Mitoma wrote thesis on dribbling but failed the Wan-Bissaka test against Man Utd

Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka in action.

Man Utd right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka in action REUTERS/Feline Lim.

Manchester United will return to Wembley in June to face Manchester City in the FA Cup final following their win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Antony all started for the Red Devils, but failed to rattle Robert Sánchez’s net over the 120 minutes. The closest United came to finding a breakthrough goal was seconds before the end of the first half of extra time. Rashford forced a full stretch save from Sanchez with his effort from the edge of the box.

Roberto De Zerbi’s men weren’t much better, and could only properly test David de Gea a couple of times. In the absence of striker Evan Ferguson, Kaoru Mitoma was expected to be Brighton’s biggest attacking threat against a depleted United backline that featured left-back Luke Shaw at the heart of defence.

Mitoma failed to get the better of Wan-Bissaka against Man Utd

Mitoma has emerged as one of the league’s most feared wingers due to his dribbling that has left a number of full-backs on the floor this season. The 25-year-old, who wrote his thesis on the art of dribbling in Japan, headed into the game as the player with the most take-ons completed inside the opposition box in the league.

However, he found his match in Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who has humbled the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Raheem Sterling, and Riyad Mahrez in one-on-one situations during his time at United.

Wan-Bissaka didn’t disappoint, as Mitoma failed to complete a single take-on in the 90 minutes on Sunday afternoon.

One fan tweeted: “Mbappe and Neymar failed the test. Even Mitoma that studied dribbling at the University couldn’t complete a single take-on against him. Is your winger good enough? Bring him to take the Wan-Bissaka test.”

A second noted: “Mitoma was so invisible today. He shouldn’t feel too bad. There aren’t many wingers in world football who can pass the Wan-Bissaka test.”

With nothing to separate the two sides after a cagey 120 minutes, the tie went to the penalties. 12 attempts went past the two keepers before Solly March skied his penalty. Victor Lindelof stepped up and smashed the 14th kick into the top corner to set up a first-ever Manchester derby in the competition.