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Yalla Shoot :Manchester United v Brighton: Women’s FA Cup semi-final – live | Women’s FA Cup

Key events

48 min: Sarri receives a yellow now for a foul. This feels as though United could run riot now. Brighton need to keep their heads.

48 min: Batlle makes a great run down the wing and Galton takes a one touch finish, absolutely lethal. Williams looks disappointed with that, she couldn’t have done much about that!

GOAL! Manchester United 1-1 Brighton (Galton, 46′)

My word! Less than a minute and there’s the equalsier.

Back underway! Manchester United 0-1 Brighton

Well not the scoreline anyone would have predicted but Brighton are in the driving seat! Can Brighton hold on or will United win this? We will know over the next 45. The commentators are calling it the shock of the season but I would argue Chelsea losing to Liverpool was, thoughts?

A reminder the other FA Cup semi-final will be tomorrow at 2.15 between holder Chelsea and Aston Villa. Before the international break the two clubs competed against each other in the WSL, Chelsea won that 3-0.

A game with the keepers at the heart of the story. Here is a great save from Brighton’s Williams:

Here’s the goal that splits the sides so far:

Half-time: Manchester United 0-1 Brighton

Talk about a new manager bounce! Brighton have been strong throughout the match but no one could have predicted this. The bottom side in the WSL have control of this semi-final against WSL leaders United. It was all thanks to Sarri’s cross which forced Earps to punch, the deflection from the intervention seeing it go into the net.

45 + 1 min: There will be one minute added.

45 min: Blundell does well to win the ball from Robinson, Toone and Russo connect in the box to create a chance. Garcia rifles it in but Williams collects.

44 min: Some great defending from Brighton sees them repel two chances from United, they get it back in and Ladd takes a shot but Williams collects.

43 min: Morse gets the ball forward but Turner again repels the chance, the defender having a good game. I think I’m still in shock from that goal, Brighton scoring isn’t a surprise with the team playing well this match but the nature of the score has thrown me. United really rallying now to try and get themselves to the final.

41 min: Morse concedes a corner and Zelem takes it short, they get it into the box and Williams punches it. The offside whistle goes before Russo fires a shot over. Garcia makes a great run into the box and she takes a shot but Williams collects. I believe the goal has gone down as a Mary Earps own goal. I’ll get a video of it ASAP.

39 min: United almost immediately equalise, this game has come to life! Russo turns and takes a shot, Williams looks as though she got a hand to it but it is out for a goal kick.

37 min: Oh my word! I’m unsure if that will go down as an Earps own goal? Sarri looks as though she has crossed that rather than take a shot, she came out to punch away but it deflects in goal! Wow, we have a shock on our hands.

GOAL! Manchester United 0-1 Brighton (Earps OG, 36′)

Galton almost gets on the end of a Garcia cross but it’s wide, the referee judges it as a goal kick and Brighton can breathe again! Brighton get in a great position, Sarri crosses. Earps punches it but it goes in!

Joy for Brighton as they take the lead.
Joy for Brighton as they take the lead. Photograph: Will Matthews/PA

35 min: Batlle gets in a great position in the box but she can’t pass to Russo as she was in an offside position. The Spanish player takes a shot but Williams collects easily.

33 min: It comes into the box and pinballs around, it falls to Garcia whose shot it way wide.

33 min: A great break from Brighton sees Robinson pop it into the box but United clear. It comes to Pattinson but her cross is cleared by Turner. Brighton try to come away but Zelem does well to close it down. United have a free kick following a foul and Zelem takes it.

31 min: Sarri does well to pass to Pattinson, she passes back to Sarri who believes she should have a free kick after a foul but it is play on. United are playing from deep but work it to Garcia, her pass ends up at a Brighton foot.

29 min: Zelem, the corner maestro, takes it and Lee heads away. Batlle gets a shot but it is wide.

29 min: Zelem takes it short, Batlle gets it into the box but Sarri clears it. United have the momentum here and they can smell blood as Garcia gets it into the box. Galton gets a touch and Williams saves it once again, pushing it behind for another corner!

27 min: United are back to the halfway line now. I think this becomes a question of whether Brighton can keep their shape and press throughout the 90. This will be a real battle if they can. HUGE SAVE by Williams, Russo gets a shot while falling to the floor and Williams tips it over for a corner.

Manchester United's Ella Toone in action with Brighton’s Katie Robinson.
Manchester United’s Ella Toone in action with Brighton’s Katie Robinson. Photograph: John Clifton/Action Images/Reuters

26 min: Zelem takes the kick but it goes over Turner’s head. It comes back out for United to have another chance but they can’t get it into the box, they win a throw in. There are discussions about if the Garcia challenge from Pattinson should have been a penalty, I think it could have been given but the referee just went for a corner.

24 min: Turner does well again to clear a ball from Brighton in the box, the defender is strong so far in this semi-final. A fabulous ball from Toone almost unlocks Garcia’s attack but Brighton swarm the player. She does win a corner though.

22 min: Bance’s pass is intercepted and United work it into the box. Garcia’s shot is blocked, it comes back but the offside flag is up.

20 min: Possession is exchanging hands here, most of the football being played in the midfield. It’s a good battle from Brighton, they aren’t just playing defensively. They are going forward and seeing how they can test United. Ladd places a good ball for Batlle, she crosses in and Garcia can’t get a shot away. Brighton break for the counter but Batlle clears!

18 min: Brighton win it back and look to create another chance. They win a throw in, Brighton do need to convert these opportunities while they have them. Turner does well to clear the ball from the box and the hosts have possession.

16 min: Brighton give it to Ladd from the free kick, she passes to Garcia but the chance is closed down in the box. United are with the ball once more but they are taking time on their possession.

14 min: Zelem plays an awful ball and Robinson intercepts it! She passes into the box but Le Tissier sends it over the bar for a Brighton corner. It comes in and Earps punches away, Bance does well to keep it alive but United defend well. They look to counter now but they’ve slowed down the ball. Galton then concedes a free kick with a foul on Lee.

12 min: Another long ball comes from United but it has too much on it for Garcia, they must know Brighton are caught out at the back as they continue to play that pass. United work the ball well through the team to get it into the box once more, it comes to Toone but her shot sails over the bar. Best chance of the game so far.

10 min: United are forced back almost to Earps with Brighton’s press doing just enough to repel the hosts. It’s been a slow start to the game with good play from both starts but nothing to really test either keeper yet.

8 min: Le Tissier puts in another deadly long ball but Morse does well to cut it out. Brighton try it play it out but it’s out of play and United will have another platform to attack.

6 min: Brighton have a chance to attack now and then run it through the team. Robinson pops the ball into the box and if there was a Brighton player waiting in the wings there would have been an opener! Earps was focused on Robinson and no United defender was covering the left of goal. Brighton showing their threat.

4 min: Williams opts to play it out the back, it is almost closed down but Brighton deal with it. Lee eventually puts it out of play with United back in possession. A great ball up from Le Tissier sees United into the box but great defending sees Brighton close down Galton.

2 min: Garcia creating a chance in the midfield, passing to Toone but they are forced backwards from Brighton’s high press. An nice easing into this semi.

Kick-off! Manchester United 0-0 Brighton

Here we go then! Who will make it to Wembley? Just 90 minutes between one team and that famous arch.

Players will be out shortly! I’m hoping Brighton will be able to play a closer match than the 4-0 loss they suffered before the international break.

Brighton manager Melissa Phillips told the BBC: “I think it’s about bringing the group together and learning where we are at and where we need to go.”

And United boss Marc Skinner added: “Lucia Garcia [United’s only change in the starting line-up] has been excellent and has really deserved the start. She has been impacting brilliantly.”

Neither Manchester United or Brighton have reached a Women’s FA Cup final, history is on the line and we will have a battle on our hands today. But it is an uphill climb for Brighton, they have only won one game in 10 against United.

Our very own Will Unwin is at Leigh Sports Village for this semi-final and he’s sent this in from the stadium: “There is sunshine on Leigh. A crowd is growing inside the ground and there is, interestingly, some ‘Glazers out’ chants coming from the home fans. They are expecting an attendance in the region of 4,200 for this match. The rugby league lines have been painted over and there are flags flying around the ground. The home fans are expecting a nice easy route to the final but Brighton, under new manager Mel Phillips, will be sure to work them harder than in their encounter prior to the international break.”

Leigh Sports Village
Photograph: Will Matthews/PA

United are having their best season to date, they are competing in the FA Cup semis and are top of the WSL table. Brighton have been struggling in the league but are in the running for silverware in this competition. Whose run will continue?

The players are at Leigh Sports Village, raring to go for this semi-final! Can United live up to the favourites tag? Or can Brighton blow them away?

Brighton’s new manager Melissa Phillips added: “There’s no pressure at all, [it’s a] challenge against one of best teams in the league. The priority is the league, but it’s not just about staying up. It has been difficult on staff because of the transition over the last year. We want to come in and provide stability.”

Marc Skinner has said he enjoys being the team to beat in the semi-final, saying: “We should be [enjoying being the team to beat] and I think we are. We are showing that in our performances. The players agree that we absorb and enjoy the amount of pressure that comes with being a team like us and what we want to achieve. If we weren’t trying to be successful, there would be no pressure.”

In the last 10 years only Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal have won the Women’s FA Cup but this season the narrative could change with only Chelsea left in the competition. Suzy Wrack has written on the topic, have a read of it:

How do you see this one shaking out? United are the heavy favourites but Brighton could cause an upset. Get in touch with me via Twitter or email!

Team news is in!

Preamble

Hello and welcome to Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final against Brighton! If United win the game, they will be heading to Wembley for the first time since reforming in 2018 in the women’s club history.

Recent history between United and Brighton tells us that Marc Skinner’s side should blast their opposition away. On 1 April the two clubs played one another in the Women’s Super League with United coming away with a 4-0 win. But United won’t be under-estimating their opposition.

Brighton have had a tough season but their run in the FA Cup has been an impressive one and so they could cause an upset. They will have to beat United at home at Leigh Sports Village for a spot in the final, where they will face Chelsea or ASton Villa. The semi-final between the Blues and Villa will take place on Sunday.

The team news is in so stay tuned ahead of kick-off at 5.15pm BST.

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