Liverpool, Aston Villa, Arsenal and Reading didn’t feature in the Premier League at the weekend and were involved in the semi-final round of the 2015 FA Cup. Arsenal were expected to reach their 19th FA Cup final and they didn’t falter, giving them an opportunity to end this season with a silverware.
The Gunners and Manchester United share the record for the most number of FA Cup trophies. After eliminating Louis van Gaal’s men earlier this season, Arsenal have now land in a very good opportunity to gain an upper hand over their rivals. The North Londoners faced the Championship side Reading FC on Saturday and the final score at Wembley was 2 – 1 in favor of Arsene Wenger’s men. Reading gave a tough fight to the English giants and they even took the match to extra time. The former Barcelona man Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring in the 39th minute to which Steve Clarke’s team replied in the second half. Arsenal’s first half lead was cancelled out by McCleary in the 54th minute.
The game remained finely poised until the referee blew his whistle at the end of normal time. The final blow to Reading’s hopes came in the second half of extra-time. The Chilean forward again came to the rescue of his team and netted in the 106th minute. The Emirates based outfit is expected to lift the trophy in May and end the season on a positive note.
Wenger’s men have had a brilliant run of form, while Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool slumped after signs of improvement last month. The Merseyside giants lost 2 – 1 to Villa, and that after giving away a 1 – 0 lead. Balotelli netted a goal but it was wrongly ruled offside by the referee. Although we can’t take anything from the fact that the Villa Park based team are a new team under the new manager.
The Brazilian midfielder Phillipe Coutinho drew first blood at the half-hour mark at Wembley on Sunday. Just six minutes later, Benteke, who has now revived his form, nullified Liverpool’s goal. In the 54th minute Fabian Delph gave Villa the lead. The 18-time English champions couldn’t come back from the set back and if they don’t make it back in top four by the end of this season, this campaign will be dubbed as a failure.
The former Spurs’ interim manager, Tim Sherwood deserves all the plaudits for Aston Villa’s turnaround after a pretty bad run in the league. If the Villans successfully avoid relegation and beat the favorites to clinch their eighth FA Cup trophy then it could be termed as a fairly good season for them.
Over the years we have witnessed the feats where underdogs beat all the odds and defeat the favorites. On May 30, Aston Villa could do what Wigan Athletic did to Manchester City in the FA Cup final in 2013.