The Premier League was up against the FA Cup quarter finals this past weekend so there was a reduced feel to league proceedings with only 4 games played. Still one game at least produced enough excitement for all ten.
Six Goal Thriller
West Ham vs Arsenal was a minor classic that featured six goals and a fantastic Arsenal comeback. The Gunners were losing 3-0 after the half hour mark but were able to come back through not one but two own goals. West Ham's recent record over Arsenal is nothing short of appalling and there was a feeling before the game that this would be the defining moment for the Hammers whether they would be considered as the real deal for a top 4 finish. It seemed that way after 30 minutes when Jesse Lingard who has been superb for the Hammers since coming on loan from Manchester United in January put them ahead. He then set up Jarrod Bowen for the 2nd goal only two minutes later. Tomas Soucek arguably the Hammers best player this season made it three, and this game was over.
But then again this is Arsenal, the same team that keep denying West Ham glory throughout the years, if the Hammers have a jinx team then the Gunners are it and they claimed a goal back before half time after a superb shot from Alexandre Lacazette, though the ball did come off Soucek. Craig Dawson scored one of those own goals which actually looks great and it was 3-2 as the second half was under way. By this time there was a feel to the game that Arsenal were going to come back and Lacazette did score this time from a header for 3-3. Late on Declan Rice ran the length of the pitch and looked like he was going to score one of the great goals, but his effort came to nothing. This was one of the best games of the season no doubt but Hammers manager David Moyes will be bitterly disappointed with the result. Indeed so was Mikel Arteta, a great comeback Arsenal may have staged but one has to question why a team who thought they had turned a corner in recent weeks were 3-0 down at one point.
Brighton Edging to Safety
There was fun to be had in the relegation battle as Brighton look safe for now after thumping Newcastle 3-0 in a very one sided game. Graham Potter's team have gone six points clear of the bottom three. Fulham, at home lost to Leeds United 2-1 and that was a blow for the Cottagers, but they are still only 2 points from Newcastle and safety. It was a great win for Leeds who lost their legendary player Peter Lorimer over the weekend. The Premier League takes a two week break now as international football kicks in.
Premier League team of the weekend: Lloris, Dunk, Reguilon, Rice, Veltman, Maupay, Moura, Lingard, Raphinha, Bamford, Kane
FA Cup Round-up
In the FA Cup perhaps there should be no surprise that the semi-finals will be an all Premier League affair. Manchester City beat Everton 2-0 after Carlo Ancelotti's side had defended well for most of the game, but City's quality told in the end and not every team has the capacity to being on Kevin De Bruyne from the bench. Chelsea were made to work hard for their 2-0 win over Sheffield United and that game remained in the balance until the final minutes. Leicester beat a clearly fatigued Manchester United side 3-1 and the Foxes will play Southampton for a chance to reach the final. The other game is a mouth watering clash between Chelsea and Manchester City.
FA Cup Winners odds: Manchester City 1.80, Leicester 4.00, Chelsea 5.00, Southampton 11.00