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Anthony Martial’s moment, sure about Luke Shaw, and more…

Seven things we learned

We’re through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup…

We took our time against Norwich on Saturday and, with games coming thick and fast at the moment, I wasn’t overly happy to see us play an extra 30 minutes in that game. But we got the all-important win in the end and now we’ll face Chelsea in the last four…

Frank must be having some kind of Vietnam-style flashback, eh? We’ve faced the Blues three times this season – twice in the Prem and once in the Carabao Cup – and beaten Lampard’s boys each time. Can we make it a quadruple? Course we can.

THE MOODY BLUES

Chelsea are out for revenge… but didn’t they say that last time? And the time before that?

We go again on July 18 and I can’t wait, especially as we enjoyed ourselves at Chelsea in the FA Cup last season. That win at Stamford Bridge was one of my favourite performances of 2018/19 and will remains one of my favourite performances from Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba. Good times.

And of course, if we overcome Chelsea and make it to the final, there’s high-chance we’ll be facing City in the first Manchester derby in the FA Cup final. Now that would be something to see, wouldn’t it?

Chelsea have looked strong in recent games – boasting wins against Liverpool, Man City and Leicester since we last faced them in February. Not that we’re slouches at the moment, of course. When we play at full-strength, like we did against Sheffield United last time, we look capable of beating anyone…

MARTIAL’S MOMENT

It’s great to finally have that hat-trick monkey off of our backs, isn’t it?

In our clash with Sheffield United last Wednesday, Martial scored United’s first Premier League hat-trick since Robin van Persie’s treble in our title-winning game against Aston Villa back in April 2013. It was the Frenchman’s inaugural career hat-trick and also means he’s reached a career-best tally of 19 goals in all competitions.

Firstly, what a brilliant moment for Tony. He’s been through a lot at this club over the years and he’s not always been a fan-favourite (I know many of you aren’t overly sold on him), and he’s never been particularly popular with his managers, either. He deserves to be pleased with himself, even if he can’t completely please others.

It was nice to see RVP himself acknowledge Martial’s treble, even with a cheeky ‘took a while’. Worth taking another look at the Flying Dutchman’s hat-trick while you’re here, too.

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GOMES GONE

I hope you’ve all taken one last good look at Angel Gomes, as it appears the kid is on his way out of the club after failing to agree a new deal

Angel’s contract has been an intriguing side-story for most of the season, with Ole often stating to the press that he was confident the boy would sign on the dotted-line and stick around for a while longer. But now it looks certain that he’ll be leaving, with his deal expiring this week.

It’s a strange one, isn’t it? I’m not too sure how I feel about it. Gomes has been in and around the first-team for four seasons now but he’s never quite looked good enough to break into the first team for me, despite everyone considering him a top class prospect. I know he’s not been given too many chances, and my guess is that there’s more to it behind the scenes than what we’re seeing.

Chelsea are apparently favourites to snap him up with a lucrative contract, with United reportedly offering him around £25,000-per-week which he rejected. I don’t want to even begin to think how much the Blues will be offering him, but maybe it’s best for everyone if he moves on…

SURE ABOUT SHAW?

There was this wonderful moment in the win against Sheffield United last week when Shaw was caught napping in defence and nearly allowed the Blades to take advantage and run through on goal. Thankfully, the chance came to nothing and Maguire was there to sweep up… before shouting at his teammate to ‘f**king switch on’. You tell ‘im, skipper! Check it here

But this moment aside, I do think Shaw’s been playing quite well for us this season and he probably doesn’t deserve half of the hate I see him get on social media. Overall I think it’s good to see how Shaw has improved his fitness and performances this season, and I was especially impressed with how he filled in as a left-side centre-back when we played with a back-three. I genuinely didn’t think he had that in him.

My only grumble with him is that he’s still rather limited going forward, with his attacking output in games quite poor. Even Wan-Bissaka, who’s main weakness is said to be his offensive-output, has looked better than Shaw when surging forward…

I know plenty of you will never be completely sure about Shaw, but I don’t think he’s a particular weakness in our side and I hate to see him get so much stick…

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NEXT UP…

More games? Oh, alright then. Our slightly-lethargic boys travel to Brighton on Tuesday (which is probably today, once you’ve receive this) and then we face Bournemouth at the weekend…