After the FA Cup quarter finals clash over the weekend, four clubs; Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City proceeded to the Semifinals of the tournament. Arsenal were drawn to face the title holders, City and Chelsea were drawn to face Manchester United and it doesnâ€™t get bigger than this. This is definitely going to be a London vs Manchester affair as the four clubs who have had a history of rivalry face each other for domestic cup glory.
United against Chelsea has been quite a one sided fixture since the Reds havenâ€™t lost a game in their last 6 meetings. This season alone, the two clubs have met thrice, twice in the Premier League and once in the EFL Carabao Cup and United have emerged victorious in all the games. Itâ€™s a pretty embarrassing domination for the blues considering theyâ€™re both currently in the clash for the top 4 spot in the League Table. Frank Lampard is obviously working on a plan to beat Manchester United because being beaten in 4 out of 4 games would not look good for them. United on the other hand are currently on fire with a 14games unbeaten streak and a squad in top form. Both clubs seem optimistic about proceeding to the finals and hope to add this silverware in their trophy collection. The two will meet at Wembley on Saturday July 18th behind closed doors.
Arsenal on the other end will seek to beat a club they havenâ€™t won a game against since April 2017.Manchester City has beaten the Gunners in all their last 7 meetings and this seems to be a very tight fixture for the red Londoners. Arsenal has never lost in a FA Cup semifinal against Mancity and has defeated City in their last 5 meetings in their FA Cup. They are currently not in their best form with a number of their key players injured. Pep Guardiola, who will meet his former assistant coach, Mikel Arteta for the second time this season, isnâ€™t intending on loosing this crucial game. He is clearly seeking his second domestic trophy this season. The two will meet in the weekend of July 18/19 at Wembley stadium. The Finals of the tournament will be on 1st August on the same venue.
Photo Credits: Skysports Official Twitter Account @SkySports
Manchester United are on a good run and are now fond of victory. Their fans worldwide are highly impressed by how the club has been performing lately. In a home game today, they won 5-2 against Bournemouth FC which is currently battling relegation and were not ready to give them an easy victory. The main highlight of the night was Mason Greenwood, their 18 year old homegrown player who scored a brace and Bruno Fernandes, a wonder signing who has had tremendous impact on their midfield. Fernandes seem to have good chemistry with box to box French midfielder Paul Pogba and the have bossed that midfield constantly playmaking and providing assists. The Portuguese player, who scored a free kick goal and provided two assists today, is yet to loose a game as a Manchester player.
The teenager on the other hand has now proven himself and secured the right wing position in the first eleven squad. Heâ€™s quite an asset to the club and will definitely be a key player in the rebuilding of the club to retain its lost glory. He was ranked third in the Footballâ€™s Next Generation Listings and got nominated for the Golden Boy football awards this year. He is quite impressive with his ability to shoot with both legs and red devil fans occasionally compare him to the Dutch United legend, Robin Van Persie. Greenwood, with 15 goals and 5 assists in all competitions, is now part of the clinical United attacking trio together with Anthony Martial who has 20 goals and 6 assist and Marcus Rashford who has 20 goals and has provided 8 assists in all competitions.
The club has seemingly adopted a constant starting 11 and are very tactical in how they make their attacks on their rivals. Their main focus is securing a top 4 spot for the Champions League qualifications and they are steamrolling over their opponents. The club will be hosted by Aston Villa at Villa Park on Thursday July 9th in their next clash.
Photo Credit: Manchester United Official Twitter Account @ManUtd
Despite the fine form of Dean Henderson who is currently on loan at Sheffield United, Ole Gunnar still continues to back De Gea as his ManUtd’s number 1 goalkeeper.The Man Utd boss said that Henderson is not yet ready to replace De Gea as United’s no. 1 goalkeeper and therefore considers a one-year loan extension for Henderson to stay at Sheffield.“We need to make sure Dean plays football to develop, so we’re going to make a decision later on,” Solskjaer said.“He’s had two fantastic years and we appreciate what Sheffield United have done with him as well. So that’s an option, for him to stay at Sheffield United.”“I think Dean has had a fantastic couple of years at Sheffield United and I think eventually he will end up as England’s No.1 and man Utd’s No.1.“But he’s got the best goalkeeper in the world to tip off his place and for me, David is still developing and still getting better and better."“We are going to make a decision after both clubs sit down with him," he continued.Henderson, who is currently 23 years old, has continued to impress in the 2 years he’s been at Bramall Lane. He helped Sheffield to championship promotion and a fine return to the English Premier League.Ole Gunnar currently does not see a need of Hendersonreturning to Old Trafford with the availability of other three goalkeepers. According to Solskjaer, Sergio Romero will continue to deputize De Gea.“I think Sergio is the best No.2 in the world. He’s so professional, even though he wants to play every game. He challenges David but they’re also good friends.Earlier this season, Henderson said that he will return to OldTrafford only if he is guaranteed playing time. He is currently holding out on a new contract extension and only has 2 years left and a year’s option on his current deal.Manchester United manager still believes De Gea is the best in the world and wouldn’t swap him with anyone even after Degea faced a lot of criticisms after their match against Tottenham after making an error resulting to a goal in the first half."Dean can work in our goalkeeping department alongside David, Sergio (Romero) and Lee (Grant) but you can’t have three or four top keepers there and he needs games.”Photo Credit: Getty Images
After all the game week scuffles it all comes down to the remaining four premier league matches to determine who will get the third and the fourth position in the final table. Four clubs have been on wild chase for the UEFA Champions league Qualification spot but now itâ€™s evident that it comes down to only three clubs.
Leicester City, who recently lost 3-0 to Tottenham Hotspurs, are at 62 points with a goal difference of 28,temporarily seated at position four with only one game left. The shocking defeat at London cost them so much and now they tie at goal difference with Manchester United who have a game at hand. The two clubs will meet for a final showdown at King Power Stadium to square it out for European Football participation glory on July 26th. Based on the odds, if they manage to beat Manchester United or go level pegging they might still have a chance to qualify for the UCL.
Chelsea, at position three with 63 points and a goal difference of 15, are in a tight situation with two matches left. The South West London Blues will travel to Meyerside today to face Premier League champions, Liverpool at Anfield Stadium. A pretty tough fixture if you ask me.With their low goal difference, a win today would be very crucial for securing their third position. Liverpool havenâ€™t lost a home game in the premier league since 2017 and I canâ€™t possibly imagine them letting that record get broken by The blues in as much as they aided in their early trophy when they beat Manchester City. Tonight we will find out if they will return the favour. Chelsea will host Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday 26th July for their final league game.
Manchester United, at position five with also 62 points and a goal difference of 28, had a chance of elevating to position three, but shared points after the draw with Southampton. Today they host a relegation- battling Westham United, hoping for a victory that might put them in the third position. If Ole and his boys blow this chance, it would come down to their final match with The Foxes. It wouldnâ€™t be an easy game, considering Westham has been on a winning streak and are trying hard to avoid relegation. The East London Irons wouldnâ€™t mind doing a double on the Red devils. The last remaining matches are very crucial for the clubs and every point and every goal counts.
Photo Credits: Fotmob App