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[Albion] Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester United *** Official Match Thread ***

Dick Head

Jan 3, 2010

Albion v Manchester United


Wembley Stadium
Date: Sunday 23rd April 2023
Kick-off: 16:30 BST
Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistants: Ian Hussin, Marc Perry
Fourth Official: Robert Jones
Reserve Assistant Referee: Steven Meredith
VAR: Michael Oliver
Additional VAR: Matthew Wilkes

Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi says appearing in the FA Cup semi-final is an "honour" and that his side will play with "emotion" against Manchester United at Wembley.

The Seagulls are one win from reaching the final for the first time since 1983 when they lost to United in a replay.

"We are excited. We want to play with our DNA," added Italian De Zerbi.

"Since working in the UK, you understand the importance of the FA Cup. It's special."

United have fond memories of Wembley this season, having beaten Newcastle there to win the Carabao Cup in February.

But they return to the national stadium after a poor defeat against Sevilla in Spain sent them crashing out of the Europa League.

"A good thing is that Sunday is a huge opportunity - the semi-final of the FA Cup - a better event you can't imagine," said United boss Erik ten Hag.

'We have to love the pressure'

Brighton are enjoying an outstanding season. In addition to their FA Cup run, they sit seventh in the Premier League and are pushing for a place in Europe.

They also defeated United in their only meeting so far this season, a 2-1 win at Old Trafford back in August.

De Zerbi said his players had to learn to deal with the pressure of playing in high-stakes matches as Brighton look to end the season in style.

"We have to love the pressure," he added.

"We have to get used to it. Playing these types of games is an honour and I have no doubts about my team.

"Manchester United are one of the best teams in the UK. If you want to improve and become better, you have to play this type of game.

"We are speaking about Europe, so we need to compete to become bigger."

'This group can do better' - Ten Hag

Manchester United have bounced back from recent setbacks and they will need to do so again if they are to finish the season with two domestic trophies and a top-four finish.

After losing 7-0 at Liverpool on 5 March, the Red Devils defeated Real Betis 4-1 in the Europa League and, more recently, they beat Brentford 1-0 after losing at Newcastle in the previous match.

Asked whether some of his players were playing for their future, following the Sevilla defeat and amid rumours of changes to the squad in the summer, Ten Hag said: "I think we always playing for our future as professional players.

"Every game is a test, every season is a test, you have to earn the right to wear the shirt. It's for me as a manager. We are in the same boat.

"We know what to do and we need a huge step forward, higher standards, a better performance to beat Brighton, because that's a tough team.

"We are here to prepare for Brighton and get the best out of this group of players. That's where my energy and focus is.

"We know it's going to be a completely different opponent, a completely different style.

"I know this group of players can do better, they've proved it so many times this season. We've made huge progress during the season but we have steps to go. We have a lot of games to play and occasions to prove it."


De Zerbi said no-one had been completely ruled out for Sunday when asked on Friday.

Defender Joel Veltman and forward Evan Ferguson have been struggling with injuries.

"The situation with their injuries is not clear yet," added De Zerbi. "We have another two days and we have time to understand and analyse the decision."

Marcus Rashford could start for Manchester United after returning from injury as a substitute against Sevilla.

Bruno Fernandes is available after serving a suspension in the last match.

Roberto De Zerbi's Manchester United Press Conference

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The Mole

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2004
Bowdon actually , Cheshire
Good morning- unfortunately I won’t be there but it is is on tv here. I’m very excited about the match. The downside is the the Maldives is Muslim and has a strict no alcohol policy outside the resorts so I shall not be able to celebrate with a beer.
Anyone else watching from outside the UK?


Intending to survive this time of asset strippers
Oct 12, 2022
Wishing the lads all the best for today. I’ll be watching on the telly and unlike @The Mole will be raising a glass as I’m currently in Wales, where beer is considered mandatory.

I’m imagining that for each goal Albion score, coconut shells full of pineapple juice and coconut milk (with cocktail umbrellas and straws) go flying in the Maldives. Let’s hope that happens a lot today.


Well-known member
Sep 22, 2007
I think we’re gonna do it. United will come out like a rocket after Seville but we are so good right now and our support on these big occasions is like a 12th man.

4-1 Albion.
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Well-known member
Apr 26, 2017
Another article to warm our cockles...has a few insights I hadn't read before.
Have a great day at Wembley, everyone who's going 👍🤞👍🤞. I shall be watching on the BBC with my son - so excited 😄

The Optimist

Well-known member
Apr 6, 2008
Another article to warm our cockles...has a few insights I hadn't read before.
Have a great day at Wembley, everyone who's going 👍🤞👍🤞. I shall be watching on the BBC with my son - so excited 😄
Not sure why, but I was able to read that. The bit about goalkeepers was new for me. Thanks for sharing

Guinness Boy

Tofu eating wokerati
Helpful Moderator
Jul 23, 2003
Up and Coming Sunny Portslade
Anyone else feel like a kid on Christmas eve last night? And awake early this morning with excitement!
I’m at the anxiety stage right now. Convinced the trains won’t be working, or if they are we won’t find a pub we can get in, or if we do then our tickets won’t work, or if they do that we’ll lose on penalties and not be able to get home.

Fortunately this never lasts. When my mate turns up to take us to Brighton Station the day will have started properly and I’ll be fully into it and making the most of another big Brighton day out

Hugo Rune

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2012
Genuinely struggled to sleep last night.

Don’t remember feeling anything like this in 2019 - we feel like a different football club to then.

It was so different wasn’t it.

For me, that was all about experiencing Wembley and having a day out in the capital. My expectations for a result were almost non-existent. I had a wonderful day as a result. We weren’t thrashed, and gave a reasonable account of ourselves without ever really looking like scoring.

This game is totally different. We are very likely to see an Albion goal (having drawn a blank at Wembley the last two times), but more importantly, we are likely to see a great performance. If we play like we’ve done for our last two visits to the capital, Man Utd are going to have a tough time.

We’ll get nothing from VAR & the ref so this game can’t be close because a dodgy penalty/offside will decide it against us. We need to go into the game without fear wanting so score 3, 4 or more.

Can’t wait!
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Perfidious Albion

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2011
At the end of my tether
I fluctuate between tension and a meh… feeling. I can’t help feeling that Man C would beat us in a final . We are beyond being delighted just to be in a final, if we are there we want to win it . If only it were any other team but City!
Then again, when I will see the crowd and players coming out , I will be proud of my club and shouting at the tv . “ Up the Albion ! “

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