How to watch the semi-finals
The much touted yet rarely coveted FIFA Club World Cup has reached the semi-final stage this week, and many will be wondering how to watch it.
Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo take on Al-Hilal, while Champions League winners Real Madrid face Al Ahly.
The action is taking place across two venues in Morocco – Rabat and Tangier. Here is all you need to know about how to watch the Club World Cup semi-finals.
The format of the FIFA Club World Cup has changed over the years, and it is set for a major overhaul in the near future.
That means it can be tough to keep abreast of what to expect, so just what is this year’s format?
There is essentially a seeding system in operation, with different teams entering at different stages of the competition.
The first round was a faceoff between Auckland City and Al Ahly, with the winner advancing and the loser immediately exiting the tournament.
Al Ahly won that, and they were joined in round two by three more teams: Al-Hilal, Seattle Sounders and Wydad Casablanca. The latter of those three were the only club involved who were not regional champions. They got their place by virtue of being the host country.
Again Al Ahly won through, beating Seattle Sounders, while Al-Hilal defeated Wydad on penalties after a bad-tempered draw.
The semi-finals is where the big guns of Real Madrid and Flamengo have entered the competition, and here are the details of those games.
How to watch Flamengo vs Al-Hilal
How to watch Al Ahly vs real Madrid
How Fulham threw away Man Utd lead with three red cards in FA Cup quarter finals
Manchester United’s hunt for multiple trophies this season continued on Sunday as they eventually surged past Fulham with the help of a meltdown from the visitors.
Aleksandar Mitrovic’s finish had the Cottagers ahead at the start of the second half but Willian’s handball sparked a major loss of minerals from the visitors as they were reduced to nine players and saw their manager dismissed.
Here’s how the few minutes of chaos unfolded in the FA Cup quarter finals.
This is where it all started.
Substitute Antony was sent scampering down the right and squared for Jadon Sancho. The England international sold one Fulham defender with a dummy but saw his goal-bound shot deflected away from goal by Willian’s hand.
The Brazilian initially claimed he blocked the shot with his stomach but referee Chris Kavanagh consulted the pitchside monitor, reviewed the evidence and dismissed Willian, awarding a penalty in the process.
As Kavanagh approached the monitor, a member of Fulham’s coaching staff was dismissed for attempting to interfere in the decision.
Former Everton and Hull boss manager Marco Silva later said he was frustrated Fulham didn’t get more decisions from the referee. His fiery interaction with Kavanagh saw him sent off for some form of dissent.
Once the penalty was awarded, Mitrovic instantly headed for Kavanagh to share his views on the call. The Serbia striker pushed Kavanagh and tried to square up to the referee, resulting in a red card to leave Fulham with only nine players. Assistant manager Luis Boa Morte had to come onto the pitch in an attempt to calm Mitrovic down.
The Cottagers might have managed to stay in the contest with only one player dismissed, but Mitrovic’s exit left them with a serious outfield deficit and only moments after Bruno Fernandes equalised from the spot, Marcel Sabitzer popped up to flick in United’s second.
United’s victory sets up a semi final clash with Brighton. The two sides – who were meant to meet this weekend in league action – last played each other on the opening weekend of the Premier League.
The Seagulls inflicted defeat on United in Erik ten Hag’s first match as a Premier League manager. Things got worse a week later when they were embarrassed 4-0 by Brentford, but since then United have become a much more rounded side.
Ten Hag’s side won the Carabao Cup, have reached the Europa League quarter finals, are in the final four of the FA Cup and well set to qualify for the Champions League.
Fulham, on the other hand, will now be without Willian and Mitrovic, two of their most important players, due to their suspensions for straight red cards.
It’s also a blow to their European aspirations, which have suffered due to a run of three games without victory in the Premier League.
Man Utd 3-1 Fulham: Player ratings as Red Devils capitalise on Cottagers meltdown
Manchester United capitalised on an extraordinary Fulham meltdown to come from behind to win 3-1 on Sunday afternoon and book an FA Cup semi final date with Brighton.
Aleksandar Mitrovic bagged just after half time but Willian was sent off for blocking a goal-bound Jadon Sancho shot with his arm. Manager Marco Silva was dismissed and Mitrovic also saw red for pushing referee Chris Kavanagh, leaving the Cottagers with just nine players.
Bruno Fernandes converted from the penalty spot before Marcel Sabitzer flicked in the winner with a smart finish, his first for United. Fernandes lashed in a third late on to seal the Red Devils’ spot in the last four.
David de Gea had to be alert to tip an early Issa Diop header over the bar before United’s first solid sight of goal saw Wout Weghorst strike tamely at Bernd Leno.
Marcel Sabitzer and Marcus Rashford had shots on target during the first half, while England international Rashford also overran a Jadon Sancho which just needed the slightest of touches to put the hosts ahead.
Fulham enjoyed possession towards the end of the first half and saw Kenny Tete whip a long-range effort well wide of the first half before a good block from Tim Ream denied Sancho moments before half time.
Man Utd, without the suspended Casemiro in midfield and the injured Raphael Varane in defence, struggled for fluency throughout the opening 45 minutes, with the Cottagers pressing well to create small moments of opportunity.
USMNT international Antonee Robinson forced De Gea into another stop from close range at the start of the second half before Willian again tested the Spaniard with a curler.
United failed to heed the warnings and went behind in the 50th minute. Andreas Pereira’s corner was flicked on by Diop to Mitrovic, who escaped Luke Shaw’s attention to knock in the opener.
A more direct response from the hosts saw Rashford find Bruno Fernandes on the edge of the box, but the Portugal international’s strike from the edge of the box drifted wide.
United have played an incredible amount of games already this season, with Sunday’s clash being their 46th in all competitions. The Red Devils were certainly short of vibrancy and vigour against Fulham, huffing and puffing in the final third while struggling to create solid end product.
A wonderful clawing save from De Gea kept Fulham at bay and prevented Mitrovic nodding in his second which would have likely sealed the contest in the 66th minute.
Instead, the game turned towards United in ridiculous fashion barely moments later. Antony sprinted away on the counter to feed Jadon Sancho, who sold the last defender and shot towards an open goal.
Willian batted the ball away with his hand and after VAR consultation referee Kavanagh sent off the Brazilian and awarded a penalty. Aleksandar Mitrovic then barged the official to also be dismissed alongside manager Marco Silva, who lost his cool on the touchline.
Fernandes equalised from the spot and the second came just two minutes later. Sancho fed Shaw who picked out Sabitzer, who flicked in at the near post to put United ahead.
The indescretions of Willian and Mitrovic saw Fulham tire dramatically towards the end of the game, allowing Fernandes to grab a second with a fierce finish.
It means a semi final clash with Brighton at Wembley for Man Utd in April as they continue their hunt for trophies both domestically and in Europe.
GK: David de Gea – 6/10 – Couple of sharp saves before Mitrovic converted. Looked a little shaky with the ball at his feet.
RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 6/10 – Known deficiencies were exposed here as Fulham pressed high up the pitch.
CB: Harry Maguire – 6/10 – Booked for dragging back Mitrovic.
CB: Lisandro Martinez – 6/10 – Beaten by Diop for the first goal.
LB: Luke Shaw – 6/10 – Was marking Mitrovic for the opening goal but lost the Serbian. Good ball across goal picked out Sabitzer for the winner.
CM: Scott McTominay – 4/10 – Couldn’t match Palhinha’s industry before being hooked on the hour.
CM: Marcel Sabitzer – 7/10 – Stung Leno’s fingertips with a strike from distance. Great ingenuity to score his first United goal for the win.
RW: Jadon Sancho – 7/10 – Smart runs got in behind Fulham’s defence. Helped get Willian sent off and rolled in Shaw before Sabitzer struck.
AM: Bruno Fernandes – 7/10 – Rolled in the equaliser from the penalty spot and grabbed a second late on with a powerful finish.
LW: Marcus Rashford – 5/10 – Couldn’t get his quick dribbling feet going and didn’t have too many shooting chances.
ST: Wout Weghorst – 5/10 – Spent a lot of time appealing for fouls and not enough time kicking footballs properly.
Antony (58′ for McTominay) – 7/10 – Direct running made an instant impact, getting in behind and squaring for Sancho before the penalty was awarded.
Fred (83′ for Rashford) – N/A
Erik ten Hag – 5/10 – United looked tired and without creativity for much of the contest. The result means it doesn’t matter too much, but Ten Hag’s side did suffer a fair amount on Sunday.
GK: Bernd Leno – 6/10 – Made some important stops and looked firm before United turned the game around.
RB: Kenny Tete – 6/10 – Didn’t shy away from attacks and showed some good creativity at points.
CB: Issa Diop – 7/10 – Went close with an early header and got the flick to Mitrovic to help Fulham take the lead.
CB: Tim Ream – 6/10 – Showed some creative passing from the back.
LB: Antonee Robinson – 6/10 – Like Tete, not afraid to show some attacking intent out wide. Booked for bringing down Antony.
CM: Harrison Reed – 7/10 – Snapped into challenges alongside Palhinha.
CM: Joao Palhinha – 8/10 – Patrolled midfield well as Fulham frustrated United. Would have led them to a famous victory on another day.
RW: Bobby Decordova-Reid – 5/10 – Was dispossessed three times, a joint game high alongside Mitrovic.
AM: Andreas Pereira – 6/10 – Booked for bringing down Sancho on the counter. Good delivery from out wide led to Fulham’s opener.
LW: Willian – 3/10 – Solid work rate down the left. Linked attacks nicely and tested De Gea with an effort from distance. Ruined it all by batting away Sancho’s strike and getting sent off.
ST: Aleksandar Mitrovic – 3/10 – Evaded the attention of United’s defenders to put Fulham ahead. Lost his head by barging the referee, ruining an otherwise threatening performance.
Tom Cairney (89′ for Pereira) – N/A
Dan James (89′ for Reed) – N/A
Manor Solomon (89′ for Decordova-Reid) – N/A
Cedric Soares (89′ for Tete) – N/A
Marco Silva – N/A – When everyone around him were losing their heads, Silva also lost his. The game plan had been executed to perfection but his side’s meltdown was self-inflicted and totally avoidable.
Player of the match – Joao Palhinha (Fulham)
Player ratings as Red Devils advance to Women’s FA Cup semi-finals
Manchester United reached the semi-finals of the Women’s FA Cup for the first time after beating Lewes 3-1 at The Dripping Pan.
The WSL title hopefuls weren’t at their best on the south coast but managed to squeeze their way into the next round against the resilient Rooks of the Women’s Championship.
Lewes went ever so close to taking a shock lead with just six minutes on the clock. A low cross from Nat Johnson fell to Kirsty Barton in the six yard box, but Maria Thorisdottir managed to make a brilliant recovery challenge to deny what would have been a certain goal.
And the hosts were punished in the following moment as United took the lead. Ona Batlle put in a cross from deep as she made her way down the right, with Alessia Russo’s deft flick deflecting off of Rhian Cleverly and rolling past Sophie Whitehouse at the near post.
Despite that goal, United still looked void of confidence and creativity. Russo looked to double the lead with an audacious strike from distance, though this time Whitehouse was equal to her effort.
Marc Skinner brought on Ella Toone at half-time to bring fresh impetus into his side’s performance, and they immediately threatened to add to their lead after the restart. Batlle’s bouncing ball through the box was half-volleyed towards goal by Martha Thomas, with Whitehouse getting down low to deny her.
Toone was the next provider for Thomas – who was far more involved after switching to the left flank – but again Whitehouse was equal to her close-range effort.
Just after the hour mark, United were infuriated that they did not receive a penalty for a handball against Cleverly, who appeared to block the ball from heading towards goal with her arm.
The visitors doubled their advantage soon after, however. Another brilliant cross from Batlle was headed into the top corner by Vilde Boe Rise to silence the home crowd.
But those supporters were on their feet again when Emily Kraft pulled one back with under 20 minutes left to play. Mary Earps was caught in possession by Ellie Mason, and her strike partner found the top corner with an exquisite strike from the edge of the box.
United sought to restore their two-goal cushion with Russo releasing Batlle into the 18-yard box, but Whitehouse was quick off her line to block her shot.
Nikita Parris fired wide from point blank range on the counter in the last few minutes of regulation time, before taking matters into her own hands and dribbling all the way inside from the left flank and firing under Whitehouse to secure United’s passage to the semi-finals.
GK: Sophie Whitehouse (6); CB: Grace Palmer (6), CB: Charlotte Wardlaw (5), CB: Rhian Cleverly (4); RM: Rebecca McKenna (6), CM: Amber-Keegan Stobbs (6), CM: Amelia Hazard (6), CM: Kirsty Barton (5), LM: Nat Johnson (6); CF: Emily Kraft (7), CF: Ellie Mason (6)
SUBS: Paula Howells (N/A), Kenzie Weir (N/A), Aqsa Mushtaq (N/A)
GK: Mary Earps – 4/10 – Had very little to do, but was at fault for Lewes’ goal.
RB: Ona Batlle – 8/10 – Continually galloped down the right wing to Lewes’ detriment.
CB: Maya Le Tissier – 6/10 – Barely tested for much of the day.
CB: Millie Turner – 6/10 – Ditto. Le Tissier and Turner were both assured of themselves, despite conceding.
LB: Maria Thorisdottir – 7/10 – Provided great width in a similar manner to Batlle.
CM: Vilde Boe Risa – 7/10 – Initially found it hard to stand out in a gritty midfield battle, before ghosting forward and putting United two up.
CM: Katie Zelem – 6/10 – Rather wasteful with her passing but brought great energy.
RM: Martha Thomas – 7/10 – Far more threatening after being switched to the left wing.
AM: Lisa Naalsund – 5/10 – Hauled off midway through the first half of her debut with a hamstring injury.
LM: Lucia Garcia – 5/10 – Found it hard to get the better of McKenna. Hooked at the break.
CF: Alessia Russo – 8/10 – Put herself about and led the line with great energy, despite United’s struggles to progress the ball into dangerous areas at times.
Hayley Ladd (27′ for Naalsund) – 6/10 – Brought great bite and endeavour following her introduction.
Ella Toone (46′ for Garcia) – 7/10
Aoife Mannion (64′ for Thorisdottir) – 6/10
Nikita Parris (64′ for Thomas) – 7/10
Rachel Williams (86′ for Russo) – N/A
Marc Skinner – 6/10 – United were hardly inspiring but they got the job done.
Player of the match – Ona Batlle (Manchester United)
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