kicks and, when Solly March missed his effort in sudden death, with the scores at 6-6, Victor Lindelof had the chance to win it for the Reds.
The Swede did just that, sparking pandemonium in the United end. Here are a baker’s dozen of talking points from a great day in the capital, which sees us set up a mouthwatering final in June…
AN FA CUP FIRST
United and Brighton went into Sunday’s game knowing the identity of the side they were bidding to face in June’s final. Manchester City’s 3-0 victory over Sheffield United here 24 hours previously, courtesy of a Riyad Mahrez hat-trick, set up the prospect of a first-ever all-Manchester showpiece event in this competition – a remarkable stat considering United and City have won it 18 times between them. It was a destiny that would be realised, after two hours of tension…
TEN HAG’S TEAM
With Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez injured, and Harry Maguire suspended, it was unclear who would be partnering Lindelof in the centre of United’s defence – Luke Shaw and Casemiro have both filled in there this campaign, but the former has also had fitness issues recently, while the latter is arguably our key man in midfield. The XIs were announced at 15:30 BST and, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot both in the team, it was clear that Shaw had been given the job. Bruno Fernandes also returned to the side following suspension, while rumours of Anthony Martial being unavailable following his injury in Seville were unfounded as he started – as did Marcus Rashford, for the first time in a fortnight.
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