It was the turn of Manchester Unitedâ€™s younger lads to prove their worth on Sunday afternoon after Ferguson opted to rest most of his big guns. Players such as Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and even Cristiano Ronaldo were out of the squad that had to face David Moyesâ€™ hungry Toffees.
Quite a questionable decision there from the 67-year-old Scot, but this is all what the thousands of supporters that had empty their wallet to witness Unitedâ€™s glory could see: young players surrounded by some big names like Ferdinand and Vidic with the task of keeping the hopes of an unprecedented quintuple alive by ousting Everton to reach the FA Cup final.
The story could have been different if Mike Riley had awarded Manchester United a penalty when Danny Welbeck was fouled inside the box. But the referee wrongly decided that the play should go on, allowing the game to go all the wire to extra time and penalties.
Unfortunately though for the Red Devils, this game of lottery did not favor them this time round. Manchester United had the better of luck against Chelsea in the Champions League final, against Portsmouth in the Community Shield and, against Tottenham in the Carling Cup final at Wembley, but not this time.
Everton’s Tim Cahill missed the first kick of the penalty shootout as he sent the ball over the cross bar, however this didnâ€™t prove as costly to Everton as it could have been.
Berbatov’s low drive was easily saved by Tim Howard, meaning that the Bulgarian had wasted Manchester Unitedâ€™s first penalty kick. Ferdinand suffered the same fate and though Vidic and Anderson converted their penalties, it was the Merseyside Blues that celebrated at the end of it all with Jagielka scoring the winner.
So Manchester United are out of the FA Cup again but the challenge for the Premiership and Champions League titles are still aliveâ€¦
Written by: Angela Asante