The FA Cup weekend was something to behold, as usual
The Top Talking Points from the FA Cup Weekend
The third round weekend for the FA Cup is in the books, and it has provided us with the usual mixture of thrills, upsets, and, of course, many memorable moments.
One of the biggest upsets was Arsenal crashing out in their match against the Championship side Nottingham Forest, who are without a manager, while the round’s biggest giant-killers are League Two Coventry City, who simply saw off Stoke -with Mark Hughes very quickly being relieved of his duties.
Arsenal Learned Not to Play with Fire
Arsène Wenger made 9 changes to to the team for the FA Cup, and ended up with all his eggs in the Carabao basket, thanks to his plans to take a strong line-up to the field in the Wednesday semi-final against Chelsea.
It was a grave mistake -and one that he should have been able to predict! The FA Cup has long been his salvation during difficult periods at Arsenal, and his line-up lacked not only experience, but quality too, and, perhaps most of all, gumption.
Their surrender was pitiful, and some of the older players really displayed a lack of courage, and saw many spectators turn to the online pokies NZ has to offer in order to regain their peace of mind! But this is precisely what occurs when you send out a harmful message by resting your best players.
It Was a Night to Remember for Van Dijk
What an eventful evening Virgil van Dijk experienced! Every Liverpool supporter’s wish to see a proper defender was fulfilled by the kick-off at Anfield. The salutation that met his name being announced told a sorry tale about the difficulty the team has endured thanks to a defense that has suffered from so much uncertainty for so very long.
Van Dijk definitely stepped up however, with his aggressive challenge on Yannick Bolasie, an illustrious chance at 1 – 0 which he headed straight towards Jordan Pickford, and then the alarm as the Bolasie cavalry came charging, all of which produced a spectacular Everton leveller. It was no fault of the Dutchman’s, and fans would have been happy even without the great goal at the end.
Jose is Not Taking Any Chances
Jose Mourinho is fond of a shiny new trophy in the Manchester United football club cabinet each year, so, with the League gone, along with the Carabao Cup, and victory in the Champions League slightly out of reach, the FA Cup is his best chance at getting his mitts on some silverware this season.
Bearing this in mind, it will come as no surprise that Manchester United’s boss was playing it safe when it came to his line-up. Many of his best players joined Paul Pogba in the starting side, with Romelu Lukaku appropriately on the bench.
Guardiola’s Team Selection Reveals His Desire for All of the Trophies
Pep Guardiola rejected talk of the Quadruple as impractical, but the strength of his team selection suggests that the City boss figures that a haul consisting of all four trophies is within his players’ grasp.
There were three exceptions, in Kyle Walker, Kevin De Bruyne, and Ederson, with the former two players coming on, but Guardiola chose the strongest side possible, which indicates that he is intent on doing everything he can to get hold of the FA Cup. With the Premier League title basically in the bag, and City in the semi-finals for the League Cup, the Quadruple is most definitely a possibility, despite Guardiola’s dismissals.