Mar 17, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Old Trafford
Attendance: 74,241
Man UtdManchester United
2-0
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion
Lukaku (37'), Matic (84')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Result: Lethargic Manchester United overcome Brighton & Hove Albion for place in semis

Nemanja Maric sets up one and scores the other as Manchester United overcome Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 for a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Manchester United are through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup thanks to a 2-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford this evening.

Five days on from being knocked out of the Champions League by Sevilla, the Red Devils were once again far from their best in an attacking sense but still got the job done on this occasion.

Nemanja Matic played a part in both United goals, setting up Romelu Lukaku for the first and netting the second himself in the final 10 minutes to kill off a cup tie that failed to truly get going.

Romelu Lukaku scores the opener during the FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion on March 17, 2018© Offside

Jose Mourinho made a big selection call by leaving out Alexis Sanchez in one of five changes from the loss to Sevilla, but the fresh legs did not appear to bring fresh impetus in a bland opening quarter to the match.

The game did spark into life with half an hour played, however, as recalled duo Anthony Martial and Juan Mata exchanged a number of passes inside the box before the latter sent a deflected shot wide.

From the resulting corner, the ball fell to the feet of Chris Smalling but he could only send it back off the outside of the upright after finally adjusting his feet.

Jose Mourinho watches on during the FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion on March 17, 2018© Offside

Brighton enjoyed the odd spell of prolonged possession as they went in search of just a second win in 18 attempts against tonight's opponents, coming close to making a breakthrough when Lewis Dunk powered a header on target for Sergio Romero to push aside.

Lukaku gave the home side a lead to protect with eight minutes of the first half to play, though, by making the most of a fine first-time delivery from Matic at the back post to head the ball past Tim Krul.

United's record of having yet to concede in this season's FA Cup came under serious threat in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, as Pascal Gross's outside-of-the-boot attempt deflected inches wide and Romero was forced to make a few stops.

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic scores his side's second goal during their FA Cup quarter-final victory over Brighton & Hove Albion© Offside

The lively Jurgen Locadia had two 20-yard-plus shots saved by back-up keeper Romero, while Shane Duffy's weak effort was also routinely dealt with.

Chances continued to fall Brighton's way, most notably for Locadia who headed wide at the back post when picked out in a promising position.

Having failed to get a single shot away of any note between half time and the 83rd minute, United finally killed the game off when Matic watched Ashley Young's free kick all the way and guided it past Krul via his head.

Romero was being tested until the end, keeping out another couple of Gross shots, though in the end it was United celebrating a win that keeps them on course for a 13th triumph in this competition.

MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1): Romero; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Shaw (Young 46'); Matic, McTominay; Mata (Rashford 75'), Lingard (Fellaini 89'), Martial; Lukaku

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION (4-3-3): Krul; Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Suttner; Gross, Propper, Kayal; March (Izquierdo 68'), Ulloa (Murray 76'), Locadia

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Anthony Martial collides with Shane Duffy during the Premier League game between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion on November 25, 2017
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City3832421062779100
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd38256768284081
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs38238774363877
4Liverpool382112584384675
5Chelsea382171062382470
6Arsenal381961374512363
7Burnley381412123639-354
8Everton381310154458-1449
9Leicester CityLeicester381211155660-447
10Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38128183947-844
11Crystal Palace381111164555-1044
12Bournemouth381111164561-1644
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham381012164868-2042
14Watford38118194464-2041
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38913163454-2040
16Huddersfield TownHuddersfield38910192858-3037
17Southampton38715163756-1936
RSwansea CitySwansea3889212856-2833
RStoke CityStoke38712193568-3333
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38613193156-2531

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