The fifth round of the FA Cup came around again this weekend and the interesting matchups once again failed to disappoint, bringing some intriguing quarter final prospects.
The standout match of the round on Saturday came with the clash of the titans on Saturday, as Manchester City hosted league leaders Chelsea. With eyes on the quadruple this season, Pellegirini’s Man City exacted revenge on a Chelsea side that has done the double over them in the league campaign.
With goals courtesy of Montenegrin Stevan Jovetic and Samir Nasri, they ran out 2-0 winners. Man City showed their tactical nouse, as well defensive strength as they shut out the in-form Eden Hazard as well as new signing Mohamed Salah. They booked a home quarter final clash against Wigan Athletic for their troubles – a repeat of last year’s final.
Sunday’s tie of the day unsurprisingly came at the Emirates, as Arsenal continue their fight for a first trophy in nine years, after edging a close encounter against a resurgent Liverpool side by two goals to one. Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring, showing great skill and pace, as Arsenal took the initiative in the first half, before Podolski added a second just after the restart.
However Liverpool responded well, with Sturridge and Suarez presented with great chances to get back in the game. Their chance came when Webb awarded the visitors a penalty after a challenge on Suarez, which talisman Steven Gerrard dispatched confidently. However, Arsenal held on through some heroics from Fabianski, to book a mouth-watering home tie with Roberto Martinez’s Everton, who overcame a Swansea side 3-1 at Goodison Park.
The FA Cup would not be what it is without a shock or two, and this round did not disappoint on this score. Holders and Championship club Wigan Athletic defeated top-flight Cardiff City 2-1 away from home, as Ben Watson continued his penchant for scoring match winners in the FA Cup.
Still, the bigger shock of the round came at Bramall Lane as League One strugglers Sheffield United added to their two Premier League scalps by stunning Championship high fliers Nottingham Forest, coming from behind to run out 3-1 winners. The hero came in the shape of Chris Porter, who scored twice in stoppage time to pull off a sensational shock against a Forest side unbeaten in 16 matches.
The Blades’ victory has meant they are the lowest ranked club top reach the last eight since 1990. They could potentially play arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday in the next round, with Wednesday’s game having to be rearranged due their Charlton tie being postponed on Saturday. Other games included another Sunderland cup victory as they beat Southampton 1-0, while Brighton and Hull City conclude their tie on Monday night to see who will face Sunderland at home in the quarters.
FA CUP QUARTER FINAL DRAW
Arsenal v Everton
Brighton or Hull City v Sunderland
Sheffield United v Sheffield Wednesday or Charlton Athletic
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic
Images courtesy of the BBC, the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian and Sky Sports