Manchester United vs Tottenham Live: Manchester United and Tottenham are set to face off Saturday in the semifinals of the FA Cup.
The Red Devils are coming off a 2–0 win over Bournemouth in Premier League play, and they beat Brighton to advance to the semifinals as they look to match Arsenal’s record of 13 FA Cup titles.
Tottenham, meanwhile, is coming off a tie with Brighton in the Premier League and sits fourth in the table, five points clear of Chelsea. Spurs beat Swansea City in the quarterfinals and boast the third-most FA Cup titles in England with eight.
Manchester United vs Tottenham
Manchester United vs Tottenham | FA Cup | Wembley Stadium | Saturday, April 21 | 5:15pm BST
Manchester United and Tottenham will battle it out at Wembley this evening to keep their last remaining hopes of silverware alive in a huge FA Cup semi-final.
With Manchester City having won both the Premier League and EFL Cup and Liverpool (Champions League) and Arsenal (Europa League) the last two English clubs left in continental competition, the FA Cup is the only trophy Spurs or United can lift this season.
Jose Mourinho is under pressure to win more silverware as United’s season burns out despite sitting second in the table, while Mauricio Pochettino will be out to prove that Spurs can handle the expectation and end their 10-year wait for a trophy.
Follow all the build-up with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog!
But 12 years later, it is Matic who has the smile on his face.
The man who will anchor United’s midfield in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham at Wembley was no overnight success. Far from it.
He was picking up £70 a month – an amount he now earns in the time it takes him to tie his boot laces – playing as an amateur for Kolubara in the third division in his native Serbia when an agent offered him the chance to move to another club.
“I was sitting at a table with him and he wanted to take me to another club in Serbia,” says Matic. “But I was not happy to go there so he asked me, ‘well, where do you want to go then?’
“I was playing in the Serbian third division – probably worse than League Two in England – and not even professional. I was 17 or 18 and earning £70 per month and I told him I wanted to go to Manchester United.
“He was like, ‘what are you talking about?!’
“I used to watch United on television back then, but I was actually joking – although it shows that everything is possible.”
It has been a circuitous route to the top though for late developer Matic, unlike his midfield partner Paul Pogba, who was one of the world’s most sought after 16-year-old players when United prised him out of Le Havre’s academy.
The late Saturday kick-off is one of the biggest remaining games of the English football calendar, as Manchester United and Tottenham compete for a place in the final, and with it their only chance of silverware this season.
Tottenham have already beaten Manchester United at Wembley this season, and some have suggested the experience of playing there will give the North London team a home advantage.
However, there are precedents for teams buckling under the pressure on such occasions – Sporting Lisbon lost the 2005 UEFA Cup final in their own ground, and Bayern Munich did the same in the 2012 Champions League final.
Both teams rotated in their midweek Premier League games and should be fresh for this encounter. Manchester United have no injury concerns while Danny Rose is sidelined for Tottenham with a calf injury.