Rui Vieira / Associated Press
Manchester United have been eliminated from 2019 FA Cup quarter-finals after losing 2-1 to Wolverhampton Wanderers in Molineux on Saturday. Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota scored the goals as the Wolves returned to the semi-finals for the first time since 1998 and United lost two consecutive games in all competitions, under the orders of Acting Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Previously, Manchester City had conceded two goals against Swansea City (3-2). Sergio Aguero led the winner late at Liberty Stadium as the Citizens joined Watford and Wolves in the last four games.
The Hornets started the day observing the opposition Crystal Palace at home. A late goal from Andre Gray allowed Watford to cross Vicarage Road.
- Watford 2-1 Crystal Palace
- Swansea City 2-3 Manchester City
- Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Manchester United
- Millwall vs. Brighton and Hove Albion, 2 pm GMT / 10 am ET
The wolves have been comfortable for long periods against a lazy USA team. The hosts put the substitute goalkeeper Sergio Romero to the test, forcing Argentina to make great stops to prevent Jimenez and Joao Moutinho.
Jimenez and Co. had to wait in the 70th minute for a breakthrough. This is typically the prolific Benfica loanee who had it:
| @ Raul_Jimenez9 turns and buries it in the lower corner! https://t.co/G0fP3ctsih
Few players have been as effective in mind as the Mexican international this season, but the Wolves 'offense is not just about Jimenez' s shine. Jota made a smooth transition from the wing to a central role, as evidenced by his 76th-minute finish, which settled the tie.
Marcus Rashford scored for the Red Devils in depth, but it was too soon for a team that failed to click through the middle and forward lines.
Despite a solid lineup, including Paul Pogba as captain and Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial at the top, United struggled to create opportunities. Solskjaer also lost the tactical battle against his wolf counterpart, Nuno Espirito Santo.
United working. When they won at Tottenham with that three front, they played break with 39% possession of the ball. Today, wolves (37%) leave it there. Nowhere so effective.
The most worrying aspect of this game for United is the fact that this is the eleventh start game against Barcelona (apart from De Gea and Young).
City had to get Aguero and Raheem Sterling out of the seat after Matt Grimes and Bersant Celina placed the swans in front.
The second-tier English football team produced a smooth and intuitive possession against City. The Graham Potter manager had formulated a plan to keep the leaders of the Premier League on the back, a strategy that worked so well that the opposite number Pep Guardiola was forced to appeal to his stars.
| Celina, the former @ManCity man, doubles the SwansOfficial attack! https://t.co/9HJoYOuE2k
Both players, Aguero and Sterling, forced Swansea goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt to play more often. He could not prevent Bernardo Silva from getting a goal from the visitors in the 69th minute, but Nordfeldt scored an exceptional double by giving up Gabriel Jesus and then Aguero.
Unfortunately, luck was not on the side of the Swedish goalkeeper when Aguero escaped from the penalty spot with 13 minutes to go. The shot was pushed aside until Nordfeldt hit the post and returned.
City now had all its momentum and kept the quadruple alive alive when Aguero stopped to meet the precise center of Silva in the 88th minute:
Once again, however, fortune seems to have favored the opposite side:
Sergio Aguero puts Man City 3 to 2 late. City was 2-0 in Swansea with 20 minutes to go!
VAR, however, dismissed that objective because Aguero was clearly offside. Man City getting some breaks, including the unused VAR at Swansea.
#Swans 2-3 #MCFC | #FACup https://t.co/mfd44GfAOX
Regardless of any controversy, this return proves that City has both the courage and the resources to win several trophies this season.
Watford boss Javi Gracia is using his resources more intelligently to fuel the Hornets race. Heurelho Gomes scored in goal as the 38-year-old was about to retire, ahead of No. 1 seed Ben Foster.
Gomes is "99% sure" that he will retire at the end of the season to assume a new pastor role, according to Simon Collings of London Evening Standard.
Gracia has kept a strong midfielder in place. Abdoulaye Doucoure, Etienne Capoue and Will Hughes continued to lead the center. Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu in good shape led the group's lead over central defenders Scott Dann and Mamadou Sakho.
Capua opened the scoring in the 27th minute, but the Eagles found a tying goal two minutes after the hour of play when Michy Batshuayi jumped on a mistake and finished smart:
| @mbatshuayi with an impressive solo goal to match for @CPFC! https://t.co/xILoKNcP1g
Watford's strength at depth came when Gray was summoned to the bench and quickly scored the winning goal. The attacker finished coldly after being released by a deft ball of Roberto Pereyra.
Gray's eloquent contribution was enough to send Watford to the semi-finals for the sixth time in his history.
Whether in Brighton or the Millwall Championship teams that are about to complete the group in the semifinal, City is the favorite to win the trophy, regardless of the draw that will take place Sunday.