The weekend action kicked off with the fixture at Derby on Friday. Derby County played host to the English giants Manchester United in the hope of getting through to the next round. But the under-fire manager Louis van Gaal was relieved by his team’s performance in the 3 – 1 win over the hosts. Rooney opened the scoring with a beautiful curling shot in the first half, followed by second half goals from Mata and Blind. Since the turn of the new year, captain Wayne Rooney has already contributed more in the attack for United than he did in the first half of the season. Manchester United face Shrewsbury in the fifth round away from home.
Van Gaal was happy with his team’s performance. In the post-match interview, he said, “I am very happy.
“The performance was also very good, and I said that at half-time; that we can continue with the way we had played in the first half. We gave a goal away, and it was by ourselves again, but I liked the performance in the first half, it had a lot of confidence, and that is back which is very important. The second half was even better, we created a lot of chances, and we scored goals. But also, we created more chances to score more goals. I am a very happy coach.”
Arsenal won 2 – 1 at the Emirates against Burnley. The goals were scored by Calum Chambers and Alexis Sanchez, who made his return to the first team on Saturday. The Gunners are drawn against Hull City in the next round at home on February 20th.
Manchester City thrashed Aston Villa 4 – 0 at Villa Park at the weekend. The talented youngster Iheanacho grabbed a hat-trick and Raheem Sterling netted the fourth goal for the Citizens. Iheanacho is being labeled as the next big thing in the Premier League, and the fans are claiming that Guardiola will build the team around him when he takes over the club in the summer. City will travel to London to face Chelsea in the fifth round.
Chelsea managed to score five goals at MK Dons on Sunday, and the final score after referee’s final whistle was 1 – 5. Oscar scored a first-half hat-trick while Eden Hazard ended the goal drought and bagged his first goal for the Blues this campaign.
Liverpool were involved in a 0 – 0 stalemate at Anfield against Slaven Bilic’s West Ham. If they go through to the next round, they will be hosted by Blackburn on February 20th.
Tottenham Hotspurs won 1 – 4 at Colchester, and they will invite Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane in the fifth round. Everton came out on top in the away fixture at Carlisle on Sunday. Kone, Lennon and Barkley netted a goal each in the 3 – 0 victory. They will travel to Bournemouth, who defeated Portsmouth 1 – 2 at the weekend.
Watford, the 0 – 1 winners at Nottingham Forest, will meet Leeds United, the 1 – 2 winners at Bolton. If there are no upsets in the fifth round, most of the top teams will be competing in the quarter-finals of the tournament, making it much more exciting than the last few previous versions.