FA Cup Quarter-Final
The one remaining FA Cup quarter-final tie between Millwall and Brighton & Hove Albion, to determine who would face Manchester City in the semi-finals, took place at the New Den this Sunday afternoon and saw Chris Hughton‘s Brighton & Hove Albion progress after a poor contest but with a dramatic ending. The hosts, currently struggling in the Championship, included Aiden O’Brien, Shaun Williams and Derby County loanee Alex Pearce in their starting eleven while Shane Duffy filled his centre back role for the Premier League visitors. The visitors were far from their best but might have progressed in normal time save for some dreadful errors by the match officials. Shane Duffy was clearly fouled in the home area and a penalty kick should have ensued while the opening goal for the ‘Lions’ should have been disallowed for a clear foul in the area following a corner kick. That opening score on 70 minutes was converted by Alex Pearce and when Aiden O’Brien scored a fine second on seventy nine minutes, the ‘Seagulls’ looked doomed. With eighty eight minutes on the clock, Brighton reduced the deficit and in the fifth and final minute of added time they equalised. Brighton then totally dominated extra time but no further goals were recorded although they did score a perfectly legitimate goal which was erroneously ruled out for offside, thus compounding the officiating errors. The penalty shoot out was no less dramatic with Brighton missing the opening spot kick but following a later miss from the home side, justice was done with Brighton progressing on a five four shootout score line. The second semi-final will be between Watford and Matt Doherty‘s Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Fulham introduced Cyrus Christie from their substitute bench after seventy three minutes of this afternoon’s Premier League contest with Championship chasing Liverpool at Craven Cottage where the visitors maintained their title challenge with a two one victory.
Following his late withdrawal through illness from last weekend’s defeat at Newcastle United, Seamus Coleman returned as expected to the Everton starting line up for their Premier League contest with Goodison Park visitors Chelsea later this Sunday afternoon. The host ‘Toffees’ gave a an insipid first half performance and the visitors should really have been out of sight but they failed to convert any of several scoring opportunities. The second period was dramatically different with the hosts bursting into life and scoring twice for a well merited victory. Captain Coleman was in excellent form during that second period and looked very much back to his best.