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FA Cup

Man United Host Liverpool In FA Cup Quarters, While Man City Face Newcastle –



Man Utd Out To Put A Spoke In Man City's Title Charge -

Champions Manchester City will take on Newcastle United in the FA Cup quarter-finals, while 12-times winners Manchester United will host Premier League leaders Liverpool.

United booked their quarter-final berth with a 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, while Liverpool beat Championship side Southampton 3-0 at Anfield to advance.

City secured their quarter-final berth in emphatic fashion with Erling Haaland scoring five goals in a 6-2 victory over Luton Town on Tuesday.

Wolverhampton Wanderers will play Coventry City after beating Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0, while Chelsea will meet Leicester City after their 3-2 victory over Leeds United on Wednesday.

Quarter-final draw:

  • Wolverhampton Wanderers V Coventry City
  • Manchester United V Liverpool
  • Chelsea V Leicester City
  • Manchester City V Newcastle United

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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FA Cup

Man United escape into FA Cup final after surviving Coventry scare



Manchester United scraped into the FA Cup final on penalties despite throwing away a three-goal lead against Championship side Coventry in an epic semi-final at Wembley.

The final match in May will now be a repeat of last year’s.

Coventry, a Championship side, gave Premier League’s Manchester United what could be biggest scare they ever had.

It all looked like it was going to be an easy game for United after an half time two goal lead. A third goal was put in the third mid-way into the half time before a twist ensued.

Manchester United only took the game into penaty shoot-out because Coventry City’s Victor Torp’s effort in injury time in extra time was ruled out for offside by video assistant referee Peter Bankes.


But after Bradley Collins saved United’s first kick, from Casemiro, Andre Onana denied Callum O’Hare, then unsettled Ben Sheaf with some verbal jousting – and the Coventry captain missed – allowing Rasmus Hojlund to win it.

What the watching United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe made of it would be interesting to know. Thirty-four years ago, Mark Robins’ goalscoring heroics in the FA Cup kept Sir Alex Ferguson in a job. Who knows what damage Robins’ Coventry side have done to Erik ten Hag’s chances of keeping his?

United thought they were cruising to a repeat of last season’s final with neighbours Manchester City when they led 3-0 thanks to goals from Scott McTominay, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes.

But in front of Ratcliffe, who had completed the London Marathon earlier in the day, co-chairmen Joel and Avram Glazer and new technical director Jason Wilcox, United imploded and Coventry took full advantage.

After Ellis Simms and O’Hare reduced the deficit, Haji Wright kept his nerve in stoppage time to score from the spot and send the game into extra time.


For a brief moment, Torp allowed delirious Coventry fans believe their team were coming back next month to try to emulate the Sky Blue heroes of their 1987 triumph over Tottenham.

It was not to be. But when it was all over, it was the Championship players who were taking the acclaim of their fans as Ten Hag and his players rather sheepishly made their way to the dressing rooms.

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Angry Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola lashes out at FA Cup schedule despite victory



Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola lashed out at the FA Cup schedule after his side beat Chelsea 1-0 to reach the final on April 20, three days after their treble bid was ended by defeat on penalties by Real Madrid in the Champions League.

A late goal by Bernardo Silva got holders City over the line, although they rode their luck against a Chelsea side who were punished for not taking the numerous chances they created.

Silva side-footed home in the 84th minute after Chelsea goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic parried a Kevin de Bruyne shot.

The Portuguese, who missed a penalty in the shoot-out defeat at home to Real, said he was “very happy after a very frustrating week for all of us, for me personally”.

“The good thing is in football, if you play at Man City, you play every three days, so after two to three days, you have a chance for a bit of revenge and to put things right.”


City, who were without fatigued striker Erling Haaland, lacked their usual zip and, despite reaching another final, Guardiola was clearly agitated at his side’s lack of recovery time after the heartache of the Champions League exit on April 17.

“It’s unacceptable to let us play today,” Guardiola said. “It’s impossible, for the health of the players. It’s not normal. It’s unacceptable – 120 minutes, the emotions of Madrid, the way we lose, honestly.

“I know this country is special (with the FA Cup) but it’s for the health of the players. I don’t understand how we survived today.”

He could not fathom why City’s game against Chelsea was not scheduled for April 21 rather than Manchester United’s semi-final clash with second-tier Coventry City, neither of whom had to play a match in midweek.

“The only power I have I say here. Why don’t we play tomorrow? Chelsea, Manchester United, Coventry didn’t play midweek,” the Spaniard said.


“Mentally so tough to recover. Rodri, the way he played today, Kyle (Walker), who was injured for a few weeks, I don’t understand how they survived.

“We want to play football, we love to play football, but it’s too much. We defend our trophy. We’ll be here.”

The exit to Real ended City’s hopes of a second straight treble, although they are still in the hunt for an English Premier League and FA Cup double.

Chelsea, whose last visit to Wembley ended in League Cup final defeat by a late Liverpool goal in extra time in February, squandered some of the best chances.

Senegalese Nicolas Jackson was particularly profligate.


He had the first shot on target in the eighth minute but it was easily collected by Stefan Ortega in the City goal. Early in the second half, Jackson had two chances to put the ball away but Ortega intercepted both.

There were also opportunities for 21-year-old former City attacker Cole Palmer, who scored four goals against Everton in the league on April 15, and for Noni Madueke.

A last-gasp free kick from substitute Mykhailo Mudryk sailed over the bar, while Chelsea also had a penalty appeal turned down when Palmer’s free kick struck Jack Grealish’s hand in the wall but the video assistant referee ruled in City’s favour.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino is keen for their disappointing season to end and start afresh after his side’s last hopes of silverware were extinguished. 

“Today we competed well. I cannot say we were the better side because that is difficult to measure. The most important thing is we competed,” he said.


“We need to take positives from the game. This group needs these types of moments from games to improve.”

Reuters/ AFP

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Silva strikes late as Man City sink Chelsea to reach FA Cup final



Manchester City s Bernardo Silva, center, celebrates on full time of the English FA Cup semifinal soccer match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Wembley stadium in London, Saturday, April 20, 2024. Manchester City won 1-0. AP

Bernardo Silva fired Manchester City back into the FA Cup final as the Portugal midfielder’s late strike sealed the holders’ 1-0 win against Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola’s side were second best for long periods of the semi-final, but Chelsea wasted a string of chances before Silva delivered the knockout blow six minutes from full-time.

Shaken by their Champions League quarter-final loss against Real Madrid on penalties in midweek, City took a while to shake off the gloom from the end of their treble bid.

They were hampered by the absence of Norway striker Erling Haaland after he suffered a knock against Real, with Julian Alvarez unable to make an impact as his replacement.

City were bailed out by Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson’s profligacy and Guardiola will hope the hard-fought success provides a timely lift as they chase a Premier League and FA Cup double.


City face Manchester United or Coventry, who meet on Sunday, in the final on May 25 and will retain the Premier League title if they win their last six games.

It will be City’s 13th final in the competition and potentially a repeat of last year’s 2-1 win over United in the Wembley Manchester derby.

Beaten by Liverpool in the League Cup final in February, Chelsea’s wait to win their first domestic trophy since the 2018 FA Cup goes on for another season.

It was a bitter blow for Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino, who has endured a difficult first season in charge and remains without silverware in England.

The semi-final was billed as in-form Chelsea forward Cole Palmer’s chance to punish his old club for selling him to the Blues in September.


Guardiola said Palmer was asking to leave City for two years before he eventually joined Chelsea, where he has scored 23 goals in all competitions this, including 11 in his last six games.

Palmer, who scored four times in Monday’s 6-0 rout of Everton, was a constant threat for Chelsea, but ultimately it was his team’s lack of killer instinct that proved decisive.

Guardiola relief

Palmer’s pin-point pass sent Jackson racing into the City area early on, but his strike lacked the accuracy to beat Stefan Ortega in a miss that foreshadowed Chelsea’s fate.

Jackson wasted a golden opportunity to give Chelsea the goal their dominance deserved.

Enzo Fernandez’s pass split the City defence, but Jackson opted to go around Ortega rather than shoot and the chance was gone as Nathan Ake scurried back to clear.


Playing with more purpose and quality than City, Pochettino’s team threatened again as Palmer cleverly shimmied past Rodri for a low drive from 12 yards that was well saved by Ortega.

It was the first time lethargic City had failed to muster a first half shot on target since a game against Everton in February.

Jackson, in the midst of a terrible debut season, was put clean through on goal by Conor Gallagher immediately after the interval.

But the much-maligned striker’s shot was palmed away by Ortega, who clawed away a close-range header from Jackson seconds later.

City finally tested Djordje Petrovic through Phil Foden’s snap-shot, but the Serbian was equal to his powerful strike.


Chelsea appealed in vain for a penalty when Jack Grealish’s arm blocked Palmer’s free-kick, while Moises Caicedo was fortunate to escape a second booking for a crunching tackle that forced Grealish to limp off.

Grealish’s replacement Jeremy Doku drew an immediate save from Petrovic with a near-post blast.

Doku’s presence lifted City and the Belgian played a part as they stole the victory in the 84th minute.

Advancing with intent towards the Chelsea area, Doku slipped a pass to Kevin de Bruyne, whose low cross was pushed out by Petrovic to Silva for a close-range finish that deflected home as Guardiola punched the air in relief.



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