14 Mar 2016

Arsenal out of FA Cup; Man U hopes still alive

8:10 am on 14 March 2016

Arsenal's bid to win the FA Cup for a third successive year ended when they lost 2-1 at home to Watford in a pulsating quarter-final tie.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The defeat ended the holders' hopes of becoming the first club since Blackburn Rovers in 1886 to win the FA Cup three times in a row.

The result appears to have condemned Arsenal to end the season without a trophy as they face elimination from the Champions League next week, unless they manage to overturn a two goal deficit against Barcelona, and they trail Premier League leaders Leicester City by eight points with only nine games left.

Arsene Wenger's men were left to rue a host of missed chances as Watford opened up a 2-0 lead in the second half with goals from Odion Ighalo and Adlene Guedioura.

Danny Welbeck pulled a goal back for Arsenal in the 88th minute but it was too late to change the result.

Watford go into the semi-finals alongside Premier League sides Everton and Crystal Palace.

Man U and West Ham go to an FA Cup replay

Meanwhile, Manchester United striker Anthony Martial kept their FA Cup hopes alive when he struck eight minutes from time to salvage a 1-1 draw with West Ham United in their quarter-final tie at Old Trafford.

West Ham playmaker Dimitri Payet looked to be sending the 11-times Cup winners tumbling out of the competition with a wondrous, curling free kick in the 68th minute.

But with time running out, United's young French starlet Martial hooked Ander Herrera's cross back into the net from the narrowest of angles.

Just like holders Arsenal's exit earlier today that heaped more pressure on manager Arsene Wenger, a United exit would have raised more questions about the future of boss Louis van Gaal.

With United 2-0 down from the first leg of their Europa League last 16 tie against Liverpool and 13 points adrift of Leicester City in the Premier League title race, Martial's strike has offered blessed relief for Van Gaal.

United will now have a replay at what will be the last Cup tie to be staged at West Ham's Boleyn Ground in the Londoners' final season there before they move to the Olympic Stadium.

PSG win Ligue 1 in record time

Four goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped Paris St Germain to clinch their fourth successive French football title with a rampant 9-0 rout of Troyes.

PSG became the first team to win the championship after 30 matches.

Ibrahimovic's sensational nine-minute hat trick followed first-half goals from Edinson Cavani, Javier Pastore and Adrien Rabiot. Following the interval Matthieu Saunier scored an own goal while Cavani and Ibrahimovic also added late efforts.

PSG moved up to 77 points, 25 clear of second-place Monaco, winning the league with eight games still to play.

The championship is the sixth in the club's history and the fastest-ever Ligue 1 victory, breaking the record set by Gerard Houllier's Olympique Lyonnais in 2007, who won the title after 33 matches.

-Reuters

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