The Warm-Up: Tottenham's Dier state of affairs
Plus: Thierry Henry gets the boot from Monaco as Arsenal prepare to face Manchester United in the FA Cup...
FRIDAY'S BIG STORIES
1 A Dier state of affairs at Tottenham
No Harry, no Dele and no Sonny left a depleted Spurs side struggling to keep up at Stamford Bridge. Fernando Llorente scored a rare goal to bring Spurs back level on aggregate after efforts from N’Golo ‘not a holding midfielder any more’ Kante and Eden ‘not a leader’ Hazard and with no extra-time to play it was straight into spot-kicks.
Given how poor extra-time can often be, The Warm-Up can only applaud the new rules which give you those sweet, sweet penalties directly into your veins. It made for a frantic end to the regulation 90 minutes - during which Olivier Giroud really should have scored a winner - and an immediate hit of drama.
It’s been a bit of a brutal season for Dier. His form has slipped, his ‘shush’ celebration after scoring against Arsenal was quickly followed by his inadvertent role in two opposition goals in the 4-2 defeat at the start of December, and now this. That's also two defeats in three matches for Spurs. Ouch.
There have been the inevitable shouts of 'Spursy!' from gleeful rival fans on social media - but really, what club is likely to win a penalty shoot-out without its three best goalscorers?
2 End of the road for Henry
Thierry HenryGetty Images
All good things come to an end, and all bad things too. Thierry Henry’s reign as Monaco manager can be placed in the latter category after he was effectively sacked last yesterday, just 104 days and two league wins since getting the top job with the club which gave him his debut in professional football.
Monaco were a club in crisis when Henry took over and maybe he was always onto a loser. Either way, it became quite apparent that the job had overwhelmed him when he basically said yesterday he was going to sack off half his team.
And his replacement? Leonardo Jardim, who Monaco sacked three months ago in order to appoint Henry.
3 Sala search called off
Flowers and tributes are placed near a giant picture of Emiliano Sala outside the Nantes training ground (AP).PA Sport
Sala’s family have been imploring authorities not to stop searching and yesterday Sergio Aguero joined their voices with a post on Twitter.
Another Argentine, Gonzalo Higuain started his first official interview as a Chelsea player with a message for Sala too.
IN OTHER NEWS
If you needed any proof that Gianfranco Zola is a good egg, video footage has emerged of the Chelsea assistant getting all the subs and staff to sit down to watch the penalties last night so as not to block the view of those sitting on the first few rows at Stamford Bridge.
IN THE CHANNELS
Shout out to this excellent video chronicling Gary Lineker's lengthy torment of Alan Shearer for his failure to win the FA Cup.
As the two most decorated clubs in FA Cup history prepare to do battle tonight at Emirates Stadium, if only there was a quick little video summarising some of their epic meetings in the competition (albeit heavily weighted towards one team)...
And to balance things out a bit, it would be remiss not to post *the* iconic Arsenal-v-Manchester-United-in-the-FA-Cup moment:
One of the great games illuminated by one of the great goals.
Friday night football returns as Arsenal host Manchester United in an FA Cup fourth-round match at Emirates Stadium tonight.
Marcus Foley has never won the FA Cup but Gary Lineker hasn't brought it up once. He's back on Monday.