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Man United book FA Cup final spot

Associated Press Associated Press 23/04/2016 By Rob Harris

Anthony Martial darted through the Everton defence, slotted in 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 their first FA Cup final in nine years with a 2-1 victory over Everton.

Martial created Marouane Fellaini's first-half opener but that was cancelled out by Chris Smalling's own goal and the semi-final was heading to extra time.

Martial's match-winning moment demonstrated why United was willing to commit up to 80 million euros ($A117 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.

The Dutchman could deliver on May 21 the club's first major trophy since Alex Ferguson retired.

United faces either Crystal Palace or Watford, who meet on Sunday (Monday AEST).

Ferguson's last act as United manager after 26 years was to deliver a 20th English title but the team has not come close to No.21 since then - first under David Moyes and for the last two years with van Gaal at the helm.

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

Ultimately, snatching fourth place is more significant for United's prestige than winning a domestic cup, whose status has diminished with many teams sending out weakened lineups in earlier rounds.

"It's not for me to judge, it's for the board of Manchester United," van Gaal said.

And United has not challenged the accuracy of months of reports that van Gaal is heading for the Old Trafford exit before entering the final season of his contract, with former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho being lined up as a replacement.

"I am not looking beyond this competition, the FA Cup, because we live in the present," Van Gaal said.

"And for the future I will discuss that with my board and not with you."

Everton counterpart Roberto Martinez could also be having conversations with the Merseyside club's board about his future with the Toffees sitting in 11th on the EPL ladder.

"I share the drive the club has, which is getting into the Champions League and situations where we can win silverware," said Martinez, who succeeded United-bound Moyes in 2013.

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