Skip to content

Man Utd 3-3 Coventry: Manchester United made to look like a Championship team, says Roy Keane

Man Utd surrendered three-goal lead as Coventry forced extra-time and needed VAR to rule out 121st-minute winner for the Sky Blues at Wembley before securing an FA Cup final showdown against Man City with a 4-2 penalty shootout win

Manchester United's head coach Erik ten Hag follows the game during the English FA Cup semifinal soccer match between Coventry City and Manchester United at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, April 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Roy Keane said Manchester United "looked like a Championship side" as Erik Ten Hag's beleaguered outfit limped into the FA Cup final by beating second-tier Coventry on penalties.

United led the semi-final 3-0 but Mark Robins' Coventry went close to completing an epic comeback at Wembley in extra-time when they hit the crossbar before having a goal disallowed by an ultra-tight VAR call in the 121st minute.

"I don't like what I see from this United team," Sky Sports pundit Keane told ITV. "They are hard to like. They play in moments. We go on about leadership and character, but I don't see any of this from this United group.

"My goodness, they rode their luck at the end. The substitutions, the goal gave Coventry belief and all of a sudden they looked like a Premier League team in extra-time and United looked like a Championship team."

Robins has a special place in United's legend after scoring an FA Cup goal widely credited as saving Sir Alex Ferguson's job early in the Scot's tenure at Old Trafford.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sky Sports' James Savundra and Peter Smith reflect on Manchester United's dramatic FA Cup semi-final win over Coventry City at Wembley.

Turning the comparison on its head, Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher believes Coventry's fightback will cost Ten Hag his job despite United's shoot-out win.

"Mark Robins famously kept a Manchester United manager's job," Carragher said. "I think that result today has just cost a Manchester United manager his job.

Also See:

"I don't see how Erik ten Hag stays. It's just performance after performance. I would imagine that is probably the most-embarrassed dressing room of a team that has just won a big game. The players won't know whether to celebrate, they are probably all sat there looking at each other.

"What is it about Ten Hag that makes you think he's going to take Manchester United forward next season? I just don't see it."

Keane: I almost dislike Man Utd

Former United captain Keane admitted he was bordering on disliking the team he guided to seven Premier League titles after their latest shambolic performance.

Antony, FA Cup
Image: Man Utd forward Antony celebrates in front of the Coventry players after his side's dramatic penalty shootout win
Antony, Man Utd
Antony, Man Utd
Antony, Man Utd

"[Harry] Maguire got interviewed after the game and said, 'we showed great character'. I don't see character in this group of players, I really don't," he added. "I'm getting to the stage where I'm almost disliking them.

"The qualities they have are clear but when they have a team where they want them and the game won, they just take the foot off the gas. It's as if they are frightened to go and win the game. I'm waiting for leadership. Show some courage."

United will play neighbours Manchester City in the final on May 25, a repeat of last year's final, which United lost 2-1.

Haji Wright (centre left) celebrates after bringing Coventry City level at 3-3 from the penalty spot
Image: Haji Wright (centre left) celebrates after bringing Coventry City level at 3-3 from the penalty spot

Ten Hag's team had appeared to be cruising when goals by Scott McTominay, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes seemingly put them in charge.

But Coventry's comeback, even if it was to ultimately come up short, will once again ask urgent questions of Ten Hag and his players.

Neville predicts 'turbulence' ahead

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville dissect Manchester United's narrow FA Cup semi-final win over Coventry and what the performance at Wembley could mean for Erik ten Hag and his future at Old Trafford.

Sky Sports' Gary Neville:

"The most important thing at the start of the day was that Manchester United joined Manchester City in that second Manchester derby on the bounce at Wembley in a few weeks. It's unbelievable really - this team never cease to amaze you with the things they're not capable of.

"I'm confused, not knowing what stage of the journey we're on and what the idea is in terms of style of play. We still don't know where we're going and we've had this before in the last 10, 12 years. If you think what INEOS have done since they came in, they've essentially wiped out the whole top of the club. If they thought anything there was worth keeping, they would have kept it.

"They'll make the decision on the manager and the players at the end of the season - they were never going to sack Ten Hag in the middle of the season. But they've made huge structural changes and that's the most potent thing, a sign that they weren't happy with what they were seeing at the top of the club. I don't think that will stop. There's going to be some upheaval and turbulence for some time to come."

Ten Hag: We're not embarrassed to win like that - it's a big achievement to reach another final

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says he is not embarrassed in the manner that they reached the FA Cup final and slammed the decision to award a penalty against his side in normal time.

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag:

"Two times in [the final in] two years, that's a good performance, with all the setbacks we've had this season. Mixed feelings is clear. But it's a huge achievement to be twice in a FA Cup final in two years.

"But of course when you're so in control and 3-0 up we should bring it over the fence. The way we did it was not good.

"But in the penalty stage how we act there, how determined we were showed good character. But from the 70th minute until the end we made mistakes and it shouldn't happen.

"We can play on very high levels but also in the same match we can go to very low levels. That's not explainable. It has to do with managing the game, taking responsibility, keeping organised and making the right decisions.

What were the Man Utd hierarchy thinking at Wembley?

Avram Glazer and Sir Jim Ratcliffe pictured during the FA Cup semi final at Wembley Stadium
Image: Avram Glazer and Sir Jim Ratcliffe pictured during the FA Cup semi final at Wembley Stadium

"I have to teach my players. But the most difficult thing is to put ourselves in a winning position. The second thing is easier. Today we got away with that.

"It's not an embarrassment, it's a huge achievement."

Win £250,000 with Super 6!
Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Correctly predict six scorelines for a chance to win £250,000 for free. Entries by 3pm Saturday.

Around Sky