Five things we learned in Barclays Premier League action Sunday and the FA Cup final:
Who will win the FA Cup? Ian Rush and Marcel Desailly give us their predictions.
What started out as Chelsea's worst season since owner Roman Abramovich arrived in 2003 is now on the verge of becoming one of the English club's best.
Martin Skrtel's early own goal gave Fulham a historic first win at Anfield on Tuesday and left Liverpool in danger of finishing outside the top eight in the English top flight for the first time since 1954.
Some quick thoughts on this weekend's FA Cup semifinal contestants:
Chelsea romped into the English FA Cup semifinal with a 5-1 beating of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in a controversial match at Wembley Sunday.
An 87th minute header from beleaguered striker Andy Carroll handed Liverpool a 2-1 victory over Merseyside rivals Everton in the semifinal of the English FA Cup on Saturday.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will be under pressure to deliver an FA Cup semifinal win Saturday after receiving the "full support" of his bosses.
In the March 13 Merseyside derby, Steven Gerrard scored his 87th, 88th and 89th league goals for Liverpool, the club with which he signed his first professional contract 15 years and 400 first-team appearances ago. Gerrard is one of several one-club Premier League players in their 30s -- Jamie Carragher (also Liverpool), Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes (both Manchester United), Tony Hibbert (Everton), Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur), and Chelsea captain John Terry (if you don't count the six appearances he made while on loan at Nottingham Forest at 20 years old) -- but they're few and far between in these days of big-money transfers. That wasn't always the case; here is a selection of more or less well-known one-club players from the recent and distant past of English soccer.
Tottenham are through to the semifinals of the FA Cup after beating battling Bolton 3-1, in a match that was originally abandoned after Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered a heart attack on the pitch 10 days ago.
Jermain Defoe underlined his goalscoring ability once again as Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to beat Stevenage 3-1 in their FA Cup fifth round replay Wednesday.
As Cup final victories go, Liverpool's Carling Cup final success (3-2 in a penalty shootout) over Cardiff City on Sunday was particularly unconvincing. When a Premier League team plays a side from a lower division, even if it plays a team from lower down the same division, anticlimax is probably the best it can hope for; to win by a comfortable two- or three-goal margin.
The Best -- One of the first black football pioneers, Clyde Best
Manager Kenny Dalglish is determined to use Liverpool's first trophy win in six years as a catalyst for future success, following Sunday's dramatic penalty shootout win in the English League Cup final.
Arsenal recovered from two goals down at halftime to beat Aston Villa 3-2 in their English FA Cup fourth round tie at the Emirates Sunday.
Liverpool dumped Manchester United out of the English FA Cup with a dramatic late winner from Dirk Kuyt at Anfield on Saturday.
Tottenham Hotspur survived a testing encounter at second-flight Watford to progress to the last 16 of the English FA Cup with a 1-0 win Friday.
The FA Cup would be nothing without its traditions. Every third-round weekend the regular old rituals are trotted through: the grainy shots of finals past, the semi-knowing talk of the romance of it all, the hand-wringing about how the luster can best be restored to "the oldest cup competition in the world." The FA Cup is a peculiarly English event, not just because it stretches back to 1871-72 and the prehistory of the game, but because it is something that is never as good as it used to be.
Paul Scholes came out of retirement for a shock return as Manchester United beat FA Cup holders Manchester City 3-2 in Sunday's dramatic third-round tie between England's top two teams.
English football club Liverpool apologized Sunday after an opposing team's player complained of being abused by supporters.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini wants to add to his squad during European football's January transfer window, but the Italian has revealed the English Premier League leaders must sell before they can recruit new players.
The "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" quips about Brad Guzan's European career can head to the back burner. At long last, Guzan is Aston Villa's No. 1 goalkeeper. With Monday's word that regular starter Shay Given will be out for the next month after tearing his hamstring in the first half of Aston Villa's 1-0 loss to Manchester United on Saturday, the Villans will turn to the 27-year-old Illinois native between the pipes. Guzan looked at ease upon entering against the Red Devils and didn't concede a goal, though he was hardly put to the test in 52 minutes.
The upset bug made its way around Europe over the weekend, with Mainz beating German power Bayern Munich and Getafe taming the all-mighty Barcelona, but for a few U.S. national team starters, their teams couldn't quite come up with the efforts necessary to stake claims to landmark Thanksgiving weekend victories against top competition.
Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has told CNN he expects Chelsea and Manchester City to challenge for English Premier League honors.
Manchester United fought back from two-goals down to defeat rivals Manchester City 3-2 in a thrilling Community Shield at Wembley, the traditional opener to the English Premier League.
Manchester City announced a deal with Etihad Airways on Friday which will see the English football club rename their home stadium.
Manchester City football player Kolo Toure has expressed his relief after receiving only a six-month suspension for using a banned drug.
Five things we learned from Saturday's action in the Premier League:
Manchester United clinched a record 19th English league title on Saturday, while local rivals City ended a 35-year wait to win a football trophy.
Arsenal's hopes of winning the English Premier League title were dealt a severe blow as Arsene Wenger's team conceded a heartbreaking 102nd-minute equalizer in a pulsating climax to Sunday's 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Five things we learned from Saturday's action in the Premier League and FA Cup:
England striker Wayne Rooney may miss Manchester United's FA Cup semifinal derby clash after being charged for swearing at television cameras.
Manchester United moved five points clear in the English Premier League after snatching a 1-0 win against Bolton on Saturday despite having a player sent off.
With England's Premier League taking the weekend off save for those teams still alive in the FA Cup -- including Stuart Holden's Bolton -- a number of Americans in the country's lower divisions made some headlines.
Manchester City and Manchester United will meet in the FA Cup semfinals next month after Roberto Mancini's City side claimed a narrow 1-0 quarterfinal win over Reading on Sunday.
A Wayne Rooney inspired Manchester United beat arch-rivals Arsenal 2-0 at Old Trafford Saturday to reach the semifinals of the English FA Cup.
For five Americans, the wait is over.
Arsenal and Manchester City are both through to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup after comfortable fifth round wins over Leyton Orient and Aston Villa respectively on Wednesday.
Tim Howard's penchant for stopping penalty kicks and Nicolas Anelka's penchant for missing crucial ones converged Saturday on one fateful FA Cup moment.
Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by English League One side Leyton Orient in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday.
Chelsea's attempt to make FA Cup history came to a halt on Saturday when the holders were eliminated from England's top knockout competition in a penalty shootout by Premier League rivals Everton.
The fourth round of the FA Cup interrupted the Premier League calendar over the weekend, which meant the handful of eliminated top-flight clubs were not in action. Here are a few thoughts on some that were:
Recent signing Edin Dzeko scored his first goal for Manchester City as the English Premier League big spenders survived a major shock to earn a 1-1 FA Cup fourth round draw at Notts County on Sunday.
Two-time English FA Cup holders Chelsea needed a late goal from substitute Salomon Kalou to stay in the competition Saturday as the Ivorian's 75th-minute goal rescued a 1-1 draw at Everton in their fourth round clash.
Premier League giants Arsenal are through to the fourth round of the FA Cup after a hard-fought 3-1 replay win at Championship side Leeds United.
Arsenal's hopes of reaching the English League Cup final for the seventh time suffered a blow on Wednesday when second division strugglers Ipswich won the first leg 1-0.
Ten-man West Ham relieved the pressure on manager Avram Grant with a 2-1 victory at home to Birmingham in the first leg of the English League Cup semifinals on Tuesday night.
The winter transfer season is in full swing, and plenty of Americans have had their names tossed around in the daily rumor mill in one form or another, for better or for worse.
Premier League storylines from the weekend's FA Cup action:
Kenny Dalglish last managed a football club more than a decade ago, and he was given a stark reminder of how much the game has changed since then as Manchester United spoiled his return to the hotseat at Liverpool on Sunday.
Liverpool's American owners have sought to halt the 18-time English football champions' poor run of results by parting with manager Roy Hodgson.
Clarence Goodson is taking his talents to the western outskirts of Copenhagen.
Tackling has moved to the top of the Premier League agenda this week after Fulham's Bobby Zamora suffered a broken leg against Wolves and Arsenal substitute Abou Diaby had to be substituted himself, 13 minutes after coming on, thanks to a Paul Robinson challenge aimed at the ankle he dislocated four years ago.
Portsmouth will play Chelsea in the FA Cup final after an upset 2-0 extra-time victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the second semifinal at Wembley on Sunday.
Holders Chelsea stayed on course for the domestic double in England with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Wembley on Saturday to reach the FA Cup final.
Chelsea got their charge for the English Premier League title back on track with an emphatic 5-0 win at bottom club Portsmouth.
Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho insists he should not have been sacked by Chelsea, stoking the tension ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League last-16 tie in London.
Birmingham City avenged their FA Cup quarterfinal defeat at Portsmouth on Saturday, beating the English Premier League bottom side 2-1 to nudge them closer to relegation on Tuesday.
Manchester United reclaimed top spot in the English Premier League on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over Wolves at Molineux thanks to a second-half strike from Paul Scholes.
Portsmouth are facing a fresh legal hurdle in their battle for survival after being placed in administration.
Big-spending Manchester City have crashed out of the FA Cup, beaten 3-1 by Stoke City on Wednesday after their fifth round replay went into extra time.
FA Cup holders Chelsea could face big-spending Manchester City in the quarterfinals of this year's competition after Sunday's draw threw up the fascinating possibility.
Arsenal became the latest big-name casualty in this season's English FA Cup as they slid to a 3-1 defeat at fellow Premier League side Stoke City on Sunday.
English FA Cup holders Chelsea secured their place in the last 16 of the competition with a 2-0 fourth-round victory over Preston at Deepdale on Saturday.
Liverpool's disastrous season plunged to new depths as they suffered a humiliating 2-1 English FA Cup exit to Championship side Reading at Anfield.
It was a dejected Team Limey that curled up with its warm milks last Saturday night. The closest thing to a shock that day from the 23 FA Cup third-round knockout matches was third-tier Millwall holding second-tier Derby to a 1-1 draw at home. We were as bored as a monk's todger.
Manchester United were sensationally knocked out of the FA Cup as they lost 1-0 at Old Trafford to third-flight underdogs Leeds United.
Liverpool's erratic season continued as last season's Premier League runners-up were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling second-tier side Reading in the English FA Cup on Saturday.
In this early stage of the English Premier League season, experience has played a major role in two contrasting ways. The club at the top of the league is reaping the benefits of it, with Ryan Giggs flourishing for Manchester United. At the other end of the standings, judging by its current plight, rock-bottom Portsmouth hasn't taken heed of history.
There's cigar smoke and perfume in the evening air as the thronging masses head to Castle Limey for our annual awards ceremony. Only one man is headed the other way: a winking, temperamental, petulant, prima donna flagging down a lift to Madrid. Are you sitting comfortably now, the chilled Taittinger bubbling to perfection? Team Limey takes the stage.
One of Africa's most successful footballers, Nwankwo Kanu, has had a glittering career on the pitch.
Nwankwo Kanu is Africa's most decorated football player.
Chelsea recovered from falling behind to the fastest goal in FA Cup final history to beat Everton 2-1 at Wembley on Saturday in coach Guus Hiddink's final game in charge of the English club.
Everton goes into Saturday's FA Cup final as underdogs riding on a high. After claiming the scalps of two "Big Four" teams -- Manchester United and Liverpool -- en route to the final, it clinched fifth place in the Premier League for the second year running.
The English club football season closes this weekend with one of the sport's oldest contests: the FA Cup final.
Before Chelsea had Roman Abramovich's rubles and Rafa Benítez built Liverpool into Champions League winners and English Premier League challengers, Manchester United and Arsenal dominated the EPL throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. On Saturday, the former "big two" face off after having taken contrasting paths in recent years.
If Rafael Benitez is a man who remembers his life by decades, it's likely he views the current decade as his greatest so far.
Liverpool Manager, Rafael Benitez talks to CNN about his first five years at the club, the Champions League and his plans for the future.
The controversial pitch at the new Wembley stadium is to be dug up immediately.
Wembley's controversial pitch will be dug up and replaced before the start of next season, the English Football Association said on Monday following criticism from losing semifinal managers Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.
They left home with hope in their hearts, thousands of fans true to the Liverpool anthem, dreaming of reaching another Wembley FA Cup Final.
It was inevitable that a tragedy on the scale of Hillsborough, when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death during an FA Cup semifinal with Nottingham Forest, would have a transformative effect on English football.
Didier Drogba muscled his way through for a late winner to put Chelsea into the FA Cup final with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal at Wembley on Saturday.
Managerial juggernauts Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have put their Champions League semifinal collision on the backburner to concentrate on this weekend's FA Cup semifinals.
Ordinarily, Manchester United making a trip to Craven Cottage isn't much of a story. Fulham hasn't beaten United at home in league play since 1964. But an unusually high amount of attention is focused on this weekend's encounter.
Hull City manager Phil Brown has been fined £2,500 ($3,640) and warned as to future conduct by the English Football Association after admitting a charge of improper conduct.
Two goals in the last 17 minutes saw Arsenal fight back from going a goal behind to beat Hull City 2-1 and secure a Wembley date with Chelsea in the semifinals of the FA Cup.
Are Sir Alex Ferguson's men are still favorites to take the Premier League and win the five big trophies after their 4-1 loss to Liverpool at the weekend?
Manchester United received a major boost in their quest for an unprecedented quintuple as central defender Rio Ferdinand was passed fit to play in their Champions League last 16 return tie against Inter Milan on Wednesday.
Quintuple-chasing Manchester United and big rivals Chelsea remain on course for an FA Cup final showdown after they were drawn apart in Sunday's semifinal pairings.
Goals from Didier Drogba and Alex proved enough to earn Chelsea a 2-0 FA Cup quarterfinal win at Championship side Coventry, putting them through to the last four for the third time in four seasons.
Silverware, iPods, playground spats, free booze and nights in jail. Confused? You should be, but it's all in a day's work for Team Limey in the reporting of what's happening in English soccer.
England midfielder Stewart Downing turned in an inspired display as Middlesbrough shook off their relegation fears to book their place in the FA Cup quarterfinals for the fourth successive year with a 2-0 home win over West Ham.
Coventry manager Chris Coleman sent out a warning to sixth round opponents Chelsea after his second-flight team sent Blackburn tumbling out of the FA Cup on Tuesday night.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Manchester United 'look untouchable' as they bid to take a stranglehold on the Premier League title race at home to Fulham.
A hat-trick from Nicolas Anelka helps Chelsea come from behind to see off second-flight Watford 3-1 to reach the sixth round of the FA Cup.
The English Football Association (FA) is demanding answers from a broadcaster after a key goal in a major cup clash was missed because of an advertisement break.
Battling Burnley claimed their fourth Premier League scalp of the season when a 3-1 replay win over West Bromwich Albion earned them a fifth round FA Cup trip to Arsenal or Cardiff.
When even the FA Cup is drawing criticism, you know domestic cup competitions are in trouble.
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