FA Cup 5th Round
Football in the Premier League was put on hold for one week as the FA cup returned our screens for a weekend of action. With previous rounds seeing some giant teams crumbling and being dumped out of the competition by lower league opposition, the magic of the FA cup eagerly awaits. Saturday saw three of the seven cup matches take place followed by another three on Sunday and the last on Monday.
Sunderland 1 – 0 Southampton
Sunderland have not had the best start to the league this season, they are edging ever so closer to the FA Cup Final, if things go their way Sunderland could be close to gaining a trophy this season. With a majestic 25-yard strike from Craig Gardner, Sunderland were able to see off Southampton to move to the next round of the cup. Ricky Lambert did come close to equalising with a close range shot which edged just over the bar which would have taken the match to a replay. Both teams did rotate their squads as Mauricio Pochettino made six changes from the starting eleven and Gus Poyet (Sunderland Manager) made nine changes. Despite any chances that Southampton had, they couldn’t convert and change the the outcome of the match. Sunderland will now have to face either Brighton or Hull in the next round.
Cardiff City 1 – 2 Wigan Athletic
FA cup holders Wigan stayed in the race to hold their title as FA cup champions as they reached the next round by beating Cardiff City with two first half goals. With three goals in the entire match, it was the only match of the day to see both teams end up on the score sheet. With all three goals coming in the first half, it was set to be a nervy second half. Wigan started off by netting the first goal of the game in the 18th minute courtesy of Chris McCann. This was shortly followed up by Cardiff City’s Fraizer Campbell in the 27th minute. However Ben Watson of Wigan restored the visitors lead with a terrific strike from 30 yards. With Wigan being able to hold off to the final whistle, they are now in the next round ready to face the free scoring Manchester City.
Manchester City 2 – 0 Chelsea
Manchester City’s 5th round match was against high flying Chelsea, who had beaten then earlier in the season, at the Etihad Stadium. With both teams performing very well in the Premier League, it looked a tough match up to see who would go into the next round of the cup. But Man City came better off as a goal in each half saw them move off to face the current cup holders Wigan Athletic. The first goal came from Stevan Jovetic, who drilled the ball past Petr Cech in the 16th minute. With an even first half the match looked to be very close in the second period; however Manchester City came out the blocks and dominated the possession. The lead was later increased by Samir Nasri who tapped the ball into an open net in the 67th minute all thanks to David Silva.
Everton 3 – 1 Swansea City
Sunday’s FA Cup matches started off with a bang, as Everton booked their place in the quarter finals with a 3 – 1 victory over travelling side Swansea City. The game which saw two first half goals and two second half goals started off out the blocks as it took only 4 minutes for débutante Lacina Traore to open up his Everton account. It took only 11 minutes for Swansea to respond as Jonathan de Guzman guided a well time header into the net. With the two team’s level going into the second half, the next round was still to be played for but Everton came out on top as Steven Naismith found the back of the net 20 minutes into the half and shortly after in the 72nd minute of the game, Leighton Baines sealed the victory for the home side with a well-placed penalty. With Everton advancing in the competition, they now face Arsenal in the next round.
The Football League 1 side found themselves netting two stoppage time goals to take them through to the quarter finals. Sheffield United soon found themselves on the back foot as Nottingham dominated possession in both halves of the match but United found their feet with minutes left in the game to put them through. As mentioned, Forrest dominated the possession and found the first goal of the Afternoon game thanks to Jamie Paterson; Paterson found the net in the 28th minute with header. But shortly into the second half, a mistake from Nottingham Forrest keeper allowed Conor Coady to tap in to level up the game in the 66th minute. The match was look to settle as a draw as Forest couldn’t gain that extra goal needed, but a twist came along as a penalty was award to Sheffield and in the 90th minute, Chris Porter put his side into the lead. 2 minutes later, Chris Porter guaranteed United a place in the quarter finals as he found the net again.
An excellent display from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saw Arsenal eliminate Liverpool to face Everton in the quarter finals of the Cup. After being smashed by Liverpool the previous week, Arsene Wenger’s men started off with a shaky start, but overcome this and netted the first goal of the game in the 16th minute. The first half looked even between the two sides as the possession was close to 50:50, but going into the second half, Liverpool came out the blocks and dominated. This didn’t stop Oxlade-Chamberlain as he assisted Lukas Podolski to increase the lead to two in the 47th minute. With Liverpool producing more of the efforts in the second half, it came to no surprise as Liverpool did start to come back into the match, but despite Gerrard’s 59th minute penalty; Liverpool couldn’t produce any more and Arsenal advanced into the quarter finals.
A replay is at hand as a late second half goal kept Hull City in the competition. The late strike from Yannick Sagbo earned the replay for Hull City as they went one goal down in the first half. The replay will determine which team will go into the quarter final to face Sunderland. The first half goal from Brighton looked quite certain to be the only goal in the match and with a 30th minute goal from Leonardo Ulloa, the championship side looked to be progressing, but Sagbo came to Hull City’s rescue as his 85th minute effort clipped the underside of the crossbar and ended up into the net. The replay will be played on the 24th February alongside Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton’s replay.