Rafa Benitez had a perfect day, he got his handshake from Sir Alex Ferguson and he even got one over on his old rival, and will now lead Chelsea to Wembley.
Demba Ba scored a superb goal from a Juan Mata pass, with Javier Hernandez going close from a header. Substitute Robin van Persie came off the bench and wasted a good chance, which his manager admitted he 'should have scored'.
Ashley Young and Ryan Giggs were the other attacking options brought off the bench, meaning £17 million signing Shinji Kagawa was left twiddling his thumbs on the bench once again.
When he hit his superb hat-trick against Norwich last month, it was expected he could have crucial role to play as the season came to a close - but just like the game at Old Trafford against Real Madrid the Japanese ace found himself overlooked.
He did play 79 minutes against Sunderland two days earlier, but he would surely have wanted to be involved in such a big fixture, at least to come off the bench to try to turn the tie in United's favour.
In the wake of defeat, United fans have been taking to Twitter to complain at one of their big summer signings being snubbed in an important game.
Why play Valencia, Young when we had Kagawa? He's 100 times better than them at the moment. Valencia should have subbed instead of Welbeck.— Ankil (@That_Boy_Gujju) April 1, 2013
How can you have some1 like Kagawa and keep him on the bench. Well played Fargie. Bravo...— Em_Ballistics (@Em_Mozay) April 1, 2013
Shocking from United there. Should have started Kagawa #ahwell— Sam Carney (@samcarney19) April 1, 2013
We aren't using Kagawa as much as we could, so much talent. #MUFC— Abbas Ali Mirza (@Abbasynia) April 1, 2013
Kagawa should have played today, we lacked creativity— MUFC_blog (@mufc_blog) April 1, 2013
Shld have played Chicarito/Welbeck on saturday & kept RVP/Kagawa fit for today. Its simple logic man. See this makeshift team he played 2day— Deus ex Machina (@NaijaVoltron) April 1, 2013
If only kagawa had playedd, we wudnt have noticed rooney's absence dat much— Oginji(@Ahman__) April 1, 2013
Bad decision bringing young on leaving kagawa on bench technical feet around the box...and for cleverly to start infront of kagawa is poor— Colin ha,ha,hanrahan (@co12n_h) April 1, 2013
Little logic in bringing on Giggs to help nick a goal from midfield when you have the option of Kagawa— 19Steve19 (@19Steve19) April 1, 2013
Team selection alright in the circumstances, and it probably wouldn't have changed result but Kagawa far better sub option than Young.— ManUtd24(@ManUtd24) April 1, 2013
We need to make Kagawa a regular. Makes things happen. Frustrating to see him sitting on the bench when we played like we did.— Kasper Meidell (@kaspermeidell) April 1, 2013
Kagawa is a better player than Young, so why's he still on the bench? Fergie, are you serious?— Mark Gibson (@Wibson18) April 1, 2013
Shinji Kagawa should be starting all our games, what use is all his talent sat on the bench..?— Daniel McConnell (@aDhm89) April 1, 2013
Should Kagawa have played some sort of role today?
image: © Marcel Sigg