England: Holders out as United triumph in Manchester derby
The FA Cup third round saw very few shocks this weekend but did see some interesting results and a bit of controversy along the way.
In the tie of the round cup holders Manchester City lost in the derby match against record holders Manchester United by three goals to two. The Red Devils, who were the visitors to City’s Etihad Stadium, took a 3-0 lead going into the half-time break thanks to a brace from Wayne Rooney and a super strike from Danny Welbeck. Ten man City, who saw defender Vincent Kompany harshly sent off for a two-footed tackle on Nani as early as the tenth minute, did well to pull two goals back through Alexsandar Kolorov and Sergio Aguero but the dream comeback ended incomplete as United held out to eliminate their neighbours. United will now face arch-rivals Liverpool FC in the 4th round with another away trip looming for the Old Trafford outfit.
On Friday evening Liverpool’s third round tie at home to Oldham Athletic ended in a flattering 5-1 victory over the League 1 (third-tier) side but ended on a sour note with Oldham’s Tom Adeyemi on the receiving end of some alleged abuse from a home supporter. This episode along with the never-ending row regarding the Luis Suarez/Patrice Evra affair, in which the latter accused the former of using racist language against him, continues to hang over the Anfield club who now need to move on and focus on football and regain some of the credibility which has been lost in recent weeks.
In other ties the main shocks came at League 2 Swindon Town who disposed of Premier League outfit Wigan Athletic with a 2-1 win. League 1 outfit Sheffield Wednesday got the better of West Ham United from the Championship (second-tier) with a late goal from Chris O’Grady separating the two sides. There would be no such upset at Stamford Bridge on Sunday where, in a repeat of the 2010 final, six-time winners Chelsea FC defeated Portsmouth FC 4-0 with Ramires bagging a brace for the West London side. Sunderland continue to flourish under the guidance of Martin O’Neill, this time winning away to Peterborough United. Sebastian Larsson proved influential for the Black Cats by scoring the opening goal and creating the second for James McClean as the Mackems notched up a fourth win in five games since O’Neill’s tenure began and will face a trip to nearby Middlesbrough in the next round.
It all pretty much went to form however as the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Aston Villa saw off lower league opposition in the form of Cheltenham Town, Tamworth and Bristol Rovers respectively whilst Newcastle United’s impressive season continued with a 2-1 home win against Premier League strugglers Blackburn Rovers.
FA CUP FOURTH ROUND DRAW
Brighton & Hove Albion/Wrexham v Newcastle
Sunderland v Middlesbrough
Dagenham & Redbridge or Millwall/Southampton
Hull City v Crawley
MK Dons/Queens Park Rangers v Chelsea
West Bromwich Albion v Norwich City
Blackpool v Sheffield Wednesday
Arsenal/Leeds United v Aston Villa
Stevenage Borough v Notts County
Watford v Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool v Manchester United
Derby County v Stoke City
Everton v Fulham
Macclesfield Town/Bolton Wanderers v Swansea
Sheffield United v Birmingham City/Wolverhampton Wanderers
Nottingham Forest /Leicester City v Swindon
Ties to be played on the weekend of 28-29 January, 2012.