Surprised? Didn’t see that coming? Well, isn’t it why we love this game so much? The top three teams of the English Premier League are now out of the FA Cup.
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea fell prey to Bradford City at Stamford Bridge. If you were betting against a Bradford City win, then you were doing it wrong. It must have been a great feeling until the 40th minute as the Blues dominated the tie after scoring two early goals. But the resilient Bradford City came back from behind and equalized the two goal deficit in the 74th minute. They added two more goals before the end of normal time and the league leaders lost 2 – 4. In the post match interview, the Blues’ boss expressed his feeling of embarrassment after losing to a lower division team. Not just that, the Portuguese manager also claimed that he was delighted for his opponents.
The reigning Premier League champions also went down the same road as Chelsea. Manchester City, not only lost to Middlesbrough, but they also couldn’t manage to get off the mark at the Etihad. The game ended 0 – 2 in favor of Middlesbrough, who will now face Arsenal at the Emirates. The third ranked team in the Barclays Premier League also couldn’t manage to pick up a win in the fourth round of this prestigious cup. Crystal Palace got one better of the Saints at St. Mary’s. Ronald Koeman’s men lost 2 – 3 and now the top four finish will be their only goal until the end of the season.
LVG’s Manchester United weren’t as impressive as one would have expected them to be against Cambridge United. The Red Devils looked quite pale in the first half and although their game play improved in the second half, they were unable to find the back of the net. The 20-time English champions were held to a goalless draw and the replay of the fixture will be played on Feb 3 at Old Trafford. The Merseyside giants, Liverpool were also involved in a stalemate at Anfield. Bolton will invite the five-time European champions for the replay at the Macron Stadium after a 0 – 0 draw.
The Gunners, also the holders of the FA Cup, scraped a win against Brighton and Hove Albion. Walcott, Ozil and Rosicky got on the score sheet for the North Londoners as they won 2 – 3 at Falmer Stadium. Arsene Wenger praised Rosicky after his spectacular performance in the match. The Frenchman said, “If you love football, you love Rosicky”.
The other Premier League team to advance to the fifth round includes Aston Villa, who won against AFC Bournemouth at Villa Park. Sam Allardyce’s West Ham United also won at the weekend. They traveled to Bristol City and managed to win by just a one goal margin. Leicester City stunned Tottenham Hotspurs as the game at the White Hart Lane finished 1 – 2 in favor of City. In the match against Birmingham City, West Brom came out on top and they’ll face West Ham in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The complete draw of the fifth round of the FA Cup:
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool / Bolton
Arsenal vs Middlesbrough
Aston Villa vs Leicester City
West Brom vs West Ham
Bradford City vs Sunderland / Fulham
Blackburn Rovers v Rochdale / Stoke City
Derby County vs Reading
Preston North End / Sheffield United v Cambridge United / Manchester United
Manchester United, 4th, are currently the highest ranked team of the top tier English football to remain in the FA Cup with the Gunners taking the second spot.