Ross Barkley’s difficult return, VAR inconsistency in the FA Cup, Nuno Espírito Santo impresses and James Maddison’s class
Ross Barkley would have known what kind of reception awaited him at Goodison Park: the type rained down on previous Everton escapees such as Wayne Rooney and Joleon Lescott. Goodison might not be much longer for this world, with the latest suggestion being a new stadium for 2023, but for now it retains old‑fashioned menace to those who have transgressed the Evertonian code. Barkley’s crime among the faithful is to have left Goodison on a cut-price transfer to Chelsea in the January transfer window of last year after running down his contract. As he left the field after being substituted in the 65th minute, he responded to the hail of jeers by applauding all sides of the stadium. To Barkley’s credit, he has made himself a regular under Maurizio Sarri but like so many other Chelsea players at Goodison – and this season – he is wasted by the Neapolitan’s rigid thinking. John Brewin
The decisive penalty kick from Jake Cooper had only just sailed over the bar when Millwall’s devastated supporters broke out into a stirring round of applause. An hour earlier they had been revelling in the idea of taking on Manchester City at Wembley, but the mood was rather more downbeat once this extraordinary contest was over. Brighton & Hove Albion, wretched for much of the afternoon, had battled back from the brink to reach their first FA Cup semi-final since 1983 and the only way for the locals to respond was with one last show of defiance.
Goals on 88 minutes and 95 minutes hauled Brighton back from the brink, and they eventually prevailed on penalties to earn a semi-final with Manchester City; Watford meet Wolves in the other tie
So there we go! A brilliant weekend of football, a brilliant game, and plenty of fun and frolics to come. Thanks all for your company and comments - enjoy the rest of your weekends.
Watford v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion
and Manchester City will play Brighton & Hove Albion.
Watford will play...
Hasselbaink struggles to get balls from bag to bowl, but we get there in the end...
Everyone agrees that it’s been a great quarter-final weekend, which they always do, but this time they’re right. The FA Cup is the don.
Leon Osman and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will pick the balls.
Right, it’s time for the draw. I don’t know about you, but the magic of the cup was diluted for me when they stopped doing this in the middle of the One Show.
Lewis Dunk says Brighton did it the ard way. They knew it was gonna be ard, it was ard, we’ve got great character and we dun it the ard way.
I’ve no real idea how Brighton did that - they were not threatening at 2-0 down - but March and Locadia found something, David Martin inscribed himself into FA Cup folklore in his own snot, and here we are!
Everything about this looks wrong. The run-up is too long, too straight, and you know it’s going over the bar ... it goes over the bar, and Brighton have stolen a trip to Wembley! That is an absolute burglary! And that is the FA Cup!
Dunk whams bottom left as Martin goes bottom right.
Morison must score ... and does, very cooly.
Stephens does a little jig, runs too straight, and heels towards the bottom corner ... Martin gets tips to it, but can’t quite keep it out.
Romeo looks nervous, like he’s about to gip, and rightly so; he opens his body, goes down the middle, and Ryan, who goes left, kicks it away! That’s a brilliant save!
Propper cracks hame.
Leonard wallops home. Millwall are nearly there...
March lifts a German penalty into the roof of the net. Brilliant.
Excellent from Tunnicliffe, a smack above Ryan’s dive.
Locadia scuffs across Martin into the side-netting.
Williams telegraphs his intention and sticks into the far corner with his left foot!
David Martin the hero! Murray opens his body and prangs against the bar!
Can David Martin redeem himself? Brighton will go first, and it’s Glenn Murray...
Penalties will be ... at the away end.
Dunk and Morison toss for start and ends.
Seeing that Locadia goal again, that was never offside. The officials have had better days, but I’d take that over the buzzkill of VAR every time.
Penalties it is! Perhaps we should just all do the lottery and see.
120 min Brighton escape down the right, Izquierdo crosses, and Locadi absolutely paggas into the net ... but the flag is up! That was extremely close!
As Annie Lennox once said, Whhhhhhhhhhy! Ferguson trips Dunk, then leaps into a rake, studs introduced to calf. Off he goes - and Millwall will need to find an extrs penalty-taker.
118 min Millwall press again and Stephens finds space for a shot, thinks about it, eventually accepts it, and drives into Martin’s midriff.
117 min Brighton win a corner and Duffy can’t get to it at the back post, but the ball drops to Locadia, who absolutely shmices a shot that flies over the bar. Decent effort.
116 min Is there anything more magic of the cup than a Premier League club brutally destroying the dreams of a Football League club?
115 min Izquierdo flicks a pass out to Murray, who lumbers to the line and digs out a cross, but Martin reads it and catches.
115 min March crosses the the ball bobbles off the turf, no defender wanting to play it. And they all escape, because no striker is on-hand to collect.
114 min Locadia tries to make space for a shot, but Cooper is there to block at source.
113 min All Brighton now, but Millwall are still finding the energy to stay in shape.
111 min It’s hard when you’ve been playing so long, but Brighton need to find the intensity they had in the final five minutes, else they’re playing penalties with a dodgy keeper, which you should never, ever do - just ask Andriy Shevchenko.
110 min Izquierdo, played down the right by Montoya, crosses low and Locadia is there! No he isn’t! Somehow he misses his first swipe - did a defender get a toe to take it away? - then misses again with his second swipe!
109 min Millwall push and Duffy clears hurriedly when he’s got time; Leonard pumps into the box and Ryan claims.
108 min Millwall successfully disappear the first two minutes of the period.
106 min March shows it to Ferguson, drags the ball down the side of him, and with Murray too far away to be found, sends a nothing shot behind.
106 min Once more into the breach...
Penalties in 15 minutes...
104 min Murray finds Izquierdo, who slides across the box to March. He nips inside and tries to do the keeper with the eyes, looking far and shooting near, but Martin pushes behind and the corner comes to nowt.
103 min Bernardo goes down the left and crosses; Martin comes to collect, haunted look plastered across his coupon.
102 min Millwall look really tired now, barely able to clear beyond where the Subbuteo shooting line would be.
100 min Brighton need to get March on the ball and men into the box. They’re struggling to work the angles at the moment.
98 min Brighton are dictating now, but Millwall are in shape and looking solid.
96 min Here come Brighton again! A long cross is expertly teed up for Meredith by Morison, and there are plenty of players between man and keeper ... so his low shot is a real tester for Ryan who palms out ... and Romeo can’t get his knee over the follow-up, which he skies!
95 min “From half-time (just catching up),” emails Geoff Wignall, “I don’t see how anything, not even the FA Cup can have a power that’s both supernatural (i.e. beyond the natural) and preternatural (i.e. extraordinary but still natural).”
I was joking. It’s the way I tell em!
94 min Izquierdo finds possession on the left, cuts inside, and rifles a low shot that Martin saves by his near post - earning him the rare privilege of being patronised by Pearce and Jenas.
93 min “Re: Carvalho foul,” emails Rutger Smyth-Emberry. “It was against Barcelona. John Terry scored. As a Chelsea fan I laughed.”
As a non-Chelsea fan I also laughed. Mourinho Mk I was a lot of fun most of the time.
92 min I guess Millwall will be hoping for penalties now - a disappointment in context, but one I’m sure they’d have took, as Ryan Giggs would say, before kick-off. .
91 min Off we go again!
“Everyone loves a cup upset but at this stage of the tournament is it a good thing to have such an imbalance in strength between the teams remaining in the competition?” asks David Wall. “It risks becoming a procession for City now. Perhaps Wolves can genuinely challenge them but on a neutral ground you wouldn’t think either Millwall or Watford will offer much resistance at all. No one wants the completely one sided affair that, for instance, United vs Millwall turned out to be (no matter who you support).”
Yes, I was at United-Millwall, and it was odd going to a final not even thinking about the match, but I couldn’t begrudge Millwall the place they won fairly and squarely. Also, don’t sleep on Watford, who’ve given City good games before - in 2008, Man United, who won league and Champions League, lost at home to Portsmouth in the last eight.
“You’ve won it once, now go and win it again...”
Well that livened up! And now we’ve got another half-hour!
Oh dear oh dear oh dear! March smacks a curler seeking the back post, and Martin, thinking it’s going wide, is too far off his line and too late to act; at the last split split-second, he panics, parries, and pushes it into the top corner when it might otherwise have gone wide! Well! Solly March has changed this game! Poor David Martin! The FA Cup is the absolute don!
90+4 min March tangles with Leonard and it’s a free-kick to Brighton, 35 yards out....
90+3 min Final change for Millwall: off goes Wallace, on comes Hutchinson.
90+3 min March, who’s made a difference, slides Izquierdo in down the left, and he opens his body, making clear his intention, before punching a backpass into Martin’s midriff.
90+1 min Bernardo crosses from the left and Murray flicks into Pearce’s side; there’s a penalty appeal, but nothing doing. Then Propper crosses, and Matin claims.
90 min There’ll be four added minutes.
90 min Change for Millwall: club legend, Steve Morison, replaces Gregory, who’s run his life into the ground.
Cat/pigeons interface: March dashes around two challenges and cuts back; the ball ricochets and bounces at the near post as Locadi swivels and absolutely chleanses a left-footer that rushes high past Martin.
87 min At Craven Cottage, Virgil Baresi has just presented Ryan Babbel with an equaliser.
85 min Change for Millwall: Meredith replaces the scorer of the second goal, O’Brien.
84 min I seem to recall Chelsea scoring a key goal in the first Mourinho season that involved Ricardo Carvalho fouling someone in a move that’d clearly been practised on the training ground. It takes a particular kind of mind to rehearse breaking the rules, and football needs as many of them as possible.
82 min The draw for the semis follows this game. I think we all know that it’s going to be City-Millwall and Watford-Wolves; when your luck’s in, it’s in.
81 min “What does kindergarten choir mean?” emails Dan C. “I googled it and that didn’t help, I don’t want to do any more research lest I end up on some sort of list...”
Lots of noise and effort, not quite so much competence and quality.
Well! Wallace finds space down the right, nashes to the line and cuts back and across for O’Brien who forces home. Millwall are gahn ta Weberlee!
79 min Brighton haven’t made a single decent chance today. That is velly velly poower as my grand would’ve said.
77 min “There’s something about this commentary that’s touching on poetry, conveying something of the vanity of human endeavour,” reckons Samuel Cardwell. “I haven’t felt like this since I watched all of Russia vs Spain in the World Cup in the middle of the night and I literally thought I was going mad.”
Spain were always going to lose once they realised that they couldn’t pass their penalties sideways.
76 min In comes the corner, Dunk leaps over about 73 people, and this time the flag goes up. Assuming you’re not Brighton, you’ve got to laugh.
75 min It’s caning down with rain again, and Murray nods down a high cross for Propper, whose shot is deflected behind.
74 min Two changes for Brighton: Locadia and Izquierdo on, Kayal and Knockaert off.
74 min We see the goal again, and Cooper proper takes Murray around the waist then hauls him down - I hope they’ve been practising that on the training ground - and Duffy can’t get around to cover.
73 min They win a free-kick and March’s ball isn’t bad, but Murray is on his heels.
71 min So what do Brighton have?
This is a monstrous, towering, colossal header! The corner goes high to the back post, looking for Pearce and Murray, marking him, is blokced off by Cooper. For a second, time pauses, as everyone knows what can happen, what surely must happen ... AND IT HAPPENS, Pearce headbutting high into the net! It’s been coming!
70 min Millwall win another corner down the left....
68 min Montoya is late on Ferguson and is booked; fine, but Romeo’s tackle just a few minutes was at least equivalent and probably worse.
67 min Change for Brighton: March replaces Jahanbaksh, who’s been nonsense.
66 min The corner finds Cooper clambering at the back post, but he can’t quite grow his neck long enough.
66 min Millwall are warming up now, and Tunnicliffe slips Gregory in, but Ryan is out sharply, the angle is already narrow, and the attempted clipped finish drifts behind.
64 min Tunnicliffe drifts away from Stephens and lays back for Romeo, who slides a pass into Williams, inside the box, right-hand side, but inching a way from goal. He swivels into a shot nonetheless, but Ryan is there to parry.
63 min Bernardo lanks down the right, crosses, and some 46 minutes later, Romeo cuts him in two. No foul!
62 min This has got “0-0 until a late deflected winner just before the end of extra-time to ruin penalties” written all over it.
61 min I think it might be sunny again.
59 min Best chance of the game! Ferguson slides a pass inside and behind Montoya and Wallace breaks onto it, opening his body to telegraph his intention, punching a sidefooter into Ryan. Unmarked in the middle, Tunnicliffe is raging.
58 min Kayal dawdles on the ball close to the by-line, secure in the knowledge that Ferguson won’t be able to resist fouling him. And there it is, but the ref sees nothing untoward.
57 min Kayal finds himself some space, takes possession, and drills a low shot that Matin shovels away.
57 min “Hardworking week for these people in the Docklands of London,” reckons Jonathan Pearce; I’d wager fewer than ten, so not even a minyan, have passed their time in that way.
55 min Brighton can feel the unpleasantness building, and Stephens beautifully caresses a pass into touch.
54 min Murray shoves Romeo then Kayal barges Williams and we almost enjoy some afters, but not quite. They shake hands.
53 min It’s sweeping hail now, and the crowd are getting properly involved. The football is less exciting.
51 min “Is this kindergarten choir or are we all adults here?” asks Jeremy Dresner. “The question is would our computer overlords manifesting as VAR called that tug on Duffy?
1. Is VAR going to be in place for FA Cup next year?
2. If so, will they tweak its algorithm / actual enforcement to make sure games are a bit more rough and tumble and FA Cup-like?”
50 min The wind is kicking up now and it’s much darker than before - where norf leads etc etc. Millwall will fancy this even more now.
49 min Aaargh! Gegory chests down and Duffy tries to shepherd back to Ryan, who panics when his man gets too close, battering into his body. The ricochet, though, isn’t quite strong enough to bobble over the line, the keeper catching up with it before Gregory.
48 min Brighton look to be trying to get closer to Murray - Kayal is playing further forward now.
47 min Elsewhere, Liverpool lead Fulham 0 by 1-0. Rob Smyth has the latest.
46 min Off we go again. It’s thundering and sleeting in norf London which, as things stand, will make it into the highlights.
Rosenior says that before away games, Hughton always says stay in it and then it’ll open up - and with March and Izquierdo on the bench, his boys have a chance.
The studio yukking it up quotient has been absolutely wondrous today. The FA Cup just has that supernatural, preternatural power to rejuvenate itself.
This game is everything we hoped it’d be: scrappy, tedious, and barren – if it can just conjure some needle, we’ll have a true cup classic for the ages. Millwall started well and Gregory still looks lively, but otherwise Brighton have been the better side, for the little that says. Join me again in ten!
45 min There’ll be one added minute.
45 min Knockaert looks the most likely source of something and some lovely control helps his team win a corner. Again, Dunk is yanked by Cooper, and this time the ref penalises the attacker.
43 min Brighton win a corner down the right which Knockaert curls towards the back post. Duffy is there for it too, but Cooper yanks him back by the arm and the officials contrive to miss it. No matter; we’re adults.
43 min Brighton really need to turn this up. They’re playing far too slowly, and without much intensity.
41 min Knockaert gets away and finds Kayal, who crosses looking for Propper, but Cooper is there to foil. This is the opposite of good.
40 min A quiet period, even in the context.
38 min Knockaert fashions space for himself to shoot, outside the box, left-hand side, as though he hasn’t tried last week’s derby winner a million times and scored once. He does not score a second.
37 min Nice from Propper, jinking though centrefield to find Jahanbaksh, who wants far too long on the ball and is robbed.
35 min Bernardo scythes through Romeo and is cautioned.
35 min Again Knockaert is the outlet and his cross, early, finds Kayal - I wonder if he may have this coincidence politely communicated into his cochlea – and a downward header is straight at Martin.
33 min This game is like a kindergarten choir.
31 min It takes four or five goes, but eventually Dunk gets the ball away.
30 min Wallace, who’s been decent so far, goes down the right and sees his cross deflected behind.
29 min Cooper out-grapples Dunk 40 yards from goal, and the ball bounces to Gregory, his back to goal; he prods it to his left, then swivels to hook a shot over the bar. That’s clever centre-forward play.
28 min Knockaert dances about on the right as Murray makes 73 runs ferrim. Eventually the ball comes over, finding Propper on the edge of the box, and he drills straight at Murray.
26 min Has anyone noticed the desire for words which ought not be hyphenated to be hyphenated? Last week I saw “four-consecutive” and “six-pence”. I say that because I’m wondering when it’ll be “Cold-Blow Lane”.
24 min Brighton win a corner down the right for which Dunk and Duffy trot forward. Jahanbaksh mentally prepares himself to take it, then Knockaert comes over and shoos him away - he wants to swing one in and there’s pressure on the keeper, but Cooper and Pearce see it away.
23 min “It’s fizzled out a little bit,” says Jermaine Jenas. I’m not altogether certain when it fizzled in.
21 min This is every bit as messy as we’d hoped. Like a Goya copied by Mr Tickle.
19 min Nice from Kayal, who dinks the ball away from Williams, then takes the foul. Thirty yards out and central, Propper dinks it into the box, but Millwall clear easily enough.
17 min We’ve more or less settled into a pattern now, Brighton stroking it around before failing to find the class necessary to create an opportunity to create a goalscoring opportunity.
16 min Knockaert gets himself into a race with Ferguson, who mistimes his tackle as yerman looks to come inside. But Cooper does just enough to hold him up and block the eventual shot.
15 min Brighton are playing a bit better now, looking to keep the ball and allow class to take its course.
13 min “Hughton may be no longer be a whippersnapper,” emails Andrew Benton, “but Vince Cable is as old as football itself, as the Speaker alluded to a few days ago (well, not the football bit). Why not just have a Brexit play off, much easier.”
Are the teams comprised of MPs, or anyone? I sometimes wonder whether, had the leaders been any good at football, the Brexit vote would have happened at all.
11 min Williams flicks around the corner and Tunnicliffe finds Romeo - that’s nicely done, but the resultant cross comes to nothing.
10 min Millwall have been excellent so far.
8 min Motoya fouls Ferguson, raiding down the left. The free-kick, inswung, picks out Cooper, but his header is straight at Ryan.
7 min Romeo fouls Jahanbaksh for no reason, and Knockaert has a chance to swing one into the box. But all he can do it pick out the first man, and Millwall clear easily.
6 min Gregory bullies Dunk, who falls over - he does well to earn a free-kick for that.
5 min Gregory is really lively, backing into Montoya on the left corner of the box and turning inside, controlling a bouncing ball on foot and thigh before tumping a shot against Leonard’s back; the ball flies behind.
3 min Millwall are looking good, Gregory again showing - his run distracts the defenders so that Pearce lofts a pass into the channel for Romeo. He collects, looks up and lays back, before Gregory sweeps a cross past everyone. Brighton have barely had a kick so far.
3 min Why do so few teams play in navy blue, so popular a colour otherwise?
1 min The last five top-division visitors to the New Den have been beaten, and Millwall start on the front foot, Gregory holding up well. He moves the ball wide to Leonard, whose cross is swept clear.
1 min We’re away!
There’s a fine old racket in the ground. Here we go!
“One of the headlines from yesterday’s games was City maintaining the possibility of winning all four competitions they entered this season (albeit with the help of some officiating errors and the anomaly about the use of VAR in the FA cup this year),” emails David Wall. But given that they’re currently under investigation for breaking the rules about spending and their sources of funding, that threatens to leave a really unsatisfactory situation. Suppose that they are found guilty of that, and they go on to win all (or even some) of those competitions. Presumably any punishments won’t apply retrospectively, so the results will stand and they’ll just be sanctioned for forthcoming seasons. So then you’d have a situation where all of those competitions had been won by a team that had, effectively, cheated. Would the record books be marked with an asterisk? Or would they just get away with it? Considering that City’s main aim is to win the Champions League you’d think they’d not be that disappointed – even if penalised for future years only, they’d have got what they wanted (and I’m only using City’s case because that is ongoing at the moment, the same issue would apply whoever it was (PSG, for example). A little like overspending in a referendum to win it, and then just accepting subsequent fines as a price worth paying. Can that really be an acceptable outcome, or should Uefa and the FA be stronger and threaten retrospective punishments too?”
I’m not certain we can say City won yesterday because of the ref. I’m pretty sure they’d have found an equaliser anyway, then finished the job in extra-time. I agree, though, that current punishments are no deterrent.
Here come the teams!
Liam Rosenior, also in the studio, says that Hughton is very consistent in his demeanour, which is extremely calm.
Hughton’s priority is survival but he wants to win and expects his players – many of whom have come up the divisions – to handle the atmosphere.
Sheringham likes the look of Lee Gregory, but notes how hard it’ll be for him playing alone up front against Duffy and Dunk. He’ll be feeding off reducers.
Classic cup telly tropes: Mahlon Romeo, son of Jazzy B, goes for an aircut.
My word there’s a lot of cackling already. Teddy Sherinnam is on top form.
BBC open with their now traditional curtain-raiser to the coverage: Alan Shearer’s lack of cup-winner’s medal. One of those things that makes me titter every time.
Millwall fans: where in your career hall of fame does the run to the 2004 cup final rank?
And tangentially: lovely bit of Case v Souness.
Any Brighton fans remember 1983? Was it worth going down to knock Liverpool out, nearly win the Cup final and then lose the replay?
Hughton speaks: “We know exactly what it means, not just to the club, but this group of players. A lot of very good players never have an opportunity to play in an FA Cup semi-final. We know how big today is, and we’ll do everything we can to try and get a result.”
Every manager should think this.
Chris Hughton is nine years older than Jacob Rees-Mogg and six years older than Nigel Farage. Love don’t hate, people.
Headline news is obviously the alliterative brilliance of the Brighton bench; otherwise, the suspended Yves Bissouma is replaced by Beram Kayal.
As for Millwall, the cuptied Ben Marshall and Ben Thompson are replaced by Shaun Williams and Aiden O’Brien, making his 200th appearance for the Lions.
The FA Cup is the absolute don, and ties like this are a huge part of the reason why. Millwall are 20th in the Championship, and in a relegation battle with Reading and Rotherham; Brighton are 15th in the Premier League and in a relegation battle with Newcastle, Palace, Southampton, Burnley and Cardiff; either could go down, and yet either might still enjoy the greatest season in their history with memories to sustain their families for generations – just ask a Wigan fan. Contrary to common belief, football is not about survival – that’s real life – but moments, memories and glory, and there’s no more consistent, democratic vehicle for that than the fit as pot with the hourglass figure.
As such we can anticipate an almighty scrap this afternoon, low on quality but high on intensity – less tiki-taka, more tacky-ticker – and hopefully a decent level of needle in the process. This, my friends, is England, and sometimes it’s quite good.
Tue, 20 Jun 2017 18:38:04 +0000: Baldock signs new Brighton contract - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Brighton striker Sam Baldock agrees a new three-year contract with the club to run until the summer of 2020.
Fri, 16 Jun 2017 17:34:52 +0000: Keeper Ryan joins Brighton in club record - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Brighton and Hove Albion sign Australia goalkeeper Mathew Ryan from Valencia for an undisclosed club-record fee.
Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:00:05 +0000: Premier League fixtures in full - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Find out your club's full fixture list for the 2017-18 Premier League season.
Wed, 07 Jun 2017 12:30:04 +0000: Sidwell signs new Brighton contract - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Brighton midfielder Steve Sidwell signs a new one-year contract with the newly-promoted Premier League club.
Tue, 30 May 2017 14:02:01 +0000: Bong agrees one-year Brighton contract - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Brighton & Hove Albion | BBC Defender Gaetan Bong agrees a new one-year contact with Brighton who were promoted to the Premier League this season.
The team at Football 24-7 have compiled the latest England Football Squad details for out readers to review. – Time of publication 11th May 2017
The Main A Team Selection from Gareth Southgate the England Manager is as follows:
Ryan Bertrand Midfielders
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Forwards
The above squad will be rotated and in general the positions for Midfield and Forwards will vary dependent on the Formation. This is probably the squad that will be used for the next 12 months, with an expected variable of up to 4 others players, some of which have been used on the last 6 months. The team is very impressive, the only issue is, whether the team will work as a Unit for there Manager.