Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.
The 4-0 final score is more than a little flattering on Man United, who struggled to find their footing for a period of Friday’s clash with League Two side Yeovil. For the fourth year in a row, the Red Devils are through to the fifth round — now just two more victories away from a semifinals appearance at Wembley Stadium.
For much of the game’s opening half-hour, Yeovil played well above their current league standing (21st, just a point and a place clear of relegation, in England’s fourth division) and caused more problems than they themselves faced. It was relatively short-lived, though, as United wrestled control back something between the 30th and 35th minutes, just in time to grab what turned out to be the winning goal a few minutes before halftime. Marcus Rashford pounced on a fatal lapse of concentration, and all of Yeovil’s hard work was undone, just like that.
Marcus Rashford takes advantage of a huge mistake at the back to give United the lead before halftime. https://t.co/dztNJLvuEd
The only storyline that truly mattered ahead of Friday’s game revolved around Alexis Sanchez and his potential debut after arriving from Arsenal earlier in the week. The 29-year-old Chilean did indeed make his debut at Huish Park, and tallied his first assist for the club in the process. Rather than firing from distance himself, Sanchez played Ander Herrera through in the 61st minute, and the Spaniard finished from a difficult angle to make it 2-0.
Championship side Sheffield Wednesday are also through to the fifth round four the first time in four years after knocking off a fellow second-division foe, Reading, at Hillsborough.
Atdhe Nuhiu scored both the game’s opening and winning goal, making it 1-0 to the home side after a half-hour, and 2-0 after just eight second-half minutes. George Boyd added a third, his first goal of the season, in the 61st minute. Reading’s 87th-minute consolation goal came courtesy of a Cameron Dawson own goal.
Saturday’s FA Cup schedule
Peterborough vs. Leicester City — 7:30 a.m. ET Southampton vs. Watford — 10 a.m. ET
Wigan Athletic vs. West Ham United — 10 a.m. ET
Middlesbrough vs. Brighton & Hove Albion — 10 a.m. ET Huddersfield Town vs. Birmingham City — 10 a.m. ET
Notts County vs. Swansea City — 10 a.m. ET
Sheffield United vs. Preston North End — 10 a.m. ET
Milton Keynes Dons vs. Coventry City — 10 a.m. ET
Millwall vs. Rochdale — 10 a.m. ET
Hull City vs. Nottingham Forest — 10 a.m. ET
Newport County vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 12:30 p.m. ET Liverpool vs. West Bromwich Albion — 2:45 p.m. ET
Sunday’s FA Cup schedule
Chelsea vs. Newcastle United — 7:30 a.m. ET
Cardiff City vs. Manchester City — 11 a.m. ET
Burnley manager Sean Dyche achieved a feat that hadn’t been accomplished at the club in the Premier League era: Survival.
The club managed to stay up, surviving relegation by six points with a 40 point total in 2017, giving Dyche and Burnley a second-consecutive season in the Premier League. The last two times the club had been in the Premier League, in 2009-2010 and 2014-2015, it had gone straight down.
The goal again this season will be survival, and considering the signings made, Dyche is more worried about his defense than signing a striker who can create a moment of magic that could excite fans and lift the team on the field.
After selling top centerback Michael Keane to Everton in a big-money move, it will be difficult to see Burnley remain in the Premier League, but Dyche is an expert motivator and tactician, and it’s expected that Burnley will be fighting for a top-17 place in the table until the last day of the season.
Best, worst case scenario: Burnley will finish 15th after improving its defensive form and finding a new scoring outlet other than Sam Vokes, or seeing Vokes have a breakout year with 15 or more goals. More likely, Burnley will sit in the relegation zone for most of the season, and it will be a mental grind to see if they have what it takes to pick up important points.
– 16th place in Premier League
– Second round of EFL Cup
– Fifth round of 2016-17 FA Cup
Star player: Tom Heaton – The 31-year-old goalkeeper was once again Burnley’s savior, producing many fine saves and keeping the club in a position to stay up. Heaton, who’s form has lifted him into the England National Team squad, earned 10 clean sheets and 11 wins last season along with 141 saves including one on a penalty kick. With such an inexperienced and light defense, Heaton will be as important as ever this season if Burnley wants to stay in the Premier League.
Coaches’ Corner: One of the few English managers in the Premier League, Burnley’s management has shown tremendous faith in the former centerback, sticking with him when the team was relegated from the Premier League in 2015 all the way through now. Dyche has a knack for organizing his team tactically to make them tough to break down, but at times last year when they were broken, the floodgates were open. Dyche will have another rough challenge on his hands this season, and he’ll need to guide his team mentally through the grind of the Premier League.
PST predicts: Burnley will have a tough time dealing with the loss of Michael Keane from the backline, as well as facing the other sides, many of which have improved more this offseason. The club will likely be in the relegation dog fight all season long, but if the team can improve its road form, they can have a path to survival, provided the club’s home form remains the same.
Burnley once again rode their luck at home but the Clarets sealed their first win in eight Premier League games to beat Stoke City 1-0 at Turf Moor on Tuesday thanks to George Boyd‘s second half strike.
Stoke started the second half well as Arnautovic raced down the left flank and found Adam but he fluffed his effort under pressure.
Arnautovic then headed inches wide as Stoke poured on the pressure but then Burnley hit them with a sucker-punch. Boyd was found on the edge of the box after a mazy run from Jeff Hendrick and the midfielder tucked his shot away to put Burnley 1-0 up against the run of play.