The domestic circuit of English football provides plenty of chances for teams in all divisions to prove themselves every season.
Apart from the domestic leagues, football in England has the League Cup and the FA Cup to keep the teams in the country busy throughout the season. This season, the FA Cup has provided loads of thrills and spills even before the quarter-final stage.
But the quarter-final made for a great viewing as 7 of the 8 clubs in the competition were from the top flight of English football. Here are the talking points from the quarter-final of the FA Cup this season:
- Palace’s chance to shine?
Crystal Palace, who had a great start to the season, have slowly faded away and have failed to win games since the turn of the year. However, they were right on the money against a Reading side who hardly gave them a scare. Cabaye and Campbell both scored in the final minutes of the game and punished the home side as they were down to 10 men thanks to Cooper’s red card. This victory will take Palace in the semi-final and the manager Alan Pardew will be hoping to take a similar result from that game at Wembley.
- Chelsea’s season is over:
The FA Cup proved to be the only chance for the Blues to get some positives from this season but they were beaten comprehensively by the Goodison Park outfit in the quarter-final. Romelu Lukaku, who is in the form of his life netted a brace to send Chelsea crashing out of the competition ending any real chance of salvation this season for the Stamford Bridge outfit. Both Diego Costa and Gareth Barry were red carded but the Toffees held on to their two-goal lead to set up an intriguing all Premier League semi-final clash at Wembley.
- Martial saves LVG some blushes:
Manchester United seemed like they were going out of the FA Cup when Payet scored from a free-kick late in the game. But young Anthony Martial was there right at the end to give United an equalizer and also take the game to the second leg at Upton Park. The Red Devils looked way off their game and were dominated at their home ground all game. They will, however, be happy to stay in the competition though a trip to the Upton Park can never be easy. This draw will save Louis van Gaal some pressure as losing this would have seen the crowd completely go against him. He still has to get a result from the Liverpool game in the Europe League and the replay of this game if he is to save his team’s season.
- Wenger’s time at the Emirates finally up?
Sanchez Flores’ men were sublime in their effort at the Emirates when they beat Arsenal 2-1 to dump the holders of the cup out of the competition. Ighlao was once again amongst the goal scorers as he gave his side the lead before a sublime strike from Guediora sealed the day for the Hornets even as Welbeck pulled one back for the hosts in the dying minutes. This loss has left Arsenal with no real chance of silverware this season, especially with the Premier League title moving farther and farther away from their reach.
The next round of the competition, the semi-finals, will be played on 23rd and 24th of April.