Monday, November 20, 2017
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Soccer

MAN UNITED HEADS TO FA CUP FINAL

LONDON — Anthony Martial darted through the Everton defense, scored Manchester United's winner and continued his run past the Wembley Stadium stewards before launching himself into the crowd.

It was a flash of pure elation after being so cool under pressure to score in the third minute of stoppage time and send United into its first FA Cup final in nine years with a 2-1 victory over Everton on Saturday.

Martial's winning moment demonstrated why United — owned by the Glazer family, which owns the Bucs — was willing to commit up to $90 million last year on acquiring a largely unproven teenager who is now 20 and a France international forward.

"When you see the joy in the eyes of the players, that is fantastic to see," United manager Louis van Gaal said.

Winning soccer's oldest knockout competition could yet provide Van Gaal with a glorious end to another underwhelming season. He could deliver on May 21 the club's first major trophy since Alex Ferguson retired as manager. United faces either Crystal Palace or Watford, which meet today.

United is struggling to finish in the top four of the Premier League and secure lucrative Champions League qualification, with Arsenal four points ahead in fourth place.

More England: Host Manchester City easily defeated Stoke 4-0 in the Premier League to move five points clear of rival Manchester United in the fight for a Champions League spot. City moved to third in the league and was one point ahead of fourth-place Arsenal, which visits Sunderland today.

Spain: Luis Suarez continued his goal splurge by scoring four times to help Barcelona stay atop the league, and Real Madrid needed a stellar performance from Gareth Bale to remain in the title hunt. Suarez scored his eighth goal in four days to fuel a 6-0 rout of Sporting Gijon, following a four-goal outing in an 8-0 destruction of Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday. Bale's two goals were critical to lead a 3-2 fightback at Rayo Vallecano in a match that Madrid entered without injured Cristiano Ronaldo and finished without Karim Benzema due to a leg injury. Barcelona stayed tied in points with Atletico Madrid, which ground out a 1-0 over win Malaga following the sending off of coach Diego Simeone at halftime. Madrid remained a point behind in third place with three rounds left.

Germany: Host Bayern Munich ground past Hertha Berlin 2-0 and Borussia Dortmund kept the Bundesliga title race alive for at least one more week with a 3-0 victory at Stuttgart. Bayern would have won the title with a win and Dortmund loss.

ET CETERA

tennis: Rafael Nadal plays Kei Nishikori in the Barcelona Open today final after both past champions won their semifinals in straight sets on the claycourt in Spain. Nadal, the top seed, beat 10th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3 to return to his first Barcelona final since 2013, when he won the tournament a record eighth time. Nishikori, the second seed and two-time defending champion, beat sixth seed Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-2.

Times wires

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