The Quarter-final games of the Emirates FA Cup took place over the weekend. The wheat has been separated from the shaft and it is delicately poised for a bumper star studded Semi-finals clash between 4 of the biggest teams in FA Cup history.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, Manchester United clashed with Norwich City in a frantic game that spilled into extra time before the winner could be decided. United were in high spirit after winning two of their last 3 games in the EPL. With eight changes in the line Up, United started brightly and their patience was highly rewarded when Nigerian prolific striker Odion Ighalo poked the ball past Kurl after Luke Shaw’s cross was deflected by Juan Mata and Norwich captain Klose.
Norwich gained momentum in the second half and the breakthrough came in the 75th-minute after Cartwell fired a spectacular curvy shot into Sergio Romero’s net from 20yards. Shortly after in the 88th-minute, Norwich Captain Klose was sent off within just two minutes to the end of the 90.Playing with a man advantage, United’s high flying captain Harry Maguire scrambled the ball into a resilient Norwich City’s net in the 118th-minute to the book a place in the Semi-finals.
Frank Lampard’s team put up a quality performance especially in the second half against Leicester City in the second fixture of the Emirates FA Cup quarter final on Saturday. After a lethargic first half performance from the boys , Lampard made changes at half time which added urgency and intensity that resulted in a sumptuous assist from pacy winger Wilian who laid it beautifully well for Berkley to sneak it into a the back of Schmeichel’s net. Brendan Rogers team hardly pose any threat to Chelsea claiming the second semi final ticket. The gaffer was full of admonition for Berkley ‘he can score more goals, he can shoot with both feet, he makes the box. He’s a big player for us’ Chelsea will face bitter rivals Manchester United in the Semis.
Berkley slotting home a curler against Schmeichel
Arsenal’s week ended on a high with a hard fought victory over Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon in the third Quarter final game of the Emirates FA Cup. A standing ovation was held for the NHS workers who are in the forefront in the fight against Covid-19. A controversial VAR call disallowed Lundstram headed goal in the 8th-minute. Not long after that, under fire forward Pepe, perfectly placed a penalty kick to the bottom right corner of the net to put the Gunners in front in the 25th minute. Arsenal joy nearly turned sour in the 87th minute from a MCGoldrick equaliser dead in to the final minutes of the game but their fortunes changed after a miss kick from Pepe found Spaniard Dani Ceballos who exquisitely pulled a low powerful shot to the far left corner of the net in the 90th-minute. The win is a morale booster for the Gunners as they prepare to face Pep’s Manchester City in the semis.
Defending champions Mancity wasted no time in dispatching Newcastle United in the last quarter final fixture of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday evening. Gabriel Jesus was pushed in the box 18 and birthday boy Kelvin De Bruyne buried the penalty into the net in the 37th minutes. An howler from City’s defender Otamendi almost gifted Newcastle the needed equaliser but substitute Dwight Gayle fluttered the chance by blasting the ball over an open net with only Ederson to beat. City recovered quickly from Gayle’s miss with a thumping long ranged effort form Raheem Sterling in the 68th-minute to propel them in to the Semi-finals. Semi-finals
Arsenal got a nightmare of a draw as they are destined to Face Manchester City again this season in the semi finals of the Emirates FA Cup. This is going to be another test between Arteta a former protegee vs his former master Pep. Although the last time both sides met in the FA Cup was in 2017 which the Gunners won by 2-1. However City have triumphed over Arsenal in the last 5 meetings in all competitions. Arsenal are unarguably the most successful FA Cup side in the latest Semi finals draw with 13 titles, this fixture will be their 30th semi finals appearance which is a record. The Defending champions have more than enough fire power to melt a final blow to Arsenal season’s campaign when they meet on July 18. Pep’s team missed out on winning the league to the magnificent Liverpool side and will be seeking to win a domestic double haven won the League’s cup earlier in the year.
Manchester United vs Chelsea semi finals fixture will be the fourth time both teams will be meeting this season. United has won the previous three fixtures and are the favourites to spring up another win against Lampard’s team. The last two FA Cup fixtures between both teams ended in a 1-0 win for Chelsea in the 2018 final and United winning the 2019 fixture. Both teams have been in fine form since the season resumed but they will need more than that to pull a win. Both teams boast of a whopping 20 FA Cup titles between them, United with 12 and Chelsea with 8. Both Ole and Lampard won this tournament as players, it will be interesting to see who will first knick it as a manger. July 19 is the date, the Venue is the prestigious Wembley stadium and we can’t wait to witness another installment of this great rivalry.