Heroes, villains, winners and losers, Football is defined by these, shaped and evolved by there trials. In the FA Cup nobody remembers who came second. Eventually, one team will prove victorious, throw of the chains of mediocrity and be written into the book of legends.
The FA cup where, theoretically, any professional team can win reached its Fifth round; every team had beaten someone in a previous round. Fans from Arsenal to Crawley had dreams of Wembley that had yet to be proven otherwise.
Fans and Followers of Football alike love upsets in the FA Cup and this weekend’s football didn’t disappoint. The biggest coming from Norwich, and a 1-2 loss to a calm and clinical Leicester. Arsenal also lost to a much improved Sunderland side. With new manager Martin O’Neil they have looked very good these past few weeks. Arsenal having a very bad week as they went out of Europe in such disastrous circumstances, not being able to win the premier league and the realisation of their trophy drought reaching at least seven years.
Tottenham failed to provide their case for the Quarter Finals whilst Stevenage held them to a goaless draw at the Lamex Stadium. Similarly Chelsea drew with Birmingham in a 1-1 draw and a game where Andre Villas-Boas would look to prove himself whilst pressure mounts on his job.
Premier league side Stoke City triumphed away against Crawley Town in a game fraught by controversy. A goaline handball, dubious penalty and controversial sending off ensured Stoke a 2-0 win and progression into the Quater Finals. Similarly fellow premier league clubs Everton and Bolton both won and ensured their place in the next round.
Brighton & Hove Albion were thrashed 6-1 at the hands of premier league high flyers: Liverpool. Despite the score Brighton put in a decent performance and didn’t deserve the hefty amount of goals, although there three own goals show something they need to work on.
Full Results – FA Cup 5th Round Proper (Progressing teams in bold)
Crawley Town 0–2 Stoke City
Stevenage 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool 6–1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Chelsea 1-1 Birmingham City
Everton 2-0 Blackpool
Norwich 1-2 Leicester City
Millwall 0-2 Bolton Wanderers
Sunderland 2-0 Arsenal
The draw for the Quarter finals also took place on Sunday. Despite Stevenage who will replay Tottenham in a few weeks Leicester are the only non Premiership side to progress to the next round. They face a difficult test with either Birmingham or Chelsea who will also have to preplay their 5th round match.
Fixtures – FA Cup Quarter Finals Proper
Liverpool v Stoke City
Chelsea or Birmingham v Leicester City
Stevenage or Tottenham v Bolton
Everton v Sunderland