Ellis Simms celebrates an FA Cup goal
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Emirates FA Cup Team of the Round – Fifth Round

Emirates FA Cup Team of the Round – Fifth Round

Goalkeeper: Martin Dubravka – Newcastle

The Slovakian shot-stopper kept Newcastle in the cup and perhaps the club’s season alive with a brilliant display of shot-stopping at Blackburn.

An outstanding save from Tyrhys Dolan denied the home side in one of eight saves Dubravka made, including five from inside his own box. The 35-year-old was then the hero of the shootout, saving spot-kicks from Sammie Szmodics and Dominic Hyam to set up a quarter-final clash at Manchester City.

Right-back: Hamza Choudhury – Leicester

A solid showing at full-back for Choudhury as Leicester upset top-flight Bournemouth in extra time. Choudhury was composed in possession and all-action on occasion, including a vital goal-line clearance from Enes Unal with the game goalless.

The 26-year-old has not featured as much as he would have liked during Leicester’s push for promotion, but he’s staked his claim for a more regular role here.

Centre-back: Jannik Vestergaard – Leicester

The giant Dane has reignited his career at Leicester this season to become a central part of Enzo Maresca’s side.

Vestergaard racked up 11 clearances and won seven duels in the win at Bournemouth, helping the Foxes to a clean sheet on the south coast. He confidently strode forward out of the backline, including one lung-busting run that saw the 6ft 7in centre-back roam box to box.

Centre-back: Max Kilman – Wolves

Wolves booked their place in the quarter-finals with a hard-fought win over Brighton, with captain Max Kilman central to the side’s 1-0 win. The centre-back marshalled the backline brilliantly as Wolves came under huge pressure against the Seagulls, and made nine clearances at Molineux.

Wolves will face Coventry next, the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, and have a real chance to book a big day out at Wembley.

Left-back: Rayan Ait-Nouri – Wolves

Uber-confident on the ball despite the pressure of Brighton’s press. The Algerian always offers an outlet for Wolves, with his ventures forward a key part of the club’s counter-attack. Full of energy and technically excellent, Ait-Nouri is the quintessential modern full-back.

Midfield: Mario Lemina – Wolves

Wolves’ winner came inside two minutes as Mario Lemina fired Gary O’Neil’s team into the quarter-finals. The Gabonese midfielder has had an eye for goal this season after a goalless first campaign at Molineux, scoring five times in all competitions.

Lemina’s goal was the highlight of a performance full of hard work, driving Wolves on from midfield on the counter-attack.

Midfield: Kasey Palmer – Coventry

Involved in each of the opening three goals as Coventry made light work of non-league Maidstone United to end the dream run of the sixth-tier side.

Palmer provided two superb assists for Ellis Simms inside the opening 14 minutes before the midfielder’s shot was parried by the goalkeeper for Simms to complete his hat-trick. Ran the game against the Maidstone midfield throughout. A cut above.

Midfield: Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

Incredible.

Manchester City’s big hitters are clicking into gear and rivals across England and Europe should be concerned. Admittedly, Luton proved overwhelmed opposition, but the connection between Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland is one to fear.

De Bruyne helped himself to four assists as Pep Guardiola’s side ran riot at Kenilworth Road, with each of those coming for Haaaland. There’s a telepathy between the duo with De Bruyne aware, ahead of time, where Haaland will run, while the execution of his passes is rarely less than perfect.

De Bruyne now has 12 assists in all competitions for the Citizens this season. He’s played just 12 games.

Forward: Erling Haaland – Manchester City

Quite simply, a cheat code.

For the second time in his Manchester City career, Erling Haaland scored five times in a game after a punishing performance against Luton. The Norwegian was criticised for a wasteful performance against Chelsea earlier this month, but there was no stopping him at Kenilworth Road.

Five of the best for Haaland, who capitalised on Luton’s self-destructive high line to get in time and time again. It’s 27 goals for the season for the 23-year-old and 79 in 83 appearances since arriving at the Etihad.

A special, special talent.

Forward: Ellis Simms – Coventry

A first-half hat-trick from Ellis Simms saw Coventry cruise into the FA Cup quarter-finals, with the forward ending Maidstone’s cup run with a ruthless performance.

Kasey Palmer picked out the movement of Simms for his first two goals of the evening before the forward showed his instinct around the box to follow up a rebound and claim his first senior treble. Simms has had to deal with the expectation of replacing Viktor Gyokeres at Coventry this season, though this will be a major confidence boost to the summer signing.

Forward: Jayden Danns – Liverpool

What an impact.

Jayden Danns only made his senior debut for Liverpool last Wednesday and a whirlwind week has concluded with a Carabao Cup winner’s medal and his first senior goals for the Reds.

After coming off the bench at Wembley in Liverpool’s win over Chelsea at the weekend, Danns starred during the 3-0 win over Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round. On as a substitute, he opened his account with a wonderful lifted finish over Joe Lumley, before scoring a second as he followed in a rebound from Conor Bradley’s effort on goal.

With debutant Lewis Koumas opening the scoring. this was a memorable night for the Liverpool academy, as Liverpool had two players aged 18 or under score in the same game for the first time. Expect to see more of Danns in the coming seasons.

Read – Jayden Danns ‘in a film’ after scoring first Liverpool goals

See more – Casemiro clinches Man United FA Cup quarter-final with Liverpool

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