Anthony Martial’s injury-time winner sent Manchester United into a record-equalling 19th FA Cup final with victory over Everton at Wembley.
Martial ensured Louis van Gaal’s side will face either Crystal Palace or Watford with a composed finish in the dying seconds of an enthralling semi-final.
Marouane Fellaini gave United a deserved first-half lead from close range – but they were then indebted to goalkeeper David de Gea as he brilliantly saved Romelu Lukaku’s 57th-minute penalty.
Everton rallied after a passive first 45 minutes that saw them jeered off at half-time and they drew level with 15 minutes left when Chris Smalling deflected Gerard Deulofeu’s cross into his own net.
As the game looked destined for extra-time, Ander Herrera’s poked pass sent Martial clear and the striker showed great composure to drill a low finish past Everton keeper Joel Robles.
Rooney excels in quarterback role
With England manager Roy Hodgson looking on, his international captain Wayne Rooney showed his class – and perhaps the future – in a deep-lying role behind United’s attack.
In the opening half especially, afforded time and space by a timid Everton, Rooney not only showed his full range of passes to create chances and dictate the game, he even showed the energy to get back and clear Lukaku’s early goalbound effort off the line.
Rooney’s place in England’s attack has come under increasing scrutiny with the emergence of Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy as potential rivals, but this was the sort of performance that might just give Hodgson food for thought as he makes his plans for Euro 2016.
Lukaku’s Wembley nightmare
Romelu Lukaku was responsible for bringing Everton to this semi-final with two goals and a powerhouse performance against Chelsea in the quarter-final – but he had a game to forget here.
He had two good chances in the first half but twice his touch was heavy and let him down, then when his big chance came from the penalty spot he was thwarted by an admittedly brilliant save from De Gea.
Lukaku simply could not find the magic touch and his face was a mask of bitter disappointment at the final whistle.
He has made regular noises about possibly leaving Everton in the summer – he will not do so with a trophy to his name after a performance that came up short.