Quarterfinals show the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Cup
March 14, 2013
You couldn’t have got a more contrasting two days of action in the FA cup recently as football’s oldest club competition took us on another roller coaster ride.
The high certainly came at Old Trafford, where Chelsea and Manchester United played out an enthralling cup-tie. The low, well anyone who witnessed the snore fest that was Millwall against Blackburn will know what the low was.
The magic of the cup has long been questioned and the match at the New Den was certainly not a good advert for the competition. It is safe to say that whoever comes through the replay between the two Championship strugglers should be easily disposed of by Wigan in the semi-finals.
Certainly the ugly of the quarter-finals was Everton’s awful performance against the Latics. Perhaps even uglier was the reaction of the Goodison Park faithful at their team’s capitulation with silverware in sight.
On the flip side though, fans placing a football bet were treated to a sparkling performance by Wigan which maybe gave the romantics amongst us hope the FA Cup might not end up in Manchester or West London this season.
The prospect of an all Manchester semi-final was certainly the most tantalising prospect to come out of the weekend but Chelsea will certainly have something to say about that.
The writing appeared to be on the wall for the Blues when they went 2-0 down but all credit to Mr Popular, Rafael Benitez; his substitutions changed the game and, had it not been for David De Gea, the Spaniard would have had a famous win on his hands.
United looked jaded from their experiences in Europe in mid week and the return leg at Stamford Bridge will be a different kettle of fish.
There was no chance of Manchester City needing a replay against a Barnsley team who seemed to have been overawed by the occasion. Having tickled the tummies of the Tykes, City must be the favourites in the football betting for the FA Cup as Roberto Mancini and co look to salvage something from their season.