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FA Cup Team of the Week

The FA Cup’s final four is set after an entertaining weekend of action, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Brighton and Sheffield United booking their places in the Wembley semi-finals.

Manchester City and Brighton cruised into the last four with emphatic wins, but Manchester United were forced to come from behind – with the help of a Fulham side who pressed self-destruct – to progress.

In the other tie, Sheffield United won an all-Championship encounter with Blackburn late on, as the Blades became the first second tier team to reach the semi-finals in eight years.


Following the weekend action, we’ve compiled our FA Cup Team of the Week.

Goalkeeper: David de Gea – Manchester United

Manchester United rode their luck to reach the semi-finals, but will take their place at Wembley after a 3-1 win over Fulham at Old Trafford.

United came from behind to reach the last four as the visitors imploded, with Willian, Aleksandar Mitrovic and manager Marco Silva all sent off within seconds of each other in a chaotic sequence of events.

United trailed 1-0 at the time, but it could have been worse had it not been for David de Gea’s performance. The Spaniard made a number of crucial saves, including one fingertip stop from Mitrovic’s header and a brilliant save to deny Willian.

Right-back: Pascal Gross – Brighton

Pascal Gross is the man for all occasions at Brighton and impressed in a right-back role as the Seagulls thrashed Grimsby to reach the semi-finals.

The German was a constant outlet for his side and inter-changed excellently with the impressive Solly March, as the duo carved out several chances in the 5-0 win for Roberto De Zerbi’s side.

Brighton’s hopes of a first ever major trophy continue and a semi-final showdown with Manchester United will hold no fears for an improving outfit. United are a favoured opponent of Gross, who has six goals in 10 Premier League appearances against the Red Devils.

Centre-back: Ruben Dias – Manchester City

Manchester City’s defensive rock was alert to the early danger Burnley presented, including one perfectly challenged slide tackle inside the area. Dias got across to stop Nathan Tella with the game goalless, as City navigated a potentially tricky tie in flawless fashion.

An abundance of goals will take the headlines after 7-0 and 6-0 wins inside the same week, but Pep Guardiola will no doubt be pleased to see his side shut out the opposition. Dias has been crucial to successive clean sheets and so often makes the difference to this defence.

Centre-back: Lisandro Martinez – Manchester United

Grew into the game after a slow start and brought a huge roar from the crowd with a sliding challenge on Daniel James.

It was the sort of challenge that has summarised his season, as Martinez relished his battle with Fulham’s frontline, in particular Aleksandar Mitrovic.

The Argentina international has had better games this season, but he was one of the few United players to rise to the challenge as Fulham took the game to the home side at Old Trafford.

Left-back: Max Lowe – Sheffield United

Sheffield United are into the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2013/14 after a thrilling 3-2 win over Blackburn Rovers at Bramall Lane.

Max Lowe was the unlikely avenue back into the game for the Blades, as his deflected volley brought the teams level after Ben Brereton Diaz’s opener for Blackburn.

Lowe had some fault in Blackburn’s second goal, but made amends for his error after involvement in Oli McBurnie’s equaliser. Tommy Doyle’s brilliant late winner sealed a win for Paul Heckingbottom’s side, who can look forward to a Wembley date with Manchester City.

Midfield: Tommy Doyle – Sheffield United

Tommy Doyle retained his place in the Sheffield United side this weekend after an impressive performance at Sunderland in midweek and built on that showing to be the Blades’ hero at Bramall Lane.

The midfielder’s work-ethic and poise in possession had shone against Blackburn, before the on-loan Manchester City man delivered a magic moment to win the game.

Doyle’s late winner had too much power for Blackburn goalkeeper Aynsley Pears and sparked wild celebrations from the home support. It was a strike that ensured Sheffield United will meet his parent club for a place in the final.

Midfield: Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne built on a brilliant performance against RB Leipzig in midweek with another showing of invention this weekend.

De Bruyne was the architect of Manchester City’s 6-0 thrashing of Championship leaders Burnley, as former City captain Vincent Kompany’s return to the club ended in a heavy defeat. The Belgian’s passing picked apart the Championship leaders, as he ended with two assists and had a key role in two other goals.

His return to form will be welcomed by Pep Guardiola who will hope a late knock for the midfielder is nothing serious, as City’s search for silverware continues on three fronts.

Midfield: Iliman Ndiaye – Sheffield United

Another superb performance from Ndiaye, who has tormented Blackburn this season. Rovers failed to get to grips with the Senegal international, who ghosted past defensive challenges to make things happen for the Blades at Bramall Lane.

His strength and skill evaded pressure throughout in another display of creativity and hard work, with Ndiaye having come of age during a campaign that has seen Sheffield United push for promotion and reach the FA Cup semi-finals.

Expect the 23-year-old to be a Premier League player next season, whether or not the Blades return to the top division.

Forward: Julian Alvarez – Manchester City

Erling Haaland’s goalscoring prowess has rightly dominated the headlines at Manchester City this season, but Julian Alvarez has quietly compiled a fantastic first season of his own.

The 23-year-old has averaged a goal every 141 minutes across all competitions this season and reached 12 for the campaign with a brace against Burnley this weekend. Alvarez linked up brilliantly with Haaland, De Bruyne and Phil Foden, as City ran riot to dismantle the Championship leaders.

The World Cup winner scored twice and created another, in addition to winning eight duels and carving out three chances for his teammates. His £14.1m arrival from River Plate – agreed in January 2022 before Alvarez moved to the Etihad last summer – has been one of the best value transfer deals of the Premier League season.

Forward: Evan Ferguson – Brighton

Evan Ferguson enhanced his rapidly growing reputation with another centre-forward clinic as Brighton cruised past fourth-tier Grimsby to reach the FA Cup semi-finals.

It’s been a breakout season for the Irish teenager, who scored twice this weekend to move to seven goals in all competitions. His first was exquisite, as the 18-year-old controlled Alexis Mac Allister’s hoisted pass and turned sharply before rolling home a calm finish.

Ferguson added a second after blasting home inside the near post, taking his average to a goal every 127 minutes in all competitions this season. For a forward still finding his feet at senior level, it’s a remarkable return.

Of all the talents unearthed and improved at Brighton, he might just be the most exciting to date.

Forward: Erling Haaland – Manchester City

Another game, another extraordinary performance from Erling Haaland.

The superlatives are beginning to run out for the Norwegian sensation, who scored his second hat-trick inside a week – and sixth of the season – in Manchester City’s big win over Burnley.

Haaland’s haul saw him break the 40-goal barrier in all competitions, becoming just the sixth player to have achieved the feat in the Premier League era.

The numbers are astonishing and keep on rising for Haaland, who so often finds himself in the right place at the right time. A freakish footballer.

Read – Premier League Awards: Sensational Saka, Ice-cold Isak

Read Also – Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 28

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