The FA Cup returned this weekend as Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City all made Wembley appearances. Furthermore, a raft of promotions and relegations were also confirmed this weekend with the domestic football calendar of 2016/17 coming to an end. Therefore, we look at who makes the winners and losers list this week.
Not often does a team win 4-2 in successive games but Chelsea managed this exact feat in London on Saturday and Tuesday respectively. A breathtaking semi-final against Tottenham at Wembley secured Chelsea the chance for a league-cup double with the FA Cup final to be played against Arsenal on 27th May. The Blues, despite making a host of changes, beat Spurs and then followed up the victory with another 4-2 win against EFL Cup runners-up Southampton at Stamford Bridge. This week has been a giant step-forward for Chelsea and their trophy hunt and with eight goals scored, Blues fans have also been treated to wonderful attacking displays. Making Chelsea the biggest winner this week.
2) NEWCASTLE UNITED
Despite an awful dip in form with performances and results alike not impressing Newcastle fans, Newcastle United secured promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Hotly tipped to win the league back in August, Newcastle have, in glimpses, shown the quality we all believed they have on the pitch. However, recently they have struggled to get results and lost ground to Brighton who look like winning the Championship title. But, despite the struggles, they have secured promotion after a 4-1 victory on Monday night, a chance afforded to them courtesy of a Huddersfield slip-up against Fulham on Saturday. No doubt the Geordie faithful will be pleased to see a Premier League team at St James’ Park once again.
3) HULL CITY
What is there to say about Marco Silva? Keeping Hull City unbeaten at home since his appointment has meant that they look likely to escape the drop. This weekend, Hull faced Watford with the aim of increasing the gap between themselves and Swansea but this looked an uphill task when Oumar Niasse was sent off after just 25 minutes. Yet, Hull secured all three points after a goal from Lazar Markovic and a great strike from Sam Clucas to ensure they remained above Swansea, who themselves were victorious at the weekend. Hull, under Silva, have the potential to improve hugely next season, should they stay up this season.
1) LEYTON ORIENT
Leyton Orient’s 112-year stay in the English Football League has come to an end after Orient were defeated 3-0 away to Crewe Alexandra on Saturday. Three first-half goals were enough to secure Orient’s fate and amongst all the off-field troubles that surrounds Brisbane Road and the Orient faithful, relegation will come as a massive blow. The Vanarama National League is not an easy league to escape from and with teams such as Torquay and York City struggling, Orient must have a strong off-season to ensure they do not face yet more serious on-field and off-field problems.
2) BIRMINGHAM CITY
Birmingham have continued their recent poor form and this week they succumbed to their local rivals Aston Villa 1-0. Their recent appointment of Harry Redknapp would have buoyed the atmosphere at St Andrews and gave hope to Birmingham fans, willing their team to remain a Championship club come August. This result has worsened fears at the club and a late revival from Blackburn or Wigan may signal trouble for Birmingham who will hope Redknapp can work his magic and keep the club in the Championship.
For 15 games, Middlesbrough have remained winless and are yet to record three points in the Premier League in 2017. This weekend was potentially the most damaging loss suffered in this period as Bournemouth ripped through an unusually weak Middlesbrough defence and recorded a 4-0 victory. ‘Boro have struggled to score goals and look like playing Championship football next season with a crucial game against Sunderland coming up, a win is vital for the potential of Premier League football staying on Teeside next season.