VAR inconsistency in the FA Cup, Nuno Esprito Santos stock continues to rise, and James Maddison shows his class
1) Barkley gets the Goodison pariah treatment
Ross Barkley would have known what kind of reception awaited him at Goodison Park: the type rained down on previous Everton escapees such as Wayne Rooney and Joleon Lescott. Goodison might not be much longer for this world, with the latest suggestion being a new stadium for 2023, but for now it retains oldfashioned menace to those who have transgressed the Evertonian code. Barkleys crime among the faithful is to have left Goodison on a cut-price transfer to Chelsea in the January transfer window of last year after running down his contract. As he left the field after being substituted in the 65th minute, he responded to the hail of jeers by applauding all sides of the stadium. To Barkleys credit, he has made himself a regular under Maurizio Sarri but like so many other Chelsea players at Goodison and this season he is wasted by the Neapolitans rigid thinking. John Brewin
2) Nunos Wolves go from strength to strength
Wolves fans have been singing Nunos the Special One for a while but their chant carried particular pertinence on Saturday, as their Portuguese manager helped their team to outclass Manchester United. The hosts were sharper and shrewder at Molineux, a wellhoned unit against an extravagant mishmash. Ole Gunnar Solskjr did not seem to know what to do. He waited too long to make changes even though several of his players looked off the pace, especially in midfield, where, when the going got tough, captain Paul Pogba went missing. Perform like this again and United will be ridiculed by Barcelona in the Champions League and fail to climb back into the Premier Leagues top four. Man United, in April and May, we always find our form, said Solskjr, who is in tune with the clubs glorious past but needs to do more in the coming week to prove he deserves to remain as manager next season. Paul Doyle
Match report: Wolves 2-1 Manchester United
3) Brighton have to do it the hard way
Brighton would have cried foul if they had not reached the last four of the FA Cup at Millwalls expense. Chris Hughton felt they should have had a penalty in the first half, argued that Alex Pearces opener for Millwall should have been ruled out and was aggrieved when Jrgen Locadia had a goal disallowed for an incorrect offside decision against Martn Montoya in the final minute of extra time. VAR would probably have come to Brightons aid on all three occasions but the technology is not being used at grounds not in the Premier League. Its not fair, Hughton said. If Im a team that benefited from it in one game, then I dont think its fair on the teams that dont benefit from it. Brighton advanced after winning on penalties but the inconsistency worked against Swansea in their defeat by Manchester City. Jacob Steinberg
Match report: Millwall 2-2 Brighton (Brighton win 5-4 on pens)
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