KEIR RADNEDGE at WEMBLEY: Manchester United can win the FA Cup for a record-equalling 13th time after hitting back from a goal down to defeat fast-fading Tottenham 2-1 in their Wembley semi-final.

Both teams had been playing for the opportunity to tilt at a last remaining possibility of a trophy this season against Chelsea or Southampton in next month’s final. This will be a record-equalling 20th appearance in the final for Jose Mourinho’s club.

Pursuit of silverware had probably been more intense for Spurs whose last trophy was the League Cup 10 years ago but, in the end, they were run down by a United side inspired by midseason signing Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean, who cost £30m from Arsenal, equalised Spurs’ early goal from Dele Alli then helped lay on the United winner for Ander Herrera.

Tottenham, playing in their temporary home stadium, were rewarded for the sharper start after only 10 minutes. Christian Eriksen pursued a long ball up the right from Davison Sanchez and crossed for Alli to nudge home from close range at the far post.

The opening phase, in front of England manager Gareth Southgate, was reminiscent of the manner in which Tottenham ouplayed United during their 2-0 Wembley win in the Premier League.

Alli was a split-second too late to grab a second from a similar move and then Eriksen scuffed a shot wide from the edge of the area.

United duly celebrated their escapes by equalising in the 23rd minute.

Paul Pogba, possibly at fault on Spurs’ goal, snatched possession from Mousa Dembele on the left and crossed perfectly to the far post for Sanchez to divine vital space between Spurs’ defenders and head home.

This was the Chilean’s eighth goal in eight appearances at Wembley for club and country, including four in three FA Cup semi-finals.

Spurs raised a brief gallop at the end of the first half as a low drive from Eric Dier ricocheted back into play off the keeper David De Gea’s right-hand post. However they fell off the pace badly in the second half, lacking any sort of penetration, as United seized advantage to go ahead in the 62nd minute.

Sanchez wrangled possession off Keiran Trippier, Romelu Lukaku pushed the ball square and Herrera appeared on the right-hand side of the penalty box to slide a low shot cross through Ben Davies’s legs and past Michel Vorm.

The Dutchman was now the busier of the two goalkeepers.

First he stood tall to save a drive from Lukaku then he dived acrobatically to his left to defy a drive from Pogba.

Eriksen, inbetween, was narrowly wide with a 25-yard drive but his solo efforts were all Tottenham could muster as they succumbed to an eighth consecutive FA Cup semi-final defeat.