The 4th round of the FA cup produced the opportunity for some giant killings. League two sides Yeovil Town, Newport County and Notts County were handed the chance to knock out the big boys (Man United and Spurs), whilst Notts County also had the opportunity to knock a Premier League side out as they faced Swansea. League One sides Wigan and Peterborough were also handed the chance to cause an upset (vs Leicester and West Ham). So would there be an upset this weekend? Or would the Premier League sides show their strength?
Leicester lead the way
Leicester were the big winners of the 4th round weekend, putting 5 past league one Peterborough. 2 goals from Iheanacho and debutant Diabate Leicester outclasses their opposition. Manchester United were also too strong for Yeovil, the lowest ranked team in the competition, as they won 4-0 away to the League 2 side. There were also plenty of goals at Anfield as West Brom knocked Liverpool out. There were 3 goals in the first 11 minutes as they ran out 3-2 winners, 2 goals from Jay Rodriguez (the only Southampton player Liverpool didn’t sign) and a Matip own goal were enough to claim victory.
Will Griggs on fire
A double from Wigan’s Will Grigg provided probably the biggest cup set of the 4th round as West Ham were dumped out of the cup. His header and penalty punished 10 man West Ham after they had Masuaku sent off for spitting. Other shocks included League 2 sides Newport County and Notts County holding premier league sides Spurs and Swansea to 1-1 draws, earning themselves replays. Newport had lead Spurs until the 82nd minute when who else but Harry Kane saved Spurs’ blushes.
VAR takes centre stage
There was VAR history made as the first on-field decision was made during Liverpool’s defeat at home to West Brom, but it wasn’t without controversy. Craig Pawson firstly ruled out a West Brom goal before awarding Liverpool a penalty after using VAR, whilst West Brom’s 3rd goal was also delayed as the referee watched the replays. In each case the decision appeared to be correct, however the length of time it took to review these decisions was the main concern for many.
West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku was also had an eventful FA cup weekend as he was sent off for spitting at an opponent in the defeat to Wigan. The defender reacted to a challenge from Wigan’s Nick Powell and was sent off at the start of the second half. West Ham manager David Moyes, who is already without key players due to injuries, called the incident “despicable” and “the player will deserve everything he gets” with a lengthy ban likely to follow.
Free Kicks the pick of the bunch
Classy free kicks from Kevin De Bruyne (vs Cardiff) and Marcus Alonso (vs Newcastle) were the pick of the goals from this weekends action. A personal favourite was De Bruyne’s clever free kick, as he calmly passed the ball underneath the jumping wall into the bottom corner, giving the keeper no chance. Alonso found the top corner, bending the ball around the wall and beating the keeper. Leicester’s Iheanacho (2nd vs Peterborough) and Nottingham Forest’s Vellios (vs Hull) both produces neatly cushioned volleys that gave the keepers no chance to stake their claims for goal of the round. Roberto Firmino (vs West Brom) also produced a moment of magic, chipping the ball from the edge of the area, over the helpless Ben Foster and into the back of the net.
The FA Cup 5th Round Draw
Sheffield Wednesday v Notts County/Swansea
West Brom v Southampton
Chelsea v Hull
Leicester v Sheffield United
Huddersfield/Birmingham v Manchester United
Millwall/Rochdale v Newport County or Tottenham
Brighton v Coventry
Wigan v Manchester City
Predict your quarter finalists from this bunch!
Kick London Sports Coach