By Ryan Moran
- A replay at Hull is the reward after a goal-less game at the Emirates.
- Pellegrini’s young side no match for Chelsea’s experience.
- FA Cup Quarter Final draw.
London, UK- As talk of cup replays being scrapped emerged this week, Arsenal and Hull need just that. Among the other fixtures, a coin toss followed defeat by a Championship side for one Premier League outfit.
Arsenal 0-0 Hull
Eldin Jakupovic denied Arsenal a third victory over Hull in the FA Cup. Steve Bruce’s side avoided defeat to Arsenal for a third year running but will have to do it all again at the KC Stadium. With promotion a priority, another fixture wasn’t what Bruce would have wanted.
Arsene Wenger’s side were the better of the two but found Jakupovic tough to beat in the Hull goal. One positive for Wenger however, Danny Welbeck made his first start in 10 months and managed 67 minutes before being substituted for Alexis Sanchez.
The home side left the field frustrated as not one of their 24 shots found the back of the net. 11 Arsenal efforts hit the target but Jakupovic was equal to everything the Gunners could muster. Their best effort, a Joel Campbell free kick, was tipped onto the post by the keeper with Danny Welbeck’s deflected curling effort also unable to find a way in.
To add to their frustrations Mike Dean waved away a number of penalty appeals in Hull’s favour. Alex Bruce’s outstretched arm early on was a major talking point, a penalty not given by Dean. Later on Welbeck was sandwiched between two Hull players, another penalty appeal waved away by the referee.
With a title in reach for both sides, a replay was the least favoured outcome for either side, and comes on the week of discussions about cup replays being scrapped. Nevertheless, the two sides will meet in Hull for a place in the Quarter final.
Chelsea 5-1 Manchester City
Experience trumped youth as Guus Hiddink recorded his sixth win in the FA Cup. Manuel Pellegrini started six senior players at Stamford Bridge but the quality of Chelsea’s first team shone through in the second half.
The Blues dominated the first half but had a single goal for their efforts, Diego Costa heading in Eden Hazard’s cross. City’s youth provided an instant response, Cesar Azpilicueta’s attempted clearance ricocheted in off David Faupala for the equaliser.
With Champions League the priority for City it was Chelsea’s game for the taking. Willian put the Blues back in front, starting and finishing the attack. The Brazilian played a one-two with Hazard before firing across Willy Caballero to take the lead. Gary Cahill added a third five minutes later, a well hit volley after the away side failed to clear.
Hazard ended his goal drought to add Chelsea’s fourth from a free kick into the far corner, Caballero well beaten. Young Bertrand Traore added a fifth, his second in two FA Cup appearance having scored against MK Dons.
Pedro could have opened the scoring, his deft chip only finding the post while Oscar’s penalty was saved. Traore was bundled over by Martin Demichelis for the penalty, one of two poor senior performers for Pellegrini. With the imminent arrival of Pep Guardiola, Demichelis and Caballero may have to find themselves another club if similar performances continue.
Of the youngsters fielded by Pellegrini, centre back Tosin Adarabioyo dealt with Costa remarkably well. His reading of the game and maturity made it hard to tell the senior defender between himself and Demichelis.
Faupala’s equaliser was met by coins being thrown by Chelsea fans in that corner. Following Saturday’s incidents at Reading, serious action is likely to be taken against such foolish actions that give the beautiful game a bad reputation.
Chelsea’s victory earns them an away fixture against Everton who the Blues are yet to beat this year. with Hiddink still unbeaten in the FA Cup over his two stints as manager. Dynamo Kiev lay in waiting for Manchester City in midweek with key players rested in preparation.
Shrewsbury Town 0-3 Manchester United
After suffering back to back defeats in the League and the Champions League, Manchester United hoped to avoid further embarrassment when they travelled League One’s Shrewsbury Town.
Manchester United ended back to back defeats with a victory that booked their place in the Quarter Finals. League One Shrewsbury were unable to cause an upset at Greenhous Meadow as a youthful United proved a step too far.
Stand in captain Chris Smalling gave the visitors a deserved lead, half volleying past Jayson Leutwiler in the host’s goal. An inventive yet controversial free kick from Juan Mata doubled the lead. A wall of three United players distracted Leutwiler from an offside position, leaving the Shrews keeper baffled and beaten.
Jesse Lingard scored his first FA Cup goal to add United’s third from Ander Herrera’s cross. With the result all but confirmed, Louis Van Gaal threw on three young substitutes, including Will Keane . The striker made an instant impact, striking the post on the turn but in the process pulling a muscle leaving United down to 10 men with 15 minutes to play. Lingard also appeared to be carrying an injury but played on, only adding to the Red Devil’s injury concerns.
The Premier League side book their Quarter Final place and now return to league action and aim to overturn their Europa League deficit against FC Midtjylland. Shrewsbury return to League One with their cup exploits over for another season, the only League One or Two side to make it to the fifth round. The Shrews lie in the relegation zone on goal difference with survival a priority.
Blackburn Rovers 1-5 West Ham United
West Ham came from behind to win at a canter over Championship side Blackburn Rovers. The Hammers’ reward for their efforts earned the Premier League outfit an away tie against Manchester United.
Emmanuel Emenike scored his first goals for the Premier League outfit as both sides ended the gam e with 10 men. Chris Taylor saw red for two yellow cards, the second for a needless trip on Victor Moses. Cheikhou Kouyate saw red for the away side clipping Adam Henley as he raced clear on goal.
Paul Lambert’s side made the better start to the tie and were rewarded as Ben Marshall steered the ball in at the near post. A scrappy first half display saw the away side start to dominate, drawing level through a tame Moses effort, Jason Steele’s poor save allowed the ball to creep in.
Dimitri Payet’s free kick meant the Premier League side went in ahead at half time. Taylor’s second yellow meant Blackburn had to play the last 35 minutes with 10 men. Emenike opened his West Ham account less than 10 minutes after, finishing from close range. The lively Kouyate found himself heavily involved, coming into the attack from deep, but had to watch from the changing rooms, seeing red 15 minutes from time.
Emenike added his second and his side’s fourth, racing clear before rounding Steele to fire home. Payet ended the rout, dancing through Blackburn’s lines striking at the near post.
Rovers return to a Championship relegation scrap; one Lambert will be familiar with from his time at Aston Villa. As for West Ham, can they end their final year at the Boleyn Ground with an FA Cup trophy?
Reading 3-1 West Bromwich Albion
Championship side Reading upset Premier League West Brom after coming from behind to claim a home tie against Crystal Palace. Baggies fans made their feelings known with horrific scenes at full time, Chris Brunt being struck by a coin thrown by a disgruntled fan. Tagged as ‘disgusting’ by Brunt and ‘barbaric’ by Tony Pulis, events at the Madejski Stadium were overshadowed by football hooliganism.
After a goalless first half Darren Fletcher dragged an effort across goal to give the Premier League outfit the lead. Paul McShane was close to giving the Royals a first half lead, the midfielder’s effort narrowly wide. McShane made no mistake with a header from Oliver Norwood’s free kick, glancing the ball past Ben Foster.
The Championship dominated the second half exchanges with Chelsea loanee Michael Hector heading in to give Reading the lead. Norwood’s free kick again causing troubles in West Brom’s penalty area. 92nd minute substitute Lucas Piazon, another Chelsea loanee, finished from Ola John’s cut back as Reading reach the quarter finals for the second consecutive season.
To give a positive image of supporters, Baggies fans will be raising funds for a charity of Brunt’s choice. A show of class after the embarrassment of a minority. Another mid table finish lies ahead for Pulis’ side with cup glory laid to rest for another season.
AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Everton
A second FA Cup title remains a possibility for Roberto Martinez after his Everton side claimed victory over Bournemouth. A deflected Ross Barkley effort gave the Toffees the lead before Romelu Lukaku doubled their lead, but the outcome could have been different.
In an even tie at the Vitality Stadium, the away side took their chances to claim their place in the Quarter Final. Charlie Daniels was gifted a golden chance in the first half from the penalty spot after James McCarthy raised his arm at a Bournemouth cross. Joel Robles read Daniels’ penalty, low in the right corner, to keep the scores tied at 0-0.
The away side took the initiative in the second half, with a slice of luck to help the ball on the way in. Barkley’s curling effort struck the foot of Dan Gosling, looping over Adam Federici to give Everton the lead.
At 1-0 the game remained in the balance, a Junior Stanislas deflected free kick creeped past the far post, not being gifted the same luck as Barkley. The Cherries became revitalised with the introduction of Matt Ritchie driving at the defence but unable to make a breakthrough.
Lukaku doubled his side’s lead, reacting the fastest to the rebound, smashing the ball under Federici. Barkley nearly added a third after Aaron Lennon danced through the Cherries’ defence to set up the midfielder. His goal bound effort was deflected wide by Eunan O’Kane.
After League Cup devastation, Chelsea visit Goodison Park in the Quarter Final. The Toffees are unbeaten against the Blues this season, good omen for Martinez’s side. The Cherries will focus on Premier League survival, one of two fairy tale stories along with Leicester City’s title push.
Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Crystal Palace
Premier League high flyers Tottenham Hotspur crashed out of the FA Cup at home to Crystal Palace. A rare goal for Martin Kelly was enough to end Spurs’ cup exploits for another year, with a Premier League title well within their reach.
In a bad day at the office for Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino’s side will feel lucky it was only 1-0. Defensively the home side were poor, Wilfried Zaha’s run at the defence enticed three Tottenham players. Kelly was allowed space to fire past Michel Vorm to take the lead for Crystal Palace.
Kyle Walker’s header back to Vorm had to be cleared off the line, a lifeline for the home side. Dele Alli did strike both posts with a first half effort before Palace took the lead as the luck was not in Tottenham’s favour at White Hart Lane.
With the treble out the window, a double remains available with Spurs still in contention for the Premier League and Europa League. The FA Cup seems Palace’s best opportunity to make it into the Europa League given their recent form as they booked their quarter final place on Sunday. An away trip to Reading is a favourable draw as the Eagles avoided Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal in the draw.
The full Quarter Final draw:
Everton vs Chelsea
Manchester United vs West Ham United
Arsenal vs Watford
Reading vs Crystal Palace
The Quarter Final of the FA Cup takes place on Saturday 12th March as eight become four.
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