Man Utd could gain additional benefit by winning the FA Cup to alleviate Erik ten Hag’s embarrassment.

This article contains affiliate links, we will receive a commission on any sales we generate from it. Learn more. Erik ten Hag may save his Man Utd job with the FA Cup.

(Image: Getty)

With Champions League qualification effectively out of reach, Manchester United know the FA Cup represents a chance to salvage success from a disastrous season. There might be more than a 13th triumph and potential vengeance against Manchester City to play for at Wembley Stadium in the next six weeks. United enter Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final as the latest protagonists of Championship outfit Coventry City’s fairytale run, a day after Chelsea clash with holders City.

Ten Hag will know that defeat would enter folklore as one of the club’s worst results in the 11 years of mediocrity since Sir Alex Ferguson called quits on his era of dominance in 2013. It would also spell the end of United’s miserable second season under his stewardship, and the intense scrutiny over his position would reach boiling point. However, lifting a second piece of silverware in as many seasons could earn the Dutchman a chance to enter the third and final year of his contract at Old Trafford.

Wembley awaits Man Utd this weekend. (Image: Getty)

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Read our Privacy Policy. And while missing out on Champions League football is costly for more reasons than one, United would ensure they achieve the next best thing as a direct result of winning the FA Cup. In the Premier League, the top four clubs qualify for the Champions League, while fifth-place secures entry into the Europa League.

The Carabao Cup winners qualify for the Europa Conference League, but entry shifts to the sixth-place team if they have already sealed European football. That is the case this season, with Liverpool set for a top-three finish. The FA Cup winners earn a place in next season’s Europa League if they aren’t in the Champions League already, which offers United a get-out-of-jail-free card.

If Mauricio Pochettino’s side sneak into the top six and win the FA Cup, or favourites City retain their crown, sixth in the Premier League would join fifth in the Europa League. In that case, United would qualify for the Europa Conference League for the first time if they leapfrog Newcastle and finish in seventh. However, anything less than the FA Cup could make up INEOS’ mind for them, regardless of where Ten Hag guides his team in the league.

England are increasingly likely to miss out on a fifth Champions League spot through the new coefficient rule this term, in place ahead of the Swiss format starting in 2024/25. Spain and Germany are now in the driver’s seat, with City, Arsenal, Liverpool and West Ham United failing to win their respective quarter-final first legs last week. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding.

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