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FA Cup Quarter Final Review: Arsenal’s Unbeaten Run Ends

March 14, 2016

FA Cup Quarter Final Review: Arsenal’s Unbeaten Run Ends

FA Cup Quarter Final Review: Arsenal’s Unbeaten Run EndsThere will be a new set of ribbons tied around the FA Cup after Watford end Arsenal’s incredible 13 match unbeaten run in the oldest club competition in the world.

The FA Cup quarter-final results are a stunning microcosm of the entire season with the biggest clubs in English football being made to look like a bunch of mugs by less fashionable teams.

It was also the end of one of the FA Cups incredible runs.

It was February 2013 when Colin Kazim-Richards of Blackburn Rovers scored a late goal to knock Arsenal out of the FA Cup. Since that strike, the Gunners went on a 13-match unbeaten run that has seen them win the grandest cup competition of all for two successive seasons.

They were aiming to become only the third team to win three successive FA Cup competitions when they ran into the stubbornness of Watford. Two shots on target and two goals. The breakthrough came courtesy of Odion Ighalo, his first in 599 minutes of action, and the second, an absolute rocket from Adlene Guedioura, gave Watford a two-goal lead with 17-minutes to play.

Arsenal brought on Danny Welbeck a man used to playing for a side heading into the business end of a football match hoping for a miracle and he very nearly created one. The former Man Utd star linked up beautifully with Mesut Ozil to pull one back for Arsenal in the 88th minute, and he should have equalized in the dying seconds when he blasted wide from seven yards out and the goal at his mercy.

Arsenal’s season is over. They have lost too much ground in the title race and have to score three times at the Nou Camp if they have any chance of winning the Champions League.

Diego Costa Gives Barry a Lovebite

Players like putting one over their former clubs and Romelu Lukaku did just that in a late show that produced two goals, and two sending offs in the final 13-minutes of play, to eliminate Chelsea and send Everton into the semi-finals.

It was a horrible week for Chelsea who were celebrating 12 Premier League games without defeat under Gus Hiddink. They have since gone on to lose back-to-back games, and face elimination from two cup competitions effectively ending the worse season they have experienced in many a blue moon.

Diego Costa once again stole the show for all the wrong reasons. We have already gotten rid of one idiot after Chewy Suarez packed his fangs and headed to a coffin somewhere in Spain – perhaps it’s time for Diego Costa to join him. Michael Oliver sending Costa off for two bookable offences the second of which led to Costa apparently biting Gareth Barry on the neck. Incredibly, it was Costa’s first red card in English football. Barry was also sent off later in the game after a foul on Cesc Fabregas.

Costa was brought to Chelsea to fill a hole that Jose Mourinho once thought Lukaku would fit. He didn’t. He was moved on. He is starting to look every inch the striker the Chelsea scouts once thought he would be. The Belgian bagged two goals in 286 seconds after failing to score in four previous matches against his old club.

No Fairytale This Year

There will be no fairytale in this year’s FA Cup after Crystal Palace continued to do what they can’t do in the Premier League and that’s win football matches. Alan Pardew’s men dispatched valiant Reading by two goals to nil to reach their first semi-final since the days of Ian Wright and Mark Bright. They left it late, though. A Johan Cabaye penalty in the 86th minute and an injury time strike by Frazier Campbell doing the business.

It’s Like Spielberg

The semi-final draw will be made on Monday night. The names of Man Utd and West Ham will be on the same slip of paper after United were held at home against the in-form team in the Premier League.

If West Ham’s season ended tomorrow, it would be their greatest in Premier League history. For United, they need to win the FA Cup to salvage any respect from a miserable season. United are the bookmakers favourites to win when the teams meet for their replay at Upton Park. But I think that’s a mistake. Dmitry Payet scored a wonder free-kick to give West Ham the lead in the 68th minute. Anthony Martial equalized with seven minutes remaining on the clock.

“I fancy us,” said Slaven Bilic after the game, “It will be another epic home FA Cup match. The last FA Cup match at Upton Park. It’s like Spielberg.”

FA Cup Quarter Final Results

Reading 0 v 2 Crystal Palace
Everton 2 v 0 Chelsea
Arsenal 1 v 2 Watford
Man Utd 1 v 1 West Ham

FA Cup Odds Courtesy of Bodog

Everton +225
Man Utd +350
West Ham +400
Crystal Palace +450
Watford +450