Gary Neville delivers 'absolute battering' verdict as Coventry City scare Manchester United

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium on May 22, 2022
Gary Neville was not impressed with Man Utd -Credit:Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Gary Neville says Manchester United have saved themselves weeks of criticism by edging past Coventry City in an FA Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out.

The Red Devils seemed to be coasting to victory and a final against local rivals City when they were 3-0 up with 19 minutes to go. However, Erik ten Hag’s men completely folded and were not only taken to extra time after conceding goals to Ellis Simms, Callum O’Hare and a disputed Haji Wright penalty – but they nearly lost 4-3.

That was when Victor Torp fired past Andre Onana with the last kick of the game only for the ‘goal’ to be ruled out for offside. Eventually Neville’s United won through 4-2 on spot-kicks – but the criticism of their performance rained down.

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The pundit thinks that criticism will abate fairly quickly, with the FA Cup final set for Saturday May 25.

"It must be really, really bad for United to be 3-0 up and in a position where they could go out of the competition and get through on penalties. All I feel now, my gut feeling and instinct now, is to say those players and managers have saved themselves one of the most horrific four weeks to the end of the season by getting through.

"I know there will be a lot of fallout tomorrow and the day after, but the Merseyside derby kicks off on Wednesday night and it will be forgotten about. You will then get the FA Cup final in a few weeks and United do have a chance to win trophy.

"Tonight it will feel horrific, but if they'd have gone out today it would have been a shocking last three or four weeks to the end of the season. Whether that changes the outcome of what happens to Erik ten Hag and the players is one thing, but what they have saved themselves is an absolute battering. They may get it for two or three days, but not four weeks."

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