After "Home And Away"
After the FA Cup Sixth Round clash against Norwich City, we had a relatively easy run of fixtures against several teams that were in the relegation struggle. Away at Crystal Palace was a game that Adnan Januzaj really shone, proving his valuation as the best signing made by myself, and that being a free transfer no less. Southampton then came to Elland Road and failed to fight back in an almost complete demolition. Newcastle visited Elland Road only 3 days later and received the same treatment, falling under the assault of a hat trick by Adnan Januzaj, and a brace from Joel Pohjanpalo who is directly competing for top goal-scorer with Harry Kane. Then our former Championship rivals, Huddersfield Town, were shown the full power of our attacking force at Elland Road in what was an absolute domination. Joel Pohjanpalo's goal saw him go level with Harry Kane in goals-scored in the Premier League. Away at Derby County was another rather easy affair that saw Pohjanpalo maintain levelness with Kane. This race will go right down to the wire.
FA Cup Semi-Final - 4/27/19
This semi-final against Newcastle marks the furthest we have been in the FA Cup not only since I took charge, but even since they came runner-up to Sunderland in 1973, the year after they won the competition. We will be fielding our full strength starting 11. Luckily, I have been able to have these guys picked since about the halfway point of the season, allowing them to build maximum chemistry with each other.
If it weren't for the fact that Dwight Gayle scored a hat trick against me, I would consider this to be a rather total victory. Joel Pohjanpalo and Adnan Januzaj put us up 3-0 in the first half, and then in the second half Pohjanpalo finished his hat trick, and Januzaj got his brace. Ricardo Quaresma also netted his first goal for us, and Ronaldo Vieira got a rare score in. Overall i was a fantastic game for the spectators, and relatively easy game to watch as manager, given that we were up by 2 goals at any point of the last 50 minutes of the game.
League Game 34 - 4/30/19
This game against Arsenal was the first of two difficult encounters against opposition that typically have a shot against the title. We use the same team that have proved themselves all season, and beat Newcastle so handily.
Dybala's 1st-half brace had me worried that we weren't going to win in this rare game that we neither edged possession nor made the majority of shots. Our heroes of the season in Joel Pohjanpalo and Adnan Januzaj got to work in the 2nd-half to ensure that we came away with all 3 points in this rather nail-biting affair.
League Game 35 - 5/3/19
This is a game against Chelsea that might prove to be more difficult than usual. During training Nathan Ake sprained his ankle and will be out for a couple of weeks. Matty Downing comes into the team to replace him. Also, should Chelsea lose this game, it will be mathematically impossible for them to win the title this season, so I expect them to fight even harder than usual.
This was yet another nail-biting affair. We took a 1-0 lead in the first half via a beautiful Joel Pohjanpalo longshot, only to see them equalize right at the start of the second half. We went back up 2-1 just past the hour mark thanks to Adnan Januzaj, and it seemed like we might win. While we did have the edge of possession, they had more than twice the amount of total shots that we did. In the 90th minute, Pontus Jansson conceded a rather embarrassing own goal to equalize the game for Chelsea. Adnan Januzaj and Joel Pohjanpalo combined in an amazing combination of passes straight from the kick-off to score the winner within the same minute.
The Battle Continues
We have drawn Stoke in the final of the FA Cup. They are a team that we have struggled to get anything but a draw against. I feel that they are the easier draw, compared to who they beat in the semi-final to get here, Manchester City. While we will be throwing everything we have into this game, it will take place after the end of the Premier League season, so we will focus on the title-battle first. We play Tottenham, the team who is neck-and-neck with us in the battle for the title, and will look to get a good result against them. After Tottenham are two games that will be relatively easy to get results from. Next episode will bring the end of the season and all accolades associated.
FM fanatic and football pundit