Sun­day’s main events in Euro­pean foot­ball.

England: Emery’s new record

Eng­land. Cup. 1/2 finals

April 21, 17:30. Wem­b­ley (Lon­don)



Man­ches­ter Unit­ed

The FA Cup is Man­ches­ter Unit­ed’s last chance to save the sea­son. The deci­sive step — like a year ago — will be tak­en in the der­by with City. They had nev­er met before in the finals of the old­est tour­na­ment in world foot­ball, but now it’s like they’re film­ing a TV series. The new sea­son of which, how­ev­er, was almost can­celled. In any case, they expect­ed Erik ten Hag’s team to almost beat the oppo­nent, who ranks eighth in the cham­pi­onship.

This is, in fact, what was going at first. Dio­go Dalot’s exem­plary pass from the flank to McTom­i­nay, who scored his 10th goal this sea­son, and then Maguire’s per­fect strike after a cor­ner clear­ly demon­strat­ed the dif­fer­ence in class. But it wouldn’t be Man­ches­ter Unit­ed if every­thing went smooth­ly. Espe­cial­ly in a sit­u­a­tion when every­thing is in your hands and there is not even a hint of any oth­er sce­nario.

After the third goal from Bruno Fer­nan­des, many Coven­try fans were prob­a­bly think­ing about leav­ing Wem­b­ley or turn­ing off the broad­cast. But if some­one real­ly did this, he will not for­give him­self for his own weak­ness until the end of his days. Their favorite team almost repeat­ed the sce­nario of the famous Istan­bul Cham­pi­ons League final. But at least there they played teams com­pa­ra­ble in their lev­el, and here it was David and Goliath.

Man­ches­ter Unit­ed has the worst defense in the top 5 leagues in 2024. More pow­er­ful trans­fers will be need­ed in the sum­mer

And let’s be hon­est — the sky blues’ goal with the first shot on tar­get in the match did not hint at any mir­a­cle. And even the sub­se­quent sec­ond suc­cess of the nom­i­nal hosts, as it seemed, would not change any­thing, and every­thing would be lim­it­ed to the favorite’s has­sle. But Onana seemed to feel some­thing, hav­ing earned a warn­ing for tak­ing too long. It didn’t help — the ball hit­ting Wan-Bissaka’s hand result­ed in a penal­ty and over­time.

And there the biggest dra­ma of the cur­rent Eng­lish sea­son hap­pened so far. Coven­try, focus­ing on defense, scored the fourth goal at the end of extra time! One part of the sta­di­um was going crazy with hap­pi­ness, the oth­er was burn­ing with shame. But the Man­ches­ter Unit­ed dis­as­ter was can­celed by VAR. Off­side, penal­ty shootout, and there the favorite still took its toll. There will be a final der­by, and Coven­try will receive a stand­ing ova­tion for the sto­ry that bright­ened the evening. It was cool.

Eng­land. Pre­mier League. 34th round

April 21, 17:00. Vil­la Park (Birm­ing­ham)

Aston Vil­la



As for the Pre­mier League, after a dra­mat­ic run to the semi-finals of the Con­fer­ence League, Aston Vil­la ini­tial­ly faced prob­lems. The hero of the match in Lille, Cash, fouled the rules in his own penal­ty area, and Emil­iano Mar­tinez — even hav­ing guessed the direc­tion of the shot — was unable to stop Solanke’s pow­er­ful shot. Rogers revived the Birm­ing­ham peo­ple. The young tal­ent feint­ed out of the defend­er’s way and drove the ball into the near cor­ner over the goal­keep­er’s head.

And after the break, Birm­ing­ham tra­di­tion­al­ly improved, and Watkins again showed how ver­sa­tile a play­er he is. Not only a goalscor­er, but also a foot­baller with play­mak­ing tal­ent. His pass to Dia­by was the high­light of the tour. When Vil­la put an end to the game, Watkins shot from an acute angle, but it was passed to Bai­ley who scored into an emp­ty net. Unai Emery’s side have won more than 20 match­es in a sea­son for the first time in the Pre­mier League and are six points ahead of Tot­ten­ham in the race for a place in the top 4, but Spurs still have two games in hand.

Eng­land. Pre­mier League. 34th round

April 21, 18:30. Craven Cot­tage (Lon­don)




Liv­er­pool, fol­low­ing Sat­ur­day’s vic­to­ry over Arse­nal, scored three points and also over­took Man City, who missed the tour, in the table. After an extreme­ly unsuc­cess­ful peri­od, the Reds won the sec­ond match in a row, and if for some time the ball refused to go into the goal after their shots, every­thing turned out just fine against Ful­ham. Start­ing with the first goal, which Alexan­der-Arnold scored with a superb free-kick. This is already the defender’s sixth such goal in the Pre­mier League, and he may well become a club record. Steven Ger­rard is one shot away. Jamie Red­knapp is two. The Sum­mer Res­i­dents, who almost won at Anfield in the first round (3:4), of course, did not give up and equal­ized the score before the break. How­ev­er, in the sec­ond half, every­thing fell into place, and Dio­go Jota, who put an end to the game, cel­e­brat­ed his anniver­sary — 100 goals for Eng­lish clubs (44 in Wolver­hamp­ton and 56 in Liv­er­pool).

Spain: Sime­one’s anti-records

Spain. La Liga. 32nd round

April 21, 19:30. Men­di­zor­rotza (Vito­ria)




Atléti­co could eas­i­ly book a place in the next Cham­pi­ons League. Even in sit­u­a­tions where the only com­peti­tor, Ath­let­ic, reg­u­lar­ly stum­bles and has not yet won after win­ning the Span­ish Cup. On Fri­day, the Basques failed to beat rel­e­ga­tion-bound Grana­da at home (1:1), and Iña­ki Williams scored an own goal, but even in this sit­u­a­tion, their gap from Madrid was reduced to three points.

“Mat­tressers”, hav­ing lost to “Alaves”, con­tin­ue to rewrite the book of anti-records. First of all, we are talk­ing about the guest com­plex that the team has opened. The cur­rent defeat is the 11th in for­eign sta­di­ums, tak­ing into account all tour­na­ments. Noth­ing like this has ever hap­pened before in the era of Diego Sime­one. In addi­tion, Atléti­co have nev­er con­ced­ed from long range so often. In the report­ing match, Oblak con­ced­ed his tenth goal on a shot from out­side the penal­ty area. So the fight for fourth place is not over yet. The moment of truth is in the next round, when Atléti­co comes to Madrid.

Ger­many: how do they do it?

Ger­many. Bun­desli­ga 1. 30th round

April 21, 18:30. Sig­nal Iduna Park (Dort­mund)

Borus­sia D



No cham­pi­on hang­over! On the con­trary, after the his­tor­i­cal suc­cess, Bay­er seemed to set the goal of going through this sea­son with­out defeat. But it’s still unclear where Lev­erkusen gets their strength and emo­tions from?! With­in three days of each oth­er, they hero­ical­ly saved two match­es and raised the Euro­pean record to new heights — 45 match­es with­out defeat. More­over, the end­ing of the game in Dort­mund was a real explo­sion of emo­tions! Or even sev­er­al explo­sions.

Who led Bay­er to the his­toric cham­pi­onship. 7 Super­heroes of the Great Sea­son

The first was Fül­lkrug’s killer vol­ley from anoth­er Cham­pi­ons League hero, Sab­itzer. The sec­ond was a brawl that began with the con­flict between Schlot­ter­beck and Frim­pong smol­der­ing through­out the match. The third was the denoue­ment in the sev­enth added minute, when Kobel pulled out a penal­ty kick from Grimal­do from the top nine, but the ensu­ing cor­ner end­ed in a goal from Stanisic. Bay­er are unbeat­en and Dort­mund have fall­en behind Leipzig in the race for fourth place. The moment of truth for the Bum­ble­bees was an away game against the team of their for­mer coach Mar­co Rose in the next round.

France: Kuzyaev in the joint zone

France. League 1. 30th round

April 21, 18:05. Stade Fran­cis Le Ble (Brest)




France. League 1. 30th round

April 21, 16:00. Stade Pierre-Mau­roy (Grand Stade Lille Metro­pole) (Lille)




In the first match after Alexan­der Golov­in’s injury, Mona­co entered the field know­ing that Lille had risen to third place thanks to bet­ter addi­tion­al indi­ca­tors and a goal from their sniper David. For the Mon­e­gasques, this result was both addi­tion­al pres­sure and moti­va­tion. And the sec­ond one out­weighed. Beat­ing a direct com­peti­tor on his field and ris­ing to sec­ond place is an amaz­ing result of the tour. In addi­tion, Adi Hüt­ter made not the most obvi­ous deci­sion and sent the ever-crit­i­cized clas­sic winger Diat­ta to the three attack­ing mid­field­ers. But it worked! The Sene­galese co-authored the goal that dou­bled Minamino’s score. How­ev­er, there was a fly in the oint­ment in the form of Ben Segir and Sin­go being sent off in stop­page time. But the red-whites will have anoth­er fate­ful bat­tle on Wednes­day — with Lille.

Pho­to by Reuters

France. League 1. 30th round

April 21, 16:00. Stade Oceane (Le Havre)

Le Havre



Le Havre, for which Daler Kuzyaev played 69 min­utes, risks return­ing to League 2. On Sun­day they lost the “match of life” to Metz, which sent the heav­en­ly ones to the play-off zone. Math­e­mat­i­cal­ly, Le Havre could even fall to 17th place, depend­ing on how Lori­ent per­forms in their resched­uled match against PSG on Wednes­day. Well, the hero of “Metz”, nat­u­ral­ly, is Mikau­tadze. Last sea­son, his 23 goals helped the team rise to League 1, after which the for­ward was sold to Ajax. In win­ter, the Geor­gian nation­al team play­er returned to France on loan and is pulling the maroon team out of the abyss. The goal in Le Havre is Mikautadze’s eighth suc­cess in the sec­ond part of the sea­son.

France. League 1. 30th round

April 21, 22:00. Parc des Princes (Paris)




Let’s be hon­est — many of PSG’s match­es in the cur­rent French cham­pi­onship are down­right bor­ing to watch. Espe­cial­ly since Luis Enrique began teach­ing the Parisians to play with­out Mbappe, who left Paris in the sum­mer. How­ev­er, this Sun­day, in five min­utes, the cham­pi­ons put on a real show, scor­ing four goals against Lyon in the first half. The guests were clear­ly shocked by Mat­ic’s unfor­tu­nate cut into his own goal, after which Beral­do scored. Sep­a­rate­ly, it is worth not­ing the dou­ble of Gonça­lo Ramos. The for­ward has­n’t had a lot of play­ing time through­out the sea­son, but he has been high­ly effec­tive. On aver­age, the Por­tuguese scores every 118 min­utes, this is the third result in Ligue 1, and Mbappe is the leader in this indi­ca­tor (87 min­utes).

Pho­to by Reuters

Sta­tis­tics of the day
3 Of the last ten edi­tions of the Dutch Cup, Feyeno­ord were suc­cess­ful. This is the best indi­ca­tor in this time peri­od.
17 The goals were scored in the cur­rent Ger­man cham­pi­onship by Stuttgart strik­er Undav. This is the best per­for­mance for a Ger­man Bun­desli­ga debu­tant since Horst Hrubesch (1975/76).
20 away Pre­mier League match­es with goals scored is Liv­er­pool’s best streak since 1969.
22nd Man­ches­ter Unit­ed reached the FA Cup final once, which man­aged to sur­pass Liv­er­pool’s achieve­ment.
90 Gata­lasaray scored points in the Turk­ish Cham­pi­onship, already repeat­ing the club record of the three-point era.
131 The goal for the sea­son is Sport­ing’s best result since 1947.