That was the week that was

There was one result that sent shock waves across the footballing world over the last 7 days. No, i am not talking about Sheffield Wednesday’s goalless draw with Swansea (obviously). I am referring to Manchester City’s cup nemesis, Wigan Athletic of League One. It was expected to be a routine win for Pep’s stars, so much so that I only had one eye on the game while writing a literature review. However, as soon as the Fabian Delph incident happened, I had to put aside my work and enjoy the rest of the game.

Stand in left back Delph showed too much eagerness to win the ball when he flied into a challenge on Max Power (Not a reference to The Simpsons). Having shown an initial yellow card to Fabian Delph, he then consulted with the Wigan players before duly changing it to a red. So it’s fair to say Pep’s repeated calls for more protection backfired the moment it happened.

Sparks then flied in the tunnel between Pep Guardiola and Wigan’s Paul Cook. Man City still dominated possession after the restart before Kyle Walker allowed Will Grigg to be played through on goal, subsequently finishing beautifully past Claudio Bravo to win it for the Latics. Cue the Will Grigg song being sang in the stands, and unashamedly in my household as well.

Rochdale were unfortunate not to win against Tottenham Hostpur on Sunday afternoon. Mauricio Pochettino was reluctantly forced to play both Dele Alli and Harry Kane, and they both made the difference when Dele Alli dived to ensure Spurs get their regular penalty with Harry Kane converting. To be fair, Dele Alli probably never dived on this occasion. But he’s done it so often this season that it’s now tougher to differentiate between a dive, and legitimately getting brought down. The League One side then dramatically equalised in virtually the last kick of the game, when striker and part-time Snooker player Steve Davies showed plenty of composure to beat perennial cup keeper Michel Vorm.

Elsewhere in the FA Cup and Romelu Lukaku produced a couple of superb goals to help Manchester United overcome Huddersfield. He seems to raise his performance when he faces the likes of the Terriers, Derby County and Burnley. When it comes to scoring goals against the the top 8, he tends to hide. In games vs top eight sides this season, he’s played 900 minutes and hasn’t scored any. Poor stuff.

United were also in action in the Champions League in midweek, facing a tricky tie in Spain to face Sevilla. At least I thought it was tricky. According to pundit Ray Wilkins, Sevilla would finish in the bottom 6. This is the same Sevilla who beat Liverpool 3-1 in the Europa League final a couple of years ago. Alright then. Anyway, there isn’t much to say about the game. In a damp squib, there was nothing really noteworthy to write about, aside from a multitude of world class saves from David De Gea. All the questions directed at Jose Mourinho on the night resolved around the absence of Paul Pogba in his starting line up. So when a journalist asked Jose about Scott McTominay, it prompted an offer of a hug from the Portuguese. Aww.

Brazilian Willian is one of those players who are unplayable on his day, and completely inept. Fortunately for Chelsea, he had one of his better games on Tuesday night against Barcelona, nearly outshining Lionel Messi in the process. The woodwork was struck twice by Willian, before he then scored a beauty to give Chelsea a much needed one goal advantage heading to the second leg. That is if it wasn’t for Messi, who finally ended his goal drought against Chelsea after more than 600 minutes.

And finally, Arsenal gave the 5,000 Ostersunds fans at the Emirates a night to remember when the Gunners suffered a 2-1 defeat, although still advancing to the next round of the Europa League. Whenever Arsenal lose, there’s only one thing to do. Get the popcorn, sit back and watch the meltdown’s from their supporters on ArsenalFanTV.

Have a great weekend everyone.