Man Utd 0-0 Everton (aet)
Everton win 4-2 on penalties
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Wembley
Everton won a penalty shoot-out at Wembley to wreck Manchester United’s hopes of an historic haul of five trophies and seal an FA Cup final date with Chelsea.
The Toffees reached the showpiece for the first time in 14 years – but Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will be left fuming at referee Mike Riley.
Riley refused what appeared to be a clear-cut penalty when defender Phil Jagielka brought down Danny Welbeck in the second half, and United’s disappointment will be felt more acutely after they cracked under the pressure of the spot-kick shoot-out.
Tim Cahill missed Everton’s first penalty, but keeper Tim Howard saved United’s first two efforts from Dimitar Berbatov and Rio Ferdinand.
MUFC South London Reds
Leighton Baines, Phil Neville and James Vaughan were then on target for Everton, with Nemanja Vidic and Anderson responding for United.
And with Everton’s fans providing a deafening backdrop of expectation, Jagielka calmly slotted home the decisive penalty to send one half of Wembley wild.
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright looked close to tears in the Wembley directors’ box as boss David Moyes raced on to the turf to celebrate with his players.
For United and manager Ferguson, there was only disappointment and they must now turn their attentions back to the pursuit of the Premier League and Champions League.
As expected, Ferguson made wholesale changes to the side that secured a Champions League semi-final place with victory in Porto on Wednesday – with Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Edwin van der Sar not even on the bench.
But United’s revamped line-up acquitted itself well in a drab first 45 minutes that offered little in the way of quality or chances.
Marouane Fellaini sent Neville clear in a dangerous position inside the area after 10 minutes, but finishing has never been the Everton captain’s strong point and he blazed well off target.
Carlos Tevez then shot wide for United before goalkeeper Ben Foster nearly gifted Everton an opener in the 20th minute, stumbling over an attempted clearance and almost allowing former United striker Louis Saha in to score.
Everton had a narrow escape two minutes later when Rafael’s cross was touched on by Welbeck, before a deflection off defender Joleon Lescott diverted the ball on to an upright with Howard wrong-footed.
The Merseysiders almost had an opening goal to cheer minutes after the break, but Foster made a superb low save from Cahill’s 25-yard drive.
Ji-Sung Park responded with a shot just wide before United made the first change of the semi-final, replacing the limping Fabio with Patrice Evra.
Ferguson was furious with the decision not to award Man Utd a penalty
Darron Gibson then tested Howard from long-range as the game finally showed signs of life.
United were then denied what looked the clearest of penalties when a breakdown in communications between Howard and Jagielka forced the defender to haul down Welbeck.
Riley, whose appointment had been been questioned by Moyes, waved away United’s appeals as Ferguson was moved into a jig of fury in his technical area.
Welbeck had recovered from a nightmare first half, showing great character to emerge as a threat for United, curling a good effort just off target with seven minutes left.
United, who had already introduced Paul Scholes, brought on Berbatov for Federico Macheda at the end of 90 minutes, perhaps hoping a moment of quality from the Bulgarian would avoid the need for penalties.
Cahill, while not at his most prominent, was always a danger and he forced Foster into a save with his legs two minutes into extra-time.
And he was almost on the end of a miscued shot from substitute Vaughan – on for Fellaini – as Everton strived to break the deadlock.
But there was to be no breakthrough and the teams went into a penalty shoot-out, which would at least provide some drama on an afternoon that was hardly a glittering advert for the Premier League.
United keeper Foster was the hero in the Carling Cup win against Spurs, but there was to be no repeat as the Toffees kept their nerve to run out winners and book a return to Wembley to meet Chelsea on 30 May.
Man Utd: Foster, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Fabio Da Silva (Evra 63), Welbeck, Gibson, Anderson, Park (Scholes 67), Tevez, Macheda (Berbatov 91).
Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Neville, Nani, Evans.
Booked: Rafael Da Silva, Tevez, Scholes.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Neville, Fellaini (Vaughan 102), Pienaar, Cahill, Saha (Rodwell 70).
Subs Not Used: Nash, Yobo, Castillo, Jacobsen, Gosling.
Booked: Fellaini, Cahill.
Everton win 4-2 on penalties
Ref: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).
BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Man Utd’s Nemanja Vidic (7.35 on 120 minutes).
Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport’s Player Rater after the match has finished.