In the Premier League Fabio da Silva got a second-half run-out against Newcastle. The Brazilian replaced Jose Bosingwa who was booed by his own fans throughout the first half and Fabio added a bit of fight to QPR’s dismal display. He had a couple of shots and always looked to go forward but a rather flat performance from his teammates meant his early enthusiasm sapped as the half went on.
Angelo Henriquez picked up his first medal in England with Wigan at the weekend as his side beat Man City in the FA Cup final at Wembley. The Chilean was an unused substitute for the game but it’ll do him no harm to get used to winning at Wembley or getting the better of City. He didn’t make it off the bench for the Swansea game prior to the final but did manage a five-minute cameo against Arsenal on Tuesday as his side were trailing 4-1. The game ended with no change to the scoreline and confirmed Wigan’s relegation to the Championship. Who knows if it would have been different had manager Roberto Martinez used his squad more and played the likes of Henriquez to avoid the burnout that his side endured after trying to balance survival with a Cup run.
In the Championship Wilfried Zaha was the star of the show as he earned his side a play-off final place with two well-taken goals against Brighton. The winger has been focused on getting his team into the Premier League before joining United in the summer and he is one game away from acheiving his target. His performances of late have been noticed by England U-21 manager Stuart Pearce who called him up for this summer’s European Championship finals.
England will face Italy, Norway and hosts Israel in the group stages this June in a bid for tournament glory.
The likes of Ben Amos, Sam Johnstone, Nick Powell and Michael Keane have also been involved recently at this level but they are not in Pearce’s 23-man party.
It was despair for Michael Keane in the other Championship play-off semi final as Troy Deeney scored Watford’s aggregate winner in an extraordinary finish to their second-leg against Leicester.
Twenty seconds after Anthony Knockaert had a debatable penalty saved at the other end, Deeney thumped in a shot. Keane played the full 90 for both games and could do nothing to prevent Watford’s dramatic winner. Keane should not be too down as he has been our outstanding loanee of the season with consistent showings at the back for the Foxes and he cemented his place in the side right away. Leicester fans have been singing his praises and are hopeful he will be allowed to return to the club by new manager David Moyes next season with the wealth of central defenders at his disposal.
Reece Brown was not involved in Ipswich’s final game of the season at Burnley.
Away from these shores, Fergie’s greatest signing Bebe came on for Rio Ave in their 1-0 loss to Olhanense in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. He replaced Andre Villas Boas (I kid you not) after 74 minutes as his side chased an equaliser but it was too little, too late from the Europa League hopefuls. He started last weekend as they bounced back to win at home to Gil Vicente which won’t be enough to take them into Europe as they are three points behind fifth-placed Estoril with an inferior goal-difference.
And last but not least, Kiko Macheda came on for Shinji Okazaki at the weekend in Stuttgart’s 2-0 loss to Feurth. He came on with 67 minutes on the clock as the visitors led by a single goal. But as Stuttgart pushed for the leveller, they were vulnerable to the counter-attack and that’s exactly what happened in the last minute when Feurth sealed the victory. Macheda had to wait until the 67th minute to be introduced into the action the week before too in Stuttgart’s 3-0 loss to Ausburg. Macheda didn’t really contribute as he provided no efforts on goal, had 14 touches of the ball – 10 of which were passes and one of those was misplaced. Like Henriquez, Macheda does have a Cup final to look forward to. But with Bayern Munich the opponents in the German Cup final on June 1, he may be better off deciding what the future holds for next season.