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Michael Carrick joy as United survive ‘crazy’ half to reach FA Cup final

United will play Watford or Crystal Palace, who meet on Sunday, in the final on May 21 as they look to win the competition for the first time since beating Millwall in 2004.
Everton's Ross Barkley, right, in action with Manchester United's Michael Carrick. Andrew Couldridge / Reuters
Everton's Ross Barkley, right, in action with Manchester United's Michael Carrick. Andrew Couldridge / Reuters

LONDON // Michael Carrick was thrilled by Manchester United’s flair for the dramatic as Anthony Martial’s last-gasp winner against Everton booked their place in the FA Cup final.

United will make their first appearance in the final for nine years after Martial capped a wild second half that ended in a 2-1 victory for Louis van Gaal’s side at Wembley on Saturday.

After Marouane Fellaini’s 34th minute opener, United were well in control before losing their grip in the second half.

United goalkeeper David de Gea had to save a Romelu Lukaku penalty but Everton still drew level through Chris Smalling’s 74th minute own goal.

Everton were unable to turn their pressure into further goals, however, and French forward Martial netted with a cool finish deep into stoppage-time.

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“It was a crazy second half. There were chances everywhere and to finish like that is the best way to win a game,” Carrick told the BBC.

“We played some good stuff in the first half and we were comfortable and in control of the game.”

United will play Watford or Crystal Palace, who meet on Sunday, in the final on May 21 as they look to win the competition for the first time since beating Millwall in 2004.

Carrick admitted another Cup final triumph is long overdue as United look to end a difficult season on a high note.

“It would mean everything to win it. We have been desperate to get our hands on this trophy for too long,” Carrick added.

“We are not there yet but we have given ourselves a chance.”

De Gea’s superb save of Lukaku’s spot-kick underlined his reputation as one of the world’s best goalkeepers and, with United also chasing a top four finish in the Premier League, the Spaniard set his sights on a memorable finish to the campaign.

“The penalty save was a key moment. Everton played really well and had some chances in the end. We’re really happy,” de Gea said.

“In one second Anthony Martial scores a goal and you win it in the last minute - it’s unbelievable.

“It is really important for us, the fans and the club. We also want to finish in the top four in the Premier League.”

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Updated: April 23, 2016 04:00 AM

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