I see you driving around town with the girl I love, and I’m like F-you, ooh ooh ooh! Part six. We’re up to F. Time to take a look at three seasons of the FA Cup, the latest wacky world of the FIFA World Rankings, and whatever every neutral’s favourite football club – Fulham – are up to.
Man City won the 2015 FA Cup last time we reported on the competition, but only made it as far as the Quarter-Finals the following season. 2016’s final four were Tottenham, Arsenal, Wolves and Championship side Reading who’d beaten Southampton, Liverpool and Man City to reach the Semis.
Spurs beat Arsenal 2-0 in the North London derby, while Wolves needed extra-time to see-off Reading, who were cruelly outdone by a last-gasp own goal despite being two-up inside 20 minutes. Wolves then beat Tottenham at Wembley, 56 years after their last FA Cup Final appearance, thanks to first-half goals from Admir Mehmedi and Artur Sobiech after David Alaba was dismissed for Spurs.
Three Championship sides made the Quarters in 2017, but Hull, Bolton and Leicester all fell to top-flight opposition as Norwich, Liverpool, Southampton and Man City made the final four. Marouane Fellaini and Jérémy Ménez scored as City downed the Saints, to set-up a Final against Norwich City who beat 10-man Liverpool.
Goalless after 90 minutes, Fellaini gave City the lead before Ricky van Wolfswinkel equalised for Norwich shortly before the break in extra-time. With just four minutes top go until the dreaded shootout, Ángel got his head to a cross to nod home the winner as Norwich lifted the trophy in their first-ever FA Cup Final appearance.
Once again, 2018 saw the final four as an all-Premier League affair. Swansea, Sunderland, Arsenal and Manchester United would head to Wembley looking to book their place in the Final. Sunderland saw off Swansea to make their first appearance in the Final since 1992, and a brace from Wayne Rooney saw Man United through at Arsenal’s expense.
The 2018 Final was an enthralling watch; a seven-goal thriller with a dismissal inside the first ten minutes. David Domej picked up a booking after just 90 seconds before he clattered through the back of Nick Powell and saw red with just six minutes on the clock.
Pedro put United in front, before a Fernando Matos equaliser midway through the first-half. Andriy Yarmolenko and Moritz Leitner scored within two minutes of each other to put United 3-1 up at the half-hour mark, but Steven Fletcher pulled Sunderland back into it right before the break.
United weren’t done in the first-half though, as Siyanda Xulu crashed a volley in off the bar in stoppage time to restore the two-goal advantage. Rodrigo added a fifth ten minutes after the interval, and United went on to collect their 13th FA Cup.
We’re eagerly awaiting the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with 32 nations heading to Russia for the biggest sporting event on the planet. 2014 champions Brazil are currently ranked #3 in the world, with Argentina in the number one spot ahead of Italy. Cameroon were the highest-ranked side to miss out, with Senegal, Nigeria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Grecee, Mali and Sweden the other sides in the top 32 not heading to the tournament. Chile at #81 are the lowest ranked side going to Russia.
FIFA World Rankings, May 2018: 1. Argentina 16. Nigeria 31. Egypt 2. Italy 17. Ivory Coast 32. Serbia 3. Brazil 18. Portugal 33. Benin 4. Cameroon 19. Colombia 34. Slovakia 5. Germany 20. Wales 35. South Korea 6. Croatia 21. Bosnia 36. Zambia 7. Spain 22. Netherlands 37. Scotland 8. Chile 23. Tunisia 38. Belgium 9. England 24. Morocco 39. Iran 10. Ghana 25. Mexico 40. Czech Republic 11. USA 26. Greece 41. Australia 12. Senegal 27. Australia 42. Cape Verde 13. Uruguay 28. Mali 43. Slovenia 14. France 29. Sweden 44. Peru 15. Ireland 30. Japan 45. Poland
11th in 2015, Fulham finished 13th the following season before tumbling out of the top-flight in 2017 by a single point despite a final day win at Sunderland under the management of Neil Lennon. The Irishman remained in charge, and Fulham surged to the Championship title in 2018 after just a season out of the Premier League.
Fulham made the Quarters in both domestic cup competitions last season, losing 1-2 at Stoke in the Carabao Cup before going out at Swansea in a 3-2 extra-time FA Cup thriller in Wales.
Ivan Perisic joined for £12m from Dortmund, with Ryan Bertrand (Stoke) also signing in a £8m move as the club improve their squad ahead of the 2018-19 season.