Thursday, 17 May 2018
United head to Wembley with season-defining silverware at stake
The team capped off a much-improved domestic campaign last Sunday, with our 25th league win of the season against Watford thanks to Marcus Rashford's goal. Although United finished with 12 more points, 15 more goals and four places higher that last time in our best league finish since 2012-13, the prospect of silverware makes Saturday's heavyweight clash with the deposed champions a season defining one.
"This club is all about trophies, titles, it's about finals" said Ander Herrera, who scored the winner in the semi against Spurs to send his side to the showpiece.
"We have another chance in another final against a top team, a very good team." added the Basque, an unused substitute during United's last FA Cup final - that 2-1 win over Palace in 2016 which at the time was a record-equalling 12th success in the competition. Herrera is under no illusion at the size of the challenge that awaits the side at Wembley.
He added: "There is a fifty per cent possibility for us, we will respect Chelsea but we know they are a top team, top quality, and are used to winning as well. This makes the final even more difficult. But we are Manchester United, so they will respect us as well." Herrera was injured in our last meeting with Chelsea, and will tussle with young Scott McTominay for a starting place in the final with both having superbly shackled Eden Hazard in disciplined man-marking jobs on the Belgian in the last two meetings between the sides at OT.
McTominay said: "The FA Cup is the one cup competition in England that everyone wants to win, it's important that we do go and really take the game to them and come away with the trophy."
Like Herrera, Phil Jones was also on bench for that 2016 showpiece, so this tie offers the centre-back a first chance of playing in an FA Cup final, having impressed alongside Chris Smalling in the semi-final against Spurs.
He said: "It's a fantastic history that we've got, time does not stand still and we can't let opportunities like this FA Cup final coming up pass us by. This team and this squad is the one that has to keep producing trophies and maintaining the history of the club."
On Saturday, Mourinho's men have the chance to do just that, by winning a record-equalling 13th F Cup which would, once more, make United the competition's joint-most successful club, alongside the Gunners. More importantly, it would add another piece of silverware to Old Trafford's bulging trophy cabinet, and provide the thousands of travelling Reds with one of the days of their lives beneath the iconic steeple of the Wembley arch.
Come on United - it's time to deliver!