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1) Ten Hag hopes to cease Metropolis’s treble tilt

For a lot of Wembley minutes and till Solly March’s tears, the credibility of Erik ten Hag’s regime was on a knife-edge. In current weeks, a beforehand extensive acceptance that Manchester United had lastly discovered the best supervisor has loosened. Each Louis van Gaal and José Mourinho delivered fleeting spells of success. Each gained trophies, too. Even Ole Gunnar Solskjær introduced the grins again for some time. Heavy defeats by Liverpool and Sevilla had hastened darkish ideas of a false daybreak however now Ten Hag has the prospect to reinforce United’s soccer heritage. By 3 June and the FA Cup ultimate, Manchester Metropolis might be set honest for a treble to equal United’s in 1999, the membership’s biggest ever achievement. To disclaim Metropolis and pull off such a heist, United will want far higher attacking efficiency than towards Brighton, although the grit proven by lesser-starred names like Victor Lindelöf, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Diogo Dalot and even Antony may even be welcome. John Brewin

2) Wembley semi attracts woeful numbers

Manchester Metropolis towards Sheffield United didn’t really feel like an FA Cup semi-final. In truth it didn’t actually really feel like something specifically, regardless of Riyad Mahrez’s well-taken hat-trick. It didn’t assist that Metropolis’s all-engulfing dominance meant the end result was roughly a foregone conclusion. It was hardly a ringing endorsement of the affair, both, that the Blades would have traded their presence at Wembley for the three factors that will assure promotion towards West Brom on Wednesday. Neither set of followers appeared particularly into the event and the variety of empty seats amongst each allocations was noticeable. Which brings us to maybe probably the most devaluing issue of all: the concept that, in a value of dwelling disaster, tens of 1000’s of supporters from these northern cities needs to be obliged to pay prime greenback for a night fixture a number of hours away. A venue nearer to dwelling would have been pumping, however the sport’s seemingly lack of jeopardy. As a substitute we have been subjected to an event devoid of something resembling the Cup spirit. Nick Ames

Empty seats in the background during Manchester City v Sheffield United
The official attendance of Manchester Metropolis v Sheffield United was 69,602, properly in need of Wembley’s capability of 90,000. {Photograph}: Javier García/Shutterstock

3) Was Conte proper about Spurs gamers?

He could have burned by way of a lot of his managerial cachet at Tottenham, however Antonio Conte’s tirade after final month’s 3-3 draw with Southampton rings more true with every passing week. “I see egocentric gamers, gamers that don’t wish to assist one another and don’t put their coronary heart [into it],” he mentioned after that specific collapse. “They don’t wish to play below stress, they don’t wish to play below stress.” Even those that felt Conte was making a cynical try to absolve himself of accountability must admit that, having fallen to items barely a minute into a vital recreation towards Newcastle, the crew had not one of the focus, cohesion and starvation of their opponents and confirmed little signal of combating for each other. Whereas followers are directing their anger in direction of the membership’s hierarchy, the gamers must salvage some pleasure in tough video games towards Manchester United and Liverpool or it might be a very excruciating finish to the season. Will Magee

Harry Kane walks back to the halfway line in a dejected manner
Tottenham have been thrashed at Newcastle due to a dreadful efficiency. {Photograph}: Clive Brunskill/Getty Photos

4) Arteta should remedy Saliba downside

“If we wish to be champions we have now to go there and win the sport, that’s all.” Gabriel Jesus laid it on the road for Arsenal after what was, for all their rousing efforts late on, a massively damaging draw towards Southampton. They must do that the onerous method now and which means taking three factors on Wednesday towards a Manchester Metropolis aspect that exhibits little signal of dropping the sorts of defensive blooper which have helped Arsenal’s opponents on their method during the last fortnight. Mikel Arteta will pray his gamers have gotten these errors out of their system however, past that, he might want to devise one thing that knocks Metropolis off their stride. With out William Saliba, Arsenal lose one thing on the again but additionally of their buildup play: they’re slower in possession and the problem spreads into their midfield. Maybe the Frenchman will make a miracle restoration however, if he isn’t match sufficient to be gambled on, Arteta should discover a option to get his crew shifting rapidly once more. May a brief return to the center for Ben White be a possible resolution? NA

5) Consistency key to Liverpool push

“Hopefully it’s not too late,” mirrored Jürgen Klopp as he praised the counterpressing high quality and cohesion that introduced Liverpool a second successive victory over a relegation-threatened opponent. His crew have gained back-to-back league video games six occasions this season however have prolonged the successful streak additional solely as soon as, when recording 4 consecutive league wins both aspect of the World Cup interruption. With Tottenham and Aston Villa amongst 4 remaining dwelling video games, and Klopp’s attacking choices enhanced by Diogo Jota rediscovering his final touch and Luis Díaz’s availability, European qualification of some type stays Liverpool’s to find out. However, first, some overdue consistency. “Let’s simply deal with West Ham [on Wednesday],” mentioned Virgil van Dijk, rightly refusing to get carried away. “After every part we’ve gone by way of this season, that’s the important thing. It’s been a really tough season up to now” Andy Hunter

6) Leeds are caught in post-Bielsa stoop

Javi Gracia was not focused by Leeds followers as their crew slumped to a dangerous defeat at Fulham. Neither have been his gamers. There was no lack of effort on present. Leeds performed onerous and got here up towards a Fulham crew nothing just like the mushy contact of their earlier promoted groups. As a substitute, Victor Orta was the title ringing out. Orta is the sporting director who tempted Marcelo Bielsa to West Yorkshire however he additionally dismissed the sainted former supervisor, whose title was sung amid calls to “sack the board”. Even when Bielsa’s alchemy had stopped working by February final yr, it’s the failure of the succession plan from Orta and proprietor Andrea Radrizzani that enrages Leeds followers. Jesse Marsch was a bust; Gracia is left to select up the items of a squad brief on high quality and confidence. Illan Meslier’s goalkeeping errors took the headlines however his lack of nerve speaks to a membership sad inside itself. J

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7) Soyuncu reborn as Smith steels Foxes

Who is that this ponytailed centre-back on the coronary heart of Leicester’s defence? Caglar Soyuncu was frozen out by Brendan Rodgers however has began each Leicester video games since Dean Smith took the reins till the top of the season. Soyuncu was wonderful in Saturday’s important win over Wolves, making a few key blocks as Leicester tasted victory for the primary time since February. Rodgers felt Soyuncu’s performances in coaching typically didn’t advantage inclusion in his squads, not to mention his beginning lineups, however the Turkey defender has been reinstated by Smith and has helped breathe new life into Leicester’s flagging season. “I don’t know what’s gone on earlier than I received right here,” Smith mentioned. “I’ve seen a participant who’s dedicated to the membership, trains very well and I believe his performances have proven that.” Ben Fisher

8) Moyes deserves to exit with a bang

West Ham’s rampant win at Bournemouth made it 10 objectives in per week for David Moyes, who began the month a recreation away from the sack. Whether or not current shows might be sufficient to influence West Ham’s hierarchy to stay with the Scot seems unlikely however he may but bow out with a visit to Prague for the Europa Convention League ultimate if AZ Alkmaar are seen off subsequent month. Few would begrudge a proud exit for the supervisor who guided West Ham to sixth place and a report factors whole after an unheralded return in 2019 that was described – with motive – in these pages as “not an appointment prone to encourage disillusioned followers”. Moyes has at all times been often called a person of decency however his second stint in east London has helped restore his fame as a canny training-ground supervisor who instils his groups with grit, wit and tenacity. Virtually all managerial stints finish in rancour; this one would possibly simply end on a hard-earned excessive. Alex Hess

9) Villa present grit as purple patch ends

Aston Villa’s surge for the Champions League might be at its finish, however the decided qualities which have revived the membership have been on present within the fightback at Brentford. Ollie Watkins failed to attain for a primary away recreation since 21 January, dropping out to Ivan Toney within the battle of England hopefuls. It was left to Douglas Luiz to stab in a late equaliser, redeeming a efficiency Unai Emery described as being “very, very unhealthy” in spells. An unbeaten run of over two months was ultimately prolonged regardless of dropping Emiliano Martínez to a abdomen bug at half-time. His alternative, Robin Olsen, was left uncovered at his again publish for Toney’s purpose and clearly suffers from a insecurity from his defenders. It’s hoped Martínez can return for the go to of Fulham on Tuesday however regardless of his exit, and Watkins’ clean, Villa nonetheless managed to get a consequence from a match that beforehand may need received away from them. JB

Unai Emery gestures from the touchline
Unai Emery’s escaped from Brentford with a degree regardless of what Unai Emery described as a ‘very, very unhealthy’ efficiency in spells. {Photograph}: Richard Heathcote/Getty Photos

10) Calvert-Lewin again for Toffees’ run-in

Sean Dyche has insisted Everton aren’t pinning their hopes of survival on Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s health after the 26-year-old got here by way of his newest return from harm towards Crystal Palace. Calvert-Lewin has scored solely one in all his aspect’s paltry 24 objectives up to now this season – the bottom within the Premier League – however confirmed indicators of his outdated self at Selhurst Park. Dyche is hoping the striker can discover some extra sharpness in time for Newcastle’s journey to Goodison Park on Thursday earlier than subsequent Monday’s huge showdown at Leicester, though he admitted coaxing extra objectives from the remainder of his goal-starved squad stays a piece in progress. “I haven’t received any magic mud,” mentioned the Everton supervisor. “We now have a method of working that may assist change that but it surely’s as much as the gamers to take possession. It’s not nearly one participant. It’s about the remainder of the gamers stepping up as properly.” Ed Aarons



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