It wasn’t your conventional Saturday of English football action due to the FA Cup but we definitely still had a chance to see a few teams shine bright on the big stage. The international break is right around the corner, as we all know, and this weekend has always been about making one final statement before what is – for many teams – a welcome break.
Saturday saw a string of fixtures take place across the Premier League, FA Cup, Championship and beyond, and we wanted to point out a few teams that really impressed us. Those who want to bet on what’s going to happen in the months to come can head on over to the betting page, but for the time being, let’s take a short trip down memory lane.
It was a relegation six-pointer that neither team could afford to lose, and in the end, Brighton & Hove Albion were the ones who picked up all three points with a decisive 3-0 win over Newcastle United. It was almost as if all of their frustrations in front of goal were released in the blink of an eye, allowing them to really go at the Magpies and prove what they can actually do in this league. They still need to watch their back in the relegation scrap, but they can breathe a bit easier now.
Southampton were the favourites heading into their FA Cup quarter-final against Bournemouth despite their poor recent run of form in the Premier League, and they proved why yesterday. They just seemed to really hit the ground running and dug deep with a performance that proved they’re hungry to win a piece of silverware this season. Whether or not they can win two more games and get the job done is another matter, but they’ve secured their place at Wembley and that has to count for something.
Everton were doing a pretty good job of frustrating Manchester City for long spells of the game on Saturday night but when push comes to shove, the best team in English football is going to get it done. They found the heart and ability that has made them so consistent and they put the Toffees to the sword. Now, the quadruple is still a realistic possibility, and Pep Guardiola will head to Wembley with the knowledge that they’ll be the favourites to lift the FA Cup – which won’t exactly come as much of a surprise.
They may be in the Championship right now but based on their recent performances, we don’t think that’s going to be the case for much longer. Watford are starting to look like the real team in form when it comes to the automatic promotion race, and they proved that yet again with an emphatic win over Birmingham City. There are just eight games left of the season now and after building a nice gap between themselves and the rest of the chasing pack, we think the Hornets are certainly on the right track.