Tomas-Soucek

Weekend talk: FA Cup quarterfinals and Premier League

Positive Ten Hag fuels United:

Erik ten Hag advised saving our season. Somehow, Antony and Amad Diallo scored. Only Harry Maguire and Diogo Dalot defended against those two plus Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford.

Ten Hag kept revving the engine after parking the bus at Anfield. Antony scored his first season goal against a team other than Newport County.

Diallo scored his first goal for United since a cute back-header against Milan when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was manager.

United had nine extra-time shots to Liverpool’s two. Rashford excelled at left flank and center-forward.

After missing two solid chances, he calmly took the next. The fan-like Ten Hag shouted, “Attack! Attack! Attack!” and it worked. His guys may have rescued their season and his job.

Wild Cup game worries Foxes:

Chelsea against Leicester was a thrilling Cup match with five great goals, an own goal, a missed penalty, and a red card.

Even though they started the day top of the Championship, Leicester are not in the same form as in the first half.

Leicester threatened Chelsea between Axel Disasi’s own goal and Callum Doyle’s red card.

However, especially in the first half, the visitors resembled Burnley: a Championship winners unable to halt a Premier League attack.

Cole Palmer had too much space and Nicolas Jackson had problems hitting Jannik Vestergaard. Leicester must tighten up to stay up next season if they go up.

At Etihad, backups shine:

Second-choice goalkeepers must be able to fit in without disrupting a team.

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Stefan Ortega and Martin Dubravka started the FA Cup match on Saturday as expected, but with Ederson and Nick Pope sidelined, they expect more minutes in the coming weeks.

Ortega was calm and composed as he tried to equal his Brazilian colleague for distribution.

Newcastle had few chances, although he saved Alexander Isak’s stinging close-range attempt in the first half.

Dubravka has covered for a while, and his credentials were unquestioned on Saturday.

Only the harshest critic could suggest Bernardo Silva should have done more with his two deflection goals.

The Slovakian made several crucial saves, notably in one-on-one scenarios, by immediately coming off his line to restrict the angle for City’s talented attackers. As he plays, City backup Ortega should gain confidence like Dubravka.

O’Neil worried about Wolves’ shrinking pack:

Gary O’Neil was the first to advise against predicting Wolves’ season success. After losing the FA Cup to second-tier Coventry on Saturday, he seemed to predict some trouble for his team between now and May.

O’Neil lamented his thin squad – Pablo Sarabia was his only senior forward – and the disparity between his resources and those of their next opponents, Aston Villa, though his joint top scorer Matheus Cunha may return from a hamstring injury in time for the match.

“Premier League games with where we are right now will be incredibly, really difficult,” said O’Neil.

Villa is likely to use Ollie Watkins, Moussa Diaby, Leon Bailey, Jacob Ramsey, Nicolò Zaniolo, and Jhon Durán as substitutes.

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Hammers frustrated again by VAR:

VAR’s consistent ability to steal the narrative means the London Stadium hosted the longest Premier League session while Stockley Park processed and machinated. It took 5:37 to realise Tomas Soucek’s arm was engaged.

After such a long delay, players who had just thrown everything at each other were speaking calmly. It becomes clearer that the home team did not win the longer you wait.

The fourth Hammers goal in a week rejected by video evidence for handball drew half-hearted boos.

“We think they are goals but VAR are the ones who decide, not us,” David Moyes remarked, growing angry.

“I think the referee chose well because there was a handball,” said Villa goal scorer Nicolò Zaniolo. Conclusion: VAR choices are subjective forever.

Son is unapologetic after Spurs error:

Son Heung-min’s harsh appraisal of Tottenham’s collapse in the Fulham loss on Saturday reflected his manager’s.

Ange Postecoglou believes he’s more concerned about his team’s growth than finishing in the top four, but Son was blunt in his post-match interview after Tottenham’s 39-game scoring streak ended.

“It is unacceptable, including me,” he remarked. Everyone must look in the mirror and declare, ‘It is my fault.’

Not good enough. Not as much effort as this season.

The performance and attitude were poor.” Son and Spurs can at least try to recover following the international break with home games against Luton and Nottingham Forest before facing West Ham.

Burnley wins B-team fight with Muric:

The B-team on Match of the Day. Gary Lineker was replaced by Eilidh Barbour, Alan Shearer by Glenn Murray, and the major event was Burnley against Brentford.

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Sergio Reguilón’s early red card and Brentford’s late goal, which was disallowed, provided drama.

Unfortunately, several sitters were missed, but David Datro Fofana made up for it with a fantastic finish.

Both managers deserve praise: Vincent Kompany for handing star custodian Arijanet Muric a Premier League debut, and Thomas Frank for not fussing about the red card or penalty.

Brentford and Burnley are in danger of going down, but neither manager is likely to be fired.

Berry represents Hatters’ combativeness:

Luke Berry’s late goal against relegation rivals Nottingham Forest will be fitting if Luton’s last-gasp point keeps them in the top tier.

Rob Edwards, Luton’s manager, said Berry’s scoring in all four Football League levels “makes us unique and even closer together”.

Luton used a League Two signing who produced while Forest had Callum Hudson-Odoi on the bench.

“We are who we are and I love that,” Edwards remarked. Many players had to fight, scrap, and work hard to get here. Their desire to retain that.” The underdogs won’t give up yet.

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