FA Cup holders Arsenal were stunned by Championship side Nottingham Forest, losing 4-2 on Sunday. This was the earliest the Gunners have been knocked out of the FA cup under Arsene Wenger. Eric Lichaj, the American defender, had two goals for Forest, the first a near post header off a set piece, the second, a spectacular volley after a failed clearance by Arsenal. Forest added two penalties in the second half, and that was enough to see off Arsenal. It always seems like there is one FA cup match a season that is a great upset. This year, it appears that upset happened to Arsenal.
After a long running transfer saga, Phillipe Coutinho exchanged his red jersey for a red and blue one, signing with Barcelona in a long awaited transfer for Coutinho, Barcelona fans, and everyone else who was weary for this to end one way or another. He was unveiled for Barça fans on Sunday after their win vs Levante. Coutinho will be cup tied in the Champions League, but he looks to be a strong addition to Barcelona in other competitions. For Liverpool, losing Coutinho hurts, but if they invest the money they got from his purchase wisely, they may be able to reach heights they could not with the Brazillian star on the team.
Unlike Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain did just fine in their cup competition, crushing Rennes 6-1. PSG got goals from Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Angel Di Maria. It’s a testament to their talent that PSG did this without Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore, who were suspended for coming back late from winter break. PSG appear to be in their top form, and this will be key as their match-up in the Champions League with Real Madrid looms.
You may have noticed that the title races around most of the big leagues in Europe this year are not exactly close. Besides Italy, most of the other top leagues have clear frontrunners for their perspective titles. So why keep watching? Beyond just your enjoyment of the sport, Kevin McCauley of SB Nation lists 11 reasons to keep watching Europe’s top leagues, despite the lack of title-deciding drama.
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