Nothing in football gets the blood going quite like a cup draw.
Seeing your team’s name in the hat beside their assigned ball number, dreaming of Wembley while praying you can avoid that one team no-one wants to play; it’s a truly unique experience.
Much was expected of the semi-final draw for this year’s tournament, particularly with two of London’s major clubs and the Manchester rivals both still in the hat. But social distancing rules, coupled with some straight up bad luck, meant it was something of a damp squib.
Our first warning sign arrived when we were told the draw would take place at half-time of Manchester City’s trip to Newcastle. That was a little unconventional, and so was the 7.29pm start time…
After 15 minutes of build-up, we’d hoped for some sort of grandiose affair…and then we remembered the pandemic was still a thing.
What we got instead of the usual fanfare, then, was Alan Shearer.
On the couch.
And what did we get? London derby? Potential Manchester derby?
Nope, first out of the hat was a repeat of the 2018 final: Manchester United vs Chelsea.
Oh well. United fans were quite confident anyway; their recent record against the Blues speaks for itself.
What we saying to it, then, Chelsea fans?
Then again, last time they met at Wembley…
That draw meant that Arsenal would face either Newcastle or Manchester City. So, Manchester City then.
That’s not one Gunners fans will be particularly looking forward to, given they seem allergic to taking anything from Pep Guardiola’s defending champions.