Tag Archives: Cup

Sterling 8/10, De Bruyne 7/10 as Man City reach FA Cup semis

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Manchester City booked their place in the last four of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Newcastle.

Pep Guardiola’s side will play Arsenal at Wembley in the semi-finals after a Kevin De Bruyne penalty and a goal from Raheem Sterling earned them a comfortable victory at St James’ Park.

De Bruyne scored his 12th goal of the season from the spot after referee Lee Mason spotted a push on Gabriel Jesus by Fabian Schar. Substitute Dwight Gayle missed a gilt-edged chance to make it 1-1 only for City to go down the other end and seal the result thanks to an impressive finish from the edge of the box from Raheem Sterling.

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Positives

Defeat at Chelsea and Liverpool clinching the title made it a difficult week, but it ended with a place in the FA Cup semi-finals. There is a lot left for City to play for this season and the performance at St James’ Park was proof enough that they’re not just going to switch off now that the Premier League is officially gone.

Negatives

City dominated the game but the result might have been different had Gayle not wasted a glorious opportunity to equalise minutes after coming on as a substitute. An error from Nicolas Otamendi gave Allan Saint-Maximin the chance to cross but from six yards out and with the goal gaping, Gayle found a way to blast his finish over the bar.

Manager rating (out of 10)

7 — The City manager is determined to keep his players as fresh as possible during this packed end to the season but after relinquishing the Premier League title, he wants to win the FA Cup. Guardiola picked a strong team with De Bruyne, Sterling and Aymeric Laporte and it meant Newcastle never looked likely to cause an upset.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Claudio Bravo, 6 — Newcastle managed just one shot on target which says everything about how busy he was.

DF Kyle Walker, 7 — Found Jesus with a cross smashed across the penalty area and created the danger that led to Schar conceding a penalty.

DF Benjamin Mendy, 7 — Didn’t have much defending to do and was allowed to play as an auxiliary winger for much of the evening.

DF Nicolas Otamendi, 6 — Got away with an awful pass across goal that went straight to Saint-Maximin and led to the golden chance for Gayle.

DF Aymeric Laporte, 7 — Came close to scoring with a looping header back across goal from David Silva‘s corner. Clattered by Andy Carroll three times.

MF Ilkay Gundogan, 7 — Played as a quarterback for much of the game, popping passes around with very little pressure from Newcastle.

MF Kevin De Bruyne, 7 — Made the penalty look easy by sending Karl Darlow the wrong way. His passing was as good as ever.

MF David Silva, 7 — Smart cut-back to create an early chance for Riyad Mahrez. Substituted early to save his legs.

FW Raheem Sterling, 8 — Saw a good effort beaten away by Darlow in the first half and put the game to bed with a wonderful goal after cutting in from left.

FW Riyad Mahrez, 7 — Should have hit the target with the first chance of the game but fired over. Kept shooting and was unlucky not to end with a goal.

FW Gabriel Jesus, 7 — Caught out by Kyle Walker’s drilled cross that flashed wide off his heel. Got in a good position to win the penalty.

Substitutes

MF Bernardo Silva, 6 — Bright cameo.

MF Phil Foden, 7 — Turned up the tempo.

MF Rodri, N/R — On for De Bruyne but didn’t make much of an impact.

DF Joao Cancelo, N/R — Replaced Walker in a rather subdued performance.

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Pulisic, Kovacic both 8/10 as Chelsea reach FA Cup semis

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Chelsea have booked their place in the semifinals of this year’s FA Cup after a tense 1-0 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

The visitors had their backs against the wall for large spells against Brendan Rodgers’ men, but in the end, Ross Barkley‘s second-half effort sent the top-four contenders into the final four of the competition.

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Positives

Whenever they slow the pace down and show no fear of running in behind the defence, Chelsea always seem to find more success. They made sure to mix it up by attacking down both flanks, and at the opposite end, you can see how much trust they put in Willy Caballero to guide the team in difficult cup ties such as this.

Negatives

Leicester’s attacking frailties saved Chelsea on more than one occasion as the Blues were simply unable to plug the holes they had at the back. At times in the first half they were trying to play quick, attractive football, but the final pass was always lacking. Whenever Plan A didn’t work, it was clear to see that there wasn’t much of a backup plan until late in the game.

Manager rating out of 10

7 — The decision from Frank Lampard to start with a 4-2-3-1, allowing N’Golo Kante and Billy Gilmour to work alongside each other, was a strange one. The first half showcased their inability to really grab hold of a big game like this in that formation, but to his credit, the former midfielder made three strong changes at the interval and pushed his side to take control and push the tempo in the second half.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Willy Caballero, 7 — The cup specialist continues to shine when it matters after another confident display, with his best moment coming in the form of a nice low save to his left in the 20th minute.

DF Emerson Palmieri, 5 — The full-back constantly relies on cover from elsewhere to get himself out of danger, with the best possible word to describe his performance today being “lazy”.

DF Kurt Zouma, 5 — There’s always a heart attack or two in store for Chelsea fans when Zouma is on the pitch, and the same was true at the King Power after a showing that lacked leadership and composure.

DF Antonio Rudiger, 5 — His clumsy, unpredictable nature could easily have cost his side a place in the semifinals after a few moments of real sloppiness.

DF Reece James, 6 — While he’s capable of muscling attacking players off of the ball, it says something that James’ highlight was a silly 13th-minute foul before being pulled off at half-time.

MF N’Golo Kante, 6 — After a shaky first-half display, the former Leicester star found more of a rhythm in the second 45, but still struggled to contain Wilfred Ndidi throughout.

MF Billy Gilmour, 4 — There was a real learning curve in store for the youngster this afternoon, as he was subbed off at half-time after giving the ball away several times.

MF Willian, 7 — The Brazilian ran at Leicester with real authority when he was given the chance to do so, and while he wasn’t always on the mark, he provided a great assist for Barkley’s goal.

MF Mason Mount, 5 — Aside from a decent pass inside to Pulisic in the 30th minute, it was a quiet day at the office for a seemingly unmotivated Mount

MF Christian Pulisic, 8 — It was a Man of the Match outing for the American as he drove the heart of Chelsea’s attack until being subbed off, with everything from his turns to his vision on point.

FW Tammy Abraham, 5 — The popular forward was more urgent in the second half but couldn’t avoid being marked out of the game. He’s a world-class finisher, but he needs to time his runs better.

Substitutes

DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 7 — While he struggled at times against Ben Chilwell, Azpilicueta is so effective in playing the simple passes and having great positional awareness.

MF Mateo Kovacic, 8 — One of the Premier League’s classiest players struck again with intricate passing, wonderful anticipation on and off the ball and a real box-to-box attitude.

MF Ross Barkley, 7 — The England international’s determination proved to be the difference-maker, with his 63rd-minute strike winning the tie for the Blues.

MF Ruben Loftus-Cheek, N/R — Was thrown onto the left wing in a move that will have baffled supporters, but didn’t serve as too much of a detriment to the team’s flow.

MF Pedro, N/R — Helped to carry the ball forward late in the game, but didn’t do enough to make a substantial impact.

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FA Cup semis: Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea learn fates

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Manchester United will square off with Chelsea as the draw for FA Cup semifinals was revealed on Sunday.

Arsenal await the winners of the Newcastle UnitedManchester City match on Sunday.

The semifinal round will played on July 18-19 while the final will be contested on August 1. The games are scheduled to be held at Wembley Stadium.

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Arsenal, winners of a record 13 FA Cups, beat Sheffield United 2-1 earlier on Sunday to advance, while Chelsea defeated Leicester City 1-0.

Manchester United needed added extra time to defeat Premier League bottom dwellers Norwich City 2-1 on Saturday.

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FA Cup semi-final draw: Manchester United to face Chelsea

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Manchester City beat Watford 6-0 in last year’s FA Cup final

Manchester United will face Chelsea and Arsenal will play holders Manchester City or Newcastle in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

It is a stellar draw, featuring the Cup’s three most successful sides, with Arsenal the record 13-time winners.

United, who beat Norwich to reach the last four, have won it 12 times, while Chelsea, who edged past Leicester in the quarter-finals, have eight wins.

Both ties will be played at Wembley on the weekend of 18 and 19 July.

The final is scheduled for Saturday, 1 August at the same venue.

The draw was made at half-time of the game between City and Newcastle, which Pep Guardiola’s side led 1-0 thanks to a Kevin de Bruyne penalty.

That game was taking place after Arsenal knocked out Sheffield United, with Dani Ceballos scoring the winner in the 91st minute.

The semi-final between United and Chelsea is a repeat of the 2018 final, which was won by the Blues.

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