Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Watford 3 Wolves 2
The Arsenal manager picked the wrong team.
That happens a lot in football.
London’s biggest club produced a stupendously inept performance at Goodison.
If Richarlisson hadn’t had the worst game I’ve ever seen him play, Arsenal would have been pulverised.
When their defence could not deal with Digne’s very long throw into the six-yard box, Phil Jagielka won the ball at the near-post and much-improved centre forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin flicked the ball back across for Jagielka to tap in from three yards.
1-0 to Everton after 10 minutes.
That gave Arsenal 80 minutes to get two goals.
But they never looked like doing that, even after Emery replaced Elneny and Kolasinac with Ramsey and Auba at half time.
When Jagielka scored, I wrote in my 200-page A4 scribblebook : GAME OVER!
After that I made a six more pages of notes.
But those six pages have been redacted.
Reader Neil Dorgan was right (see previous post).
The FA Cup Final will be Watford against Man City.
Gerard Deulofeu turned Wolves inside out.
While the Arsenal game lasted 10 minutes, this one went on for 120 minutes and had five goals.
When Wolves took a short corner on the right, Diogo Jota flighted a fast flat cross to the far post that allowed the unmarked Matt Doherty to head in from three yards without jumping.
Watford 0 Wolves 1 in 37 minutes.
Second half, Doherty’s diagonal ball into the box found the chest of Raul Jimenez, who conjured a slick right-foot volley that bounced in for 0-2.
The Mexican’s 16th goal of the season had put Wolves in a very strong position.
A Neves free-kick from the left flank in 59 was a fierce one that just beat the far post.
Then Everton reject Gerard Deulofeu produced the magic that turned the game upside down and booked the Hornets into their first FA Cup Final since 1984 against Everton.
Holebas took a colossally high long throw into the six yard box that was not cleared by Wolves and Deulofeu, a former Barcelona academy boy, conjured a moment of magical improvisation.
With no obvious pass and too many bodies between him and the goal, the 25-year-old lifted a cheeky floating shot into the postage stamp.
Wolves 2 Watford 1: game on!
With four minutes of normal time remaining, Watford were dominating and when VAR confirmed a debatable penalty in stoppage time, after Troy Deeney nipped in front of Big Belgian midfielder Dendoncker ( there was contact) and Deeney smashed the ball in from the spot for 2-2.
In extra time the momentum was with Watford and Deulofeu was on fire and he flew onto a lovely return pass and aimed a deadly shot that rolled across keeper John Ruddy into the net.
Such finesse! A world class finish.
That was the Cup tie, that was the story: supersub Gerard Deulofeu came on in the second half and scored the equaliser and then got the winner in extra time.
Old school motto: form is temporary, class is permanent.
Watford were the better team.