Big guns set for FA Cup semi-finals: What time is the draw?
Reality bites as Arsenal, Man City and Spurs book their places at Wembley, with Man Utd or Chelsea joining them
The romance of the FA Cup was ushered out of the door at the weekend when Lincoln City and Millwall, the last two non-Premier League clubs, were despatched from the competition by an aggregate score of 11-0.
Arsenal restored some pride with a 5-0 victory over non-league Lincoln at the Emirates on Saturday, the first team from outside the football league to make the quarter-finals for more than a century. Spurs put Millwall to the sword on Sunday, winning 6-0.
In the first of the quarter-finals on Saturday Manchester City beat Middlesbrough 2-0.
Chelsea play Manchester United tonight for the final berth in the last four. This means the semi-finalists will all come from the top six in the Premier League.
Bad news for Spurs and Millwall
Spurs may have paid a high price for their place in the last four with Harry Kane facing a spell on the sidelines. Their opponents Millwall are also under a cloud after violence outside the ground and an FA investigation into racist chanting.
"Son Heung-min's hat-trick fired Tottenham into the FA Cup semi-finals but their 6-0 demolition of Millwall was marred by racist chants towards the South Korean from visiting supporters," says the Daily Telegraph.
"Harry Kane also limped off injured in the sixth minute at White Hart Lane after appearing to hurt his right ankle but even without their star striker, Spurs, and Son, blew their League One opponents away."
Wenger embraces change
Arsenal fans will have spent the first half of the game against Lincoln feeling uneasy when the non-league side refused to buckle. But after Theo Walcott put the Gunners ahead they exploited their superiority and ran riot in the second half.
Victory against the 93rd best team in the country will not appease the anti-Wenger brigade but it's a start, while the manager has shown that he's trying to deal with the issues facing his team.
"On the back of a crucial drop in form Wenger has actually started the last two games with a new plan, playing 4-3-3 against Bayern Munich and Lincoln to address the malfunctioning midfield by adding an extra man," says The Guardian. "It is revealing that Wenger is trying something tactically new in a bid to save Arsenal's season. It is, of course, a credit to Lincoln that he would play his strongest team, in its potentially most solid guise, against the non-league flagbearers."
City cause for concern
City's win over Middlesbrough appeared routine but it could have been different as Pep Guardiola's side once again failed to fully convince. They face Monaco on Wednesday night knowing that they will have to up their game.
"Middlesbrough are the lowest scorers in the Premier League and lost Rudy Gestede, their striker, to injury, but City endured episodes of vulnerability," says The Times. "Their 5-3 advantage over Monaco, who they play in the Champions League on Wednesday, feels substantive, and yet they are not built for containment. Paris Saint-Germain's 6-1 defeat by Barcelona proves that nothing is secure."
When is the semi-final draw?
The draw for the semi-finals will take place after the game between Chelsea and Manchester United, with four of the big six in the hat. The ties will be played at Wembley on the weekend of April 22-23.
The draw will be shown live on BBC1 after the conclusion of the final quarter-final. That should be at around 9.30pm, but it will be delayed if the match becomes the first quarter-final to go to extra time or penalties under new rules that demand a winner on the night.