Jiminez and Jota score late to send United crashing out of the FA Cup

GOOD TIMES, bad times, you know Wolves have had their share.

But goals from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota in the last 20 minutes confirmed what the home fans had been singing all afternoon.

“We’re Wolverhampton, we’re on our way back,” they roared, and they are.

Back in an FA Cup semi-final for the first time in 21 years and back where a club of such pedigree deserves to be.

In doing so, they condemned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to his second defeat in a row as United boss and surely ended their hopes of silverware.

The omens before kick off had seemed to favour United.

The rain was coming down in sheets like a real-life “Waterfall”, the Stone Roses song which provides the melody for the “Ole’s at the wheel” chant.

But one of the feelgood hits of the season comes with a warning for former playing hero Solskjaer.

As anyone with any musical taste knows, “Waterfall” is track three on the Roses’ eponymously-titled debut album, one of the greatest records of all time.

Making the follow-up proved tricky, though, and it was only after years of court cases and studio time that the Manchester band came up with the modestly-titled “The Second Coming”.

It’s enjoyed a bit of a critical re-evaluation, but no-one with ears thinks it’s better than the first album.

Solskjaer was always taking a chance with his own second coming at Old Trafford.

And despite his amazing start as United boss, it will be hard to do anything to match the drama and significance of the stoppage-time goal which won the Champions League.

United may never again be able to party like it’s 1999.

But under Solskjaer they remain on course to clinch two of the three legs of that historic and unique Treble.

That first Stone Roses album also features the track “Bye Bye Badman”, which sums up the relief of many United fans when Jose Mourinho was sacked.

Solskjaer made another little statement about the break from the Mourinho era even before kick-off.

Paul Pogba wore the skipper’s armband for the first time since being stripped of the vice-captaincy by the Portuguese way back in September.

In January, Solskjaer had insisted that Pogba was captain material and he proved as good as his word.

Jesse Lingard was back for the first time since coming on and going off against Liverpool last month, and took up the central role vacated by the injured Romelu Lukaku.

Lingard was busy from the start but for all his clever movement, the visitors were not able to turn their early domination of territory and possession – 84 per cent in the opening 10 minutes – into chances.

Pogba dragged a shot wide and their only effort on target was a very optimistic 30-yarder by Marcus Rashford that John Ruddy dealt with comfortably.

Still, that was more than Wolves had managed at the other end.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s usual back three looked suspiciously like a back five as wide boys Jonny Otto and Matt Doherty found themselves on the back foot.

They had work to do in their own penalty area, too, Leander Dendoncker making a crucial challenge on Anthony Martial after Lingard had fizzed in a low cross.

Romero saved tame efforts by Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota before two quickfire moments of controversy.

Wolves were howling for a penalty when Chris Smalling hauled down Willy Boly, then United claimed one for Otto blocking a Diogo Dalot shot with his arm.

United were given a spotkick by VAR in similar circumstances in Paris, but there was no such luck/justice this time.

Willy Boly and then Neves were booked for bringing down Pogba in full flight, and it felt symbolic of the way the visitors had lost momentum.

Especially because, in between the two yellow cards, Wolves had the best chance of the half.

Neves found Jota with a lovely through ball but Romero reacted quickly, rushing out to pull off a good save as Jota tried to bend the ball into the far corner.

United came out of the blocks the faster in the second period, Rashford running clear but firing wide in the opening minute.

Raul Jimenez then mishit the ball under pressure from Luke Shaw but soon forced Romero into an excellent save with a header from a Joao Moutinho corner that the United ‘keeper diverted on to the crossbar.

The home fans pumped up the volume as their team tried to turn up the heat on United, and Moutinho brought another stop out of Romero.

The visitors looked there for the taking and, finally, Jimenez took them.

The chance seemed to have gone when Moutinho weaved his way through the United penalty area but chose to square to the Mexican rather than shoot.

But Jimenez just about kept the ball alive and then spun to fire the ball through the crowd and past Romero.

It was tough on the goalkeeper, but not on United.

And Jota made the scoreline reflect the second half when he ran on to a Neves flick, left Shaw on the ground and beat Romero at his near post.

Man City had gone through thanks to the absence of VAR earlier, but its intervention was of little consolation.

Martin Atkinson reduced his red card for Victor Lindelof’s foul on Jota to a yellow after a review.

But there was no saving United from defeat.

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