By 90Min
March 18, 2019

The Premier League and FA Cup shared the stage on Saturday and Sunday, with the former reaching the business end of the campaign and the latter already passing the quarter final stage.

Here's a look at six things we learned from both competitions this weekend...


Newcastle Are Probably Fine

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Barring multiple miracles below them and an utter disaster on Tyneside, Newcastle look to be safe in the Premier League, with Rafa Benitez securing top flight football for the division's most underfunded club for at least another year.

An away draw at Bournemouth on Saturday was a good result and has brought the Magpies to within striking distance of the mid-table bracket that also includes Wolves and Everton.

But as long as the ownership situation remains the same, it is arguably still just papering over the cracks, while next season could be a complete nightmare if Benitez walks in summer.


Leicester Responding to Rodgers

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Brendan Rodger suffered defeat in his first game in charge of Leicester earlier this month, but back-to-back Premier League wins since then appear to suggest his methods have started to take hold and the players are responding to him.

Even playing with 10 men for 86 minutes against Burnley on Saturday after Harry Maguire was sent off in the opening moment, the Foxes battled hard to win the game 2-1 at the death.


Chelsea Are in Serious Trouble

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Chelsea missed the opportunity to leapfrog Manchester United and go level on points with Arsenal on Sunday when they were beaten 2-0 by Everton at Goodison Park.

Maurizio Sarri bemoaned a sudden drop in performance after half-time and it is increasingly clear that his system does not work with this group of players and vice versa.

"We played probably the best 45 minutes of the season and then suddenly at the beginning of the second half we stopped playing; I don't know why," he said.

They are progressing well in the Europa League and have a good chance of winning it, but Sarri needs a number of new players throughout the squad if next season isn't going to be a bigger disaster. The only problem is that they remain banned from signing anyone this summer.

Without being able to change the players to suit the manager, the only alternative is sacking Sarri, a coach they paid out around £13m - inclusive of compensation for Antonio Conte - to hire just last July, in the risky hope someone else will do better with the current squad.


Liverpool Embracing Squeaky Bum Time

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It was a favourite phrase of great rival Sir Alex Ferguson, but Liverpool now appear to have reached 'squeaky bum time' in the Premier League title race after scraping a 2-1 win over Championship-bound Fulham on Sunday.

Having taken the lead at Craven Cottage, a defensive howler involving Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and James Milner handed Fulham an equaliser, only for a soft penalty decision to then hand Milner the chance to win it from the spot in the last 10 minutes.

Liverpool, who are now back top of the Premier League in Manchester City's absence from the weekend fixture list, won't care how the points come now, just as long they do.


VAR is Grossly Unfair

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When used correctly by the officials in control, VAR is a system that works, and works well.

The problem is that in the FA Cup this weekend, only certain teams got the benefit of it, while others unfairly benefitted from the lack of it.

Despite the FA Cup embracing VAR, only selected fixtures - those at Premier League stadiums - actually use it. The lack of it at Swansea therefore saw Manchester City score two goals in their 3-2 win that would otherwise have been ruled out. Equally, Brighton were wrongly denied a goal late in extra-time through an erroneous offside flag during their tie with Millwall that would have spared them the need for penalties. As it happens, the Seagulls just about prevailed anyway.

But Manchester United benefitted because VAR was in use at their game against Wolves, with the harsh red card shown to Victor Lindelof overturned after additional consultation.

If not every club in a competition has access, don't have it at all.


Wolves Can Genuinely Win a Trophy

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Wolves could quite legitimately become only the second club outside the Premier League's elite few to win the FA Cup in the last 10 years after they outclassed Manchester United on Saturday evening to reach the semi finals at Wembley.

A semi final victory over Watford next month seems infinitely achievable. Should they then meet Manchester City in the final, as would be expected, Wolves have shown on multiple occasions this season that they are not afraid of the big teams.

Wolves took points off City in the Premier League back in August, while there also remains a possibility that Pep Guardiola's team could be exhausted from the title race or have at least one eye on a potential Champions League final come May.

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