This was a tough but overall well deserved win. I thought the team showed some real cohesion when we did not have the ball and we had some good movement too moving forward. We, obviously, had to concede a stupid goal but we showed spirit to reclaim our lead. We were also our usual vulnerable selves on set-pieces.
The positives:- Pepe had a MOTM performance, not only for his goal and offensive contribution but for his defensive contribution. The guy tracked back and then he was available to receive the ball when we recovered it. – Tierney had another spirited and quite solid performance.- Holding coming back to form and showing some solidity.- The overall team work and in some cases, we moved the ball really well. Pepe could have grabbed a double but he skewed one of his efforts slightly to the left of the post.- Martinez distribution was quite good – he has definitely improved but I’d like him to be a more commanding
The not-so positives:- We are still vulnerable on the right side with AMN, Willock, Mustafi not doing great…- AMN looks lost and it is sad to see because I think he has got the engine and the skills to succeed at our club. He looks like he is constantly interrogating his positioning, his dribbling or passing. He needs to play with a free mind…- Willok had an absolute blank or bleak performance. He needs to really make sure that he has the engine to play day-in day-out at a high level. – Mustafi and Kola – great fighters but Mustafi always struggles with pacey forward and Kola can sometimes be a bit rash with his decision-making as proven by the silly goal conceded- Besides the great goal scored, Ceballos was really transparent too. – We are playing City next – not gonna be easy…Dr Bruyne and Mahrez are really at the top of their game these days and Sterling is coming back to form.
Martinez 7……. Mustafi 6 ………. Holding 7 ……….. Kola 5
AMN 5 ………. Willock 5…………. Xhaka 6 ………….Tierney 6
Pepe 8 ………….Laca 6 ……….Saka 7 ……….. Ceballos 6
In any case, I am looking forward to the Semi-Finals at Wembley! The opposition will be ferocious and the ambiance odd but we are two games away from the Cup and who knows, we may be able to grab the trophy! So as I am having my coffee in Brussels, here is my order “Another FA Cup to go, please – make it smooth and sweet”.
Hope everyone is well! Keep on blogging and above all, keep safe and healthy