Liverpool fans were able to sit back and enjoy some FA Cup football this weekend, perhaps relishing in the surprising results which saw more Premier League teams fall by the wayside.
It was a spirited display from Wolves in the last round which saw Liverpool knocked out when in the middle of their busy January fixture list. Wolves in this round were at home to Premier League leaders Chelsea and again put in a good performance. This time however they could not match the team from a league above and, although it was a close game, they ultimately lost 2-0. A late goal from Diego Costa put the tie beyond doubt but until that point the league leaders looked unconvincing. Wolves could have taken the lead but were denied by the post early on.
Chelsea progress to the Quarter Final where they will face their toughest test of the competition so far with a home clash with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. United had to come from behind in their FA Cup 5th Round tie with Blackburn yesterday. It took a Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal 15 minutes from time to make sure the holders progress to the next round without the need of a replay. It was a two moments of class which eventually proved the difference and saw off the Championship strugglers Blackburn.
Lincoln City produced the upset of the round so far with their last minute victory over Premier League Burnley. With the match heading into a 0-0 stalemate, it was the National League leaders who struck from a corner to become the first non league club in the FA Cup Quarter Final in more than 100 years. Burnley had chances to continue their cup run this season but Lincoln were a match to their efforts and put in a good defensive display. Generally it is the visitors to Turf Moor who have a frustrating afternoon in front of goal, but this time it was the visitors who came out on top for only the fourth time this season.
Lincoln now face an away trip to either Sutton United or Arsenal in the next round, a place at Wembley the reward for the winners. Should Sutton be able to overcome Arsenal that would guarantee a place in history as a non league side would progress to the Semi Final.
Along with Lincoln, Millwall caused an upset by dispatching Leicester City late on to compound their terrible run even further. The Premier League Champions are now without a goal in seven games, a run which stretches back to December. They had chances in this game, but were denied either by good defending or their own poor finishing. Championship Millwall, were reduced to 10 men and could have been forgiven for accepting the draw and try again in the replay. A replay is something no team wants however and in the dying minutes they found a breakthrough and took the lead.
Millwall, drawn at home in each stage so far, must instead visit Tottenham in the next round. Tottenham reached the Quarter Final courtesy of a routine win over Fulham at Craven Cottage. Spurs, who fielded a strong side, never looked in trouble during the 3-0 win in which Harry Kane scored a hat trick. Fulham had just lost once at home since October and sit eighth in the Championship but they never really got into the game to cause an upset.
The last Quarter Final will see Middlesbrough at home to face either Huddersfield or Manchester City. Middlesbrough had to survive a late comeback from League One Oxford United at the Riverside. Boro were 2-0 ahead before half time and looked to be well in control of the game. Two goals in two minutes from Oxford however changed that and set up a nervy end to the game. Substitute Stuani restored the Premier League sides lead just four minutes from time and that’s how the game ended. Middlesbrough had scored just three goals in their previous six games, so they will be looking to take this form forward.
The final tie to be decided will be Huddersfield or Manchester City who played out a 0-0 stalemate and must now go to a replay. It was a game with chances but both Goalkeepers were on hand to keep the scores level. Man City had won their last three scoring eight times in those games but were unable to find a breakthrough in this one. The pair will return to Manchester for the replay.