Soccer-Premier League and FA Cup talking points

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - March 18, 2023 Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte applauds fans after the match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

(Reuters) - Talking points from the weekend's Premier League and FA Cup action:


Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte's lacerating verbal attack on his players and the culture at the club after they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 at Southampton on Saturday surely means the Italian's exit is getting closer.

Conte let rip in his post-match media conference, accusing his players of being selfish and lacking team spirit and taking a sideswipe at the club's owners.

Bizarrely it came after a result that, while disappointing, did not sink Tottenham's hopes of finishing in the top four.

Quite how the players will respond if Conte is still at the helm after the international window is anyone's guess and chairman Daniel Levy must be pondering whether they have a better chance of staying in fourth spot with the Italian gone.


Manchester City's Erling Haaland may be shredding the goalscoring record books but if Arsenal win the title then young England winger Bukayo Saka will surely be in line to claim the prestigious Footballer of the Year award.

Saka has been the catalyst for Arsenal's title challenge and on Sunday took his league tally to 12 with a double in the 4-1 home victory over Palace that put his side eight points clear.

But that is only half the story. On Sunday he became the first player this season to reach double figures in goals and assists after setting up Gabriel Martinelli's opener.


Arsenal may look in pole position in the title race but Manchester City sent out a scary statement of intent by scoring 13 goals in the space of a week.

After bashing RB Leipzig for seven to reach the Champions League quarter-finals, with Haaland scoring five, they then smashed Burnley 6-0 with another Haaland hat-trick to reach the FA semi-finals and a clash with second-tier Sheffield United.

Eight points looks a daunting gap, even if Arsenal have played one game more, but if any team is capable of producing a devastating sprint finish to the season it is City.


Chelsea manager Graham Potter is making progress on problems at one end of his team, but a familiar one remains at the other.

Goals from Joao Felix and Kai Havertz, a penalty, in the 2-2 home draw with Everton took the Blues' tally to six in three league games. They had scored only four in the previous nine.

But Everton's two equalisers mean Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in only one of their last six league games.

"It was quite a strong performance, I thought, from us. But ultimately, we're really, really frustrated because we can't concede the goals we did and expect to win games," said Potter.


Sean Dyche's reputation for never-say-die teams is rubbing off on Everton, judging from how the Toffees twice clawed their way back into Saturday's 2-2 draw at Chelsea.

"Relentless attitude, I call it," said the former Burnley boss -- who took over the relegation-threatened club when Frank Lampard was sacked in January.

"We're beginning to find that way of not being so disappointed if a goal goes in. It's gone, that's it, it's done and we will talk about it the next day, not while the game is going on."

Everton have won three and drawn two of eight league games under Dyche after previously winning only three all season.

(Reporting by William Schomberg and Martyn Herman, Editing by Ken Ferris)

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