Luke Shaw praises ‘amazing confidence’ of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho for scoring in FA Cup shootout for Man Utd & exorcising ghosts of Euro 2020 final

Manchester United FA Cup Brighton 2023
Luke Shaw hailed Manchester United team-mates Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho for converting their penalties after two painful misses against Italy.

WHAT HAPPENED? All eyes were on Rashford and Sancho during Sunday's penalty shootout in the FA Cup semi-final against Brighton, the duo's first shootout at Wembley since the Euro 2020 final, when they both squandered their spot-kicks in England's agonising defeat to Italy. But both forwards converted their kicks in United's eventual 7-6 win after a 0-0 draw following extra-time.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "I was next to Jadon. I said, 'whatever happens happens, just be confident. It's part of football, things happen, these things happen'", Shaw told reporters after United's nerve-shredding penalty win at Wembley. "And I think maybe what was playing on [Sancho and Rashford's] minds are the things that come with it - the racism and stuff that they experienced last time. But, of course, for me, they showed amazing confidence to step up and because the last time they took one in a shootout it was, of course, here and the memories of that. But I'm really happy for both of them to put themselves forward and take really good penalties."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Rashford, Sancho and Bukayo Saka all received sickening racist abuse on social media after their penalty misses for England but also got outpourings of support from fans. Before Sunday, United had lost seven of their previous eight shootouts, including the 2021 Europa League final to Villarreal.

"I haven't spoken to him [Sancho] but I'm sure there'll be maybe a bit of relief and I think very happy that they managed to take one and score," Shaw added. "I've been involved in two penalty shootouts and I've been on the losing side both times (with United and England in the 2021 Europa League and Euros finals), so to win one today was a big relief for me."

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WHAT NEXT? United visit fifth-placed Tottenham in the Premier League on Thursday looking to cement their place in the top four.