Draw Martínez, with his feet and hands, an enormous figure in an intense day of the FA Cup, with world champions in the window
The national team's goalkeeper was the star of the clash between Aston Villa and Chelsea, with Enzo Fernández; also, Cuti Romero and Julián Alvarez, in Tottenham-Manchester City, which won in the last
he fourth round of the English Cup, the classic FA Cup, which takes place from this Thursday to next Monday, made London (and the rest of the world) vibrate with a Chelsea vs. Aston Villa and Tottenham vs. Manchester City with many attractions. And with stellar participation from the world champions. Enzo Fernández against Dibu Martínez and Cuti Romero against Julián Alvarez , all starters. Beyond the lights, there was only one goal. That of Aké, from City, in the last breath.
There was, yes, another “winner”. Emiliano Martínez, who avoided three goal situations during the first half. And he even picked up a ball with one hand raised high, as if it were a basketball or handball action. With the same conviction as always and reflexes in tune with his recent history. Fundamental, with the feet and with the hands. Actually, he responded throughout the development.
In the west of the city, Stamford Bridge became an impregnable fiefdom for the Blues, who had seven consecutive victories, including last Tuesday’s 6-1 against Middlesbrough to reach the League Cup final. “The support of the public is very important for us,” warned French defender Axel Disasi to the AFP agency. However, this Friday’s duel was not against a team from the second category, but against Aston Villa, led by Unai Emery , fourth in the Premier League.
“I think Unai Emery is one of the best coaches in the world,” said Argentine Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea coach, on Thursday about his counterpart on the Aston Villa bench, who was surpassed in a good part of the show and saved by the goalkeeper. marplatense.
However, something changed in the final stretch, when Aston Villa became a little more encouraged, moved forward a few meters and discovered certain deficiencies in the team in which Enzo stands out, although this time he did not have his best version. Gallagher, Sterling and Palmer, his teammates, tried everything, but they couldn’t beat the great Argentine goalkeeper. Such a feeling of security can sometimes play tricks on you. Unexpectedly, he went wrong with the right boot and found Palmer’s reaction, but the 21-year-old also sometimes makes unusual mistakes. He had everything to define it and, nevertheless, he returned the ball to the goalkeeper.
Supported by Draw and some electrifying runs by Moussa Diaby, Aston Villa evened the match and also took away some of the suspense and excitement. The confidence from the goal was transferred to the rest of his teammates, who did not feel inferior and tried everything.
The other match, also played in London, was excessively even, flat. Neither the cunning of Tottenham, supported by a confident Cuti Romero (every day more established in one of the greats of the Premier League) nor the creativity of Manchester City, with a subdued Julián Álvarez . So much so that with 25 minutes remaining, he was replaced by Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian star sought to partner and create skills together with Mateo Kovacic, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva.
Above all, a crossing: that of Romero on De Bruyne , in timer mode, when the Champions League champion went again and again. A delight from the lower areas. In the end, City should have won it, but they collided with an imperial Vicario. Until… on the last ball, a mistake by the goalkeeper allowed Aké to resolve the matter. It was also City’s first goal and first victory in the new Tottenham stadium since its inauguration in April 2019.
In another match with Argentines, Bristol City collided with Gonzalo Montiel and Nicolás Domínguez ‘s Nottingham Forest , who came out during the second half, with a yellow card. It was also 0 to 0.
The FA Cup was played for the first time in the 1871-72 season, and at 152 years old, it is the oldest football tournament in the world. All teams competing in the Premier League and in the five categories below participate. From the biggest teams in England and Wales to small town amateur teams.
The current champions are Manchester City, who beat Manchester United 2-1 in the 2023 final. The FA Cup is a knockout competition. Each round is played as a single match. If the match ends in a tie, a replay is played , a new match, normally at the home of the team that was the visitor in the first match. If the replay ends in a tie again, the winner is decided in a penalty shootout, although legend has it that until the 1990s replay matches continued to be played until one of the teams won. Thus, there were qualifying rounds that needed up to six games to resolve a winner .