Nick Miller summarizes a great weekend, with the semifinals of the Premier League and the FA Cup serving for another football feast.
Jump to: Amor de Hendo de Klopp | The problems of Arsenal | Subposed to the wolves | Team of the week | Deulo delight | Jimenez Deeney & # 39; s smackdown | Brighton returns to business | How disappointing is Burnley?
Expectation-quasher of the weekend.
How seriously should we take Pep Guardiola's claim that it is "almost impossible" to win the Quadruple?
Naturally, Guardiola's proclamation after Manchester City reached the FA Cup final by beating Brighton 1-0 was an attempt to temper expectations: only a fool would appear at a press conference and say that this sweep unprecedented clean was yours.
"Surviving at that stage of competitions is already a miracle," he said. But of course, it is entirely possible.
The natural inclination is to say that the City will lose at least one of the three remaining tournaments, but which one? They have a game at stake in Liverpool in the league, they are clearly favorites to beat Watford in the FA Cup final and they have to face Tottenham in the Champions League, followed by Juventus or Ajax.
Some of those tasks will be more difficult than others, but if you consider each one individually, you will back City to win them all.
Manchester United Fans: It's probably best to prepare for the great possibility of City doing it.
Less appreciated player of the weekend.
You do not always see what Jordan Henderson does when he's in the field. But at the same time, you certainly realize when he is not there. For long periods of Liverpool's 3-1 victory in Southampton on Friday, they looked like a side with no direction, neutrons bouncing around nervously without forming a nucleus.
Then he got up from the bench and almost immediately things looked better. Many people still do not think much about Henderson, but a very important person does.
"If I had to write a book about Hendo, it would be 500 pages," said Jurgen Klopp after the game. "The most difficult job in the last 500 years of football was replacing Steven Gerrard … [He] He has dealt with that exceptionally well.
"He deserves all the praise, but he does not get too much."
There will probably be more important players in the Liverpool title race, but do not underestimate the contribution of the player underestimated by many, but not by the man who matters.
After the defeat of Arsenal in Everton, Steve Nicol and Alejandro Moreno of ESPN FC express their concern about the push among the four best of Arsenal.
Growing problem of the day.
Arsenal were so extraordinarily bad in their 1-0 defeat at Everton that it was difficult to place them as the same team that has shown such positive signals in recent weeks. This was another terrible performance away from home, with his road race extending to just one win in nine, and that was against Huddersfield.
This is a problem that has followed Unai Emery in recent years. It was the absent form of Paris Saint-Germain that cost them the Ligue 1 title in 2016-17. They won all 17 of their games at the Parc des Princes, but lost five away, which gave Monaco the chance to launch.
In addition, in his last season at Sevilla, his team's record read: he played 19, won zero, drew nine, lost 10. He scored only 13 goals on the road and was the second lowest of the visiting league table.
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly why this happens, but Emery must solve it soon and fix it if he wants this Arsenal team to progress further.
Bad substitution of the day.
It is always a bit dangerous to apply post-hoc logic to games, to judge the result instead of the process. But did substitutions by Nuno Espirito Santo cost the Wolves in their FA Cup 3-2 semifinal loss to Watford?
In an understandable attempt to stay in the final stages, Nuno eliminated Diogo Jota and Joao Moutinho, incorporating another central defender and making his side more on the defensive. But the problem of the one-sided form being defensive is that the mentality also becomes negative, which invites the opposition to attack when they do not need encouragement to do so.
Striking a bottom line is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is useful if you have a forward outing, and for most of the game, Jota was that out, with his candor and tenacity that terrified Watford's back line all over the day. Without him, extra time was always going to be a problem.
No, we would not be talking about any of this if Leander Dendoncker had not thrown awkwardly at Troy Deeney in the 94th minute. But even if Nuno's changes did not significantly impede the Wolves, they certainly did not help them.
Team of the week
Goal of the weekend
But then, one of them retires, like his absurd flick / lob / curler / chip to provoke the resurgence of Watford against Wolves, and forget all the times he puts those efforts in the stands.
"I'm glad he put on that mask, he could use it now, he's a loser, so enjoy the mask, we have the victory."
Troy Deeney's "proper football man" program may be a bit tiring, and you have the feeling that each interview is a potential audition for a post-career life as an expert "tell it as it is".
But after knowing that Raúl Jiménez had put on a Mexican wrestling mask to celebrate a goal, only to see his side lose to Los Lobos, we will probably allow him this moment of satisfaction.
Brighton is still not safe from relegation, but perhaps his performance in the FA Cup semifinal in the loss to Manchester City is an incentive for the remaining campaign of the Premier League.
When Gabriel Jesus put Manchester City ahead after only four minutes, you feared the worst for the Seagulls, but after that they performed well and could have forced the extra time.
"On Monday morning, we have to address our Premier League leaders," said Chris Hughton, and the implication that his career in the FA Cup has been a distraction.
Now the league is everything they have to concentrate on, so I hope that for them they can use this to get the points they need to survive.
Cracked wallpaper of the weekend.
With In his 3-1 victory over Bournemouth, Burnley should be safe from relegation, barring an absolute catastrophe in the final weeks of the season. But that should not distract the fact that this has been a bad season for Sean Dyche's side.
They can blame the Europa League campaign if they wish and it is certainly not ideal to play competitive football in July, but in August they were out of Europe.
No doubt, they have improved a lot since Christmas, but this season has been a terrible disappointment after they finished seventh in the last quarter.