Liverpool looked to strengthen their fourth position in their game against Burnley at Anfield as all other top 6 teams in the Premier League table were involved in the FA Cup quarter finals. Liverpool won 2-1 with goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Emre Can in reply to Ashley Barnes opener for Burnley, and remained fourth having played 2 more games than their fifth and sixth placed competitors, but leading Arsenal by 5 points and Manchester United by 6. Everton beat West Bromwich Albion 3-nil to move up to 47 points, 2 points behind Manchester United in 6th place having played two games more, courtesy of goals from Kevin Mirallas, Morgan Schneiderlin and Romelu Lukaku.
Chelsea lead the table with 66 points from 27 matches, with Spurs and Manchester City on 56 points from the same matches, Liverpool fourth with 55 points from 28 games, Arsenal fifth on 50 points, and Manchester United sixth on 49 points, both from 26 games.
In the relegation battle, Bournemouth won their first match since Christmas with a 3-2 win over West Ham at the Vitality stadium with a hat-trick from Josh King, one of two players to miss penalty kick’s for Bournemouth. West Ham’s goals came from Michail Antonio and Andre Ayew. In the other significant game for the relegation battle, Hull City defeated Swansea 2-1 at the KCom Stadium, their goals by Oumar Niasse, moved them to within a point of 17th placed Crystal Palace with Swansea’s reply coming from Alfie Mawson.
Bournemouth are now 14th with 30 points from 28 matches, with Leicester 15th with 27 points from 27 games, Swansea 16th on 27 points, Crystal Palace 17th on 25 points from 27 games, Hull City 18th with 24 points from 28 matches, Middlesbough 19th with 22 points from 27 games, and Sunderland 20th with 19 points from 27 games.
Manchester City reached the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-nil victory over Middlesbrough at the Riverside with an early goal from David Silva, and a second from Sergio Aguerro. They were joined by Arsenal who ended non-league Lincoln City’s dream run with a 5-nil win at the Emirates Stadium, the goals coming from Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, a Waterfall own goal, Alex Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey.
Tottenham Hotspur accounted for Millwall to move into the semi-finals with a 6-nil victory at White Hart Lane, with goals from Christian Eriksen, a Son Heung-min hat-trick, Dele Alli, and Vincent Janssen.
The final semi-finalists will be decided on Monday evening March 13 when Chelsea face Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. All the semi-finalists will therefore be from the Premier League top six.
Chelsea prevailed in Monday’s last FA Cup quarter final against Manchester United, winning the game 1-nil courtesy of a 20 yard shot from Ngolo Kante early in the second half. Chelsea were the better side forcing David de Gea to make some important saves for Manchester United, with United’s only serious chance falling to Marcus Rashford after an individual run and dribble from halfway ended with a fine save with his feet from Thibault Courtois.
In the draw following the game, the two semi-finals will pit Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspurs, and Arsenal against Manchester City.
Allan Jackson has been involved in soccer for more than 40 years as a player, referee, administrator and freelance writer.