Premier League & FA Cup Review, Tuesday 23rd March 2021
For the final week before the last international break of the season, the Premier League was in action for a handful of exciting fixtures – but in addition to that, we also had the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. While some were trying to gain one last piece of momentum to salvage their league campaign, others were attempting to book their place in the semi-finals at Wembley as we reach the last few months of this chaotic spell for English football.
Wolves 0-1 Liverpool
Liverpool managed to get back on the winning trail in the Premier League with a nervy but needed win over Wolves at Molineux.
The one and only goal of the game, of course, came from former Wolves star Diogo Jota on the stroke of half time – and you can bet quite a few punters could see that coming from a mile away.
Wolves will return to action in two weeks when they play West Ham on Monday Night Football whereas Liverpool face the surging Arsenal at the Emirates.
Fulham 1-2 Leeds
The survival hopes of Fulham continue to falter after they were beaten 2-1 by Leeds in a fun encounter on Friday night.
After Leeds had an early goal ruled out through VAR it felt like it wasn’t going to be their night, but then, Patrick Bamford stepped into the equation. He scored the opener and set up Raphinha’s eventual winner as Joachim Andersen’s equaliser proved to mean very little.
Fulham’s underdog moniker will be in play once again against Aston Villa on Saturday 3rd April with Leeds looking like the favourites heading into an all-Yorkshire clash against Sheffield United.
Brighton 3-0 Newcastle
In what can only be described as a relegation six-pointer, Brighton & Hove Albion put Newcastle United to the sword with an efficient and dominant display.
The Magpies didn’t even really know what hit him and we can’t imagine the bookies did either with very few opting to bet on over 2.5 goals. Leandro Trossard, Danny Welbeck and Neal Maupay were the heroes of the day on a special Amex night for the hosts.
The Seagulls’ next Premier League encounter will be an intriguing contest against Manchester United, and for Newcastle, they’ll also have their hands full when they tackle Tottenham Hotspur.
Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho can breathe a sigh of relief after Spurs beat a poor Aston Villa side at Villa Park.
A goal in either half was more than enough to see off the challenge of a questionable Villa team with the strikes coming from Carlos Vinicius and the talisman Harry Kane.
A home game against Fulham should give Villa the perfect chance to get back on track, with Tottenham knowing they’ll also have a lot of pressure on their shoulders in a must-win against Newcastle.
West Ham 3-3 Arsenal
Arsenal came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with West Ham United in one of the most thrilling games of the season so far.
Early payouts were pretty popular on Sunday thanks to Jesse Lingard, Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek putting David Moyes’ men three goals to the good. However, the Gunners didn’t lie down and take it, as Alexandre Lacazette and two own goals earned them a dramatic point.
West Ham’s next league opponents will be Wolves whereas Arsenal will go into their game with Liverpool in possession of more confidence than they usually would.
Bournemouth 0-3 Southampton
Southampton were the first team to register their spot in the FA Cup semi-finals with a comfortable win over south coast rivals Bournemouth.
The experience of the Premier League side was able to shine through pretty clearly as Moussa Djenepo made it 1-0 just eight minutes before half time. Then, through a Nathan Redmond brace and masterclass, the gave was put beyond the reach of Bournemouth.
The Cherries now need to shift their focus to a playoff push in the Championship as Southampton gear up for a semi-final against Leicester that could legitimately save their season.
Everton 0-2 Manchester City
Champions-elect Manchester City continued their pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple by beating Everton in their quarter-final.
The Toffees really did scratch and claw in an attempt to take the game to penalties but six minutes before the end of normal time, their resistance was broken by Ilkay Gundogan before Kevin De Bruyne put the finishing touches on a late win.
Everton will now be able to dedicate themselves fully to the top four fight but Manchester City still have to compete on four fronts, including in a huge semi-final against Chelsea.
Chelsea 2-0 Sheffield United
Chelsea overcame a spirited display from bottom of the table Sheffield United to reach the semi-finals.
An Oliver Norwood own goal had many believing Chelsea would run away with this tie but the Blades had plenty of great opportunities that could’ve easily busted a lot of accas this weekend. Alas, Thomas Tuchel’s side held on with Hakim Ziyech sealing the win in injury time.
The Blues have the toughest test of all in the final four when they meet Manchester City, and Sheffield United are simply going through the motions ahead of what feels like an inevitable relegation from the Premier League.
Leicester 3-1 Manchester United
Leicester City dug deep and found the drive they needed to defeat Manchester United and knock them out of the FA Cup.
A bizarre mess-up at the back handed Kelechi Iheanacho the opening goal on a silver platter, but under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, this United team doesn’t know how to quit. Mason Greenwood pulled one back before half time and it seemed as if the tide had turned, only for Youri Tielemans’ brilliant run and finish to hand the advantage back to the Foxes. From there the visitors looked lost with Iheanacho compiling their misery to complete the 3-1 victory.
Manchester United’s best hope for silverware now rests in the Europa League, but for Leicester, they’ll fancy their chances of reaching the final when they take on Southampton at Wembley.