European roundup: Watford stun Wolves, Arsenal's away day woes continue & more Messi magic
Watford's win against Wolves in the FA Cup semifinal was the pulsating highlight of another eventful weekend in Europe.
Deulofeu & Deeney break Wolves hearts
Watford came from 2-0 down to beat Wolverhampton Wanders 3-2 on a dramatic day at Wembley and claim a place in the showpiece final on May 18th. Wolves were cruising after goals either side of half-time from wing-back Matt Doherty and Mexican star Raul Jimenez gave Nuno Espirito Santo's side a convincing lead and they appeared to be in total control of the contest. Jimenez donned a mask sent to him by WWE superstar and friend Sin Cara after his superb volleyed goal appeared to set Watford on their way to the final.
But Gerard Deulofeu had other ideas, as the 25-year-old Spaniard scored an audacious flicked goal to set up an eventful final ten minutes. Watford was given a controversial penalty deep into stoppage time, and Troy Deeney made a captain's contribution, slotting home nervelessly to send classic encounter into extra time.
Deulofeu was on hand just before the end of the first period to win a memorable semifinal for Javi Gracia's Watford outfit.
Arsenal's away form threatening their top-four push
Unai Emery's side has been virtually impregnable at home in the Premier League, but their performances on the road have been a completely different story, making them a frustrating Jekyll and Hyde style team. The contrast between Arsenal's home and away points tallies is illogical and is threatening to derail their season. With 14 wins, two draws and only one loss (on the opening day against Manchester City) means that only Manchester City and Liverpool have better points returns in front of their own fans. Away, they've only picked up five wins and 19 points, with Watford, Wolves and Crystal Palace all yielding more than them.
Their latest defeat on the road, a 1-0 reverse at Everton yesterday, means that Chelsea can go above them and wrestle some of the initiative away in the race for a Champions League place with a win against West Ham tonight. With four of their remaining six games taking place away from home, Arsenal needs to find a solution to their away day woes and they need to find one fast.
Messi sparkles again to put Barcelona 11 points clear at the summit of LaLiga
Lionel Messi, even by his lofty standards, is having a remarkable season. His tally for the season now stands at 33 goals and 14 assists in 29 LaLiga matches and his last three strikes have showcased the sheer variety of different types of goals he is capable of scoring.
There was an audacious chipped free kick against Espanyol in the 2-0 Catalan Derby win. There was a dramatic stoppage-time pile-driver free kick that helped Barca salvage a point in a 4-4 draw Villarreal, and then he did this against Atletico Madrid on the weekend a minute after Luis Suarez had finally broken through Atletico's stubborn resistance despite being down to ten men:
Messi & Suarez have now scored more goals between them than 18 of the 19 teams they have faced and Messi's solo strike came against one of the most accomplished defensive sides in the world.
Messi and Suarez have scored more La Liga goals this season than 18 of the 19 teams they have faced 🔥 pic.twitter.com/shB13XgXhA— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 7, 2019
Next up for Barcelona is a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the Champions League.