One of the busiest, and most fun weekends of the footballing calendar took place this weekend, as the Third round of the FA Cup took place. Kicking off on Friday, and ending tonight, as Leeds travel to Cambridge, the third round delivered a number of noteworthy stories and shocks. We round up the top stories from the weekends action.
Man City hit West Ham for 5
It was another dismal night at the London Stadium, for Slaven Bilic, as his West Ham team were condemned to their biggest ever home loss in the FA Cup, as Man City beat them 5-0. Pep Guardiola had spoken of his appreciation and respect for the FA Cup, in his pre match press conference, and he showed this by selecting a very strong side. City were 3-0 up by half-time, and the home side never put the visitors under any kind of pressure. The pressure now turns to Bilic, as recent results continue to remain negative, could he be out of a job sooner rather than later?
Wayne Rooney becomes joint all-time top scorer for Man United
The main headline for Manchester United coming out of the third round was Wayne Rooney equalling the record of 249 goals for United, set by Sir Bobby Charlton. Last year’s winners United cruised to a 4-0 home win over Reading.
Rooney scored his 249th United goal within 10 minutes, to match the 44-year-old record of Sir Bobby Charlton. Anthony Martial, who had an excellent game, added a second as United dominated the first half. Marcus Rashford added the third before doubling his tally after a horrendous error by Reading keeper Ali Al-Habsi.
The occasion marked an unhappy Old Trafford return for Reading boss and former United defender Jaap Stam, whose team may be flying high in third place in the Championship but were outclassed from the first whistle.
As United chalked up their 8th win in a row in all competitions, Rooney spoke of his delight post-match at equalling the record
“To do it at such a massive club like Manchester United, I am hugely honoured and it is really proud moment for me.
It was not something I could have imagined. You don’t think that far ahead, but I have been at this club a long time, it is a huge part of my life and it is an honour to be up there alongside Sir Bobby.”
Sweeping Changes Cost’s Premier League teams dear
For a number of Premiership teams, the FA Cup represented an opportunity to win some silverware, as it is highly unlikely teams like Everton, Bournemouth, and Southampton will win the league. All these teams, made sweeping changes to their sides, from their last Premier League outing, and it cost them all dearly.
Eddie Howe made 11 changes to the Bournemouth side that drew 3-3 with Arsenal, and it cost them dearly as they lost 3-0 and failed to register as shot on target. Eddie Howe has received plenty of plaudits for the way he has established Bournemouth in the Premier League, playing an attractive, possession-based style of football.
Criticism will surely come his way, though, after 11 changes resulted in a disjointed and error-strewn display comprising just four shots, all of which were off target.
While Everton had more recognised first teamers on the pitch than Bournemouth, they still made a number of changes, and it cost them as the crashed out of the cup to Leicester at home. Ronald Koeman has been hired to win things at Everton, and take them to the next level, surely this represented every chance to do so. But this result represented more of the overall problems at Everton, as they were 1-0 up, and lost the game 2-1.
While Southampton remain in the Cup, the 8 changes they made to the team that lost 3-0 to Everton, resulted in a 2-2 with Norwich, and a replay that would’ve liked to avoid. Although the have the EFL Semi-Final with Liverpool to think about, it took an injury-time header from Steven Naismith to secure the result.
Sutton force replay with Wimbledon
The magic of the Cup, is seeing the smaller/non-league teams take it to the bigger teams, and the National League side Sutton United, managed to hold League 1 side AFC Wimbledon to a 0-0 draw to earn a replay.
Sutton will be the lowest-ranked team left in the draw for the fourth round, which takes place on Monday, following seventh-tier Stourbridge’s 2-1 defeat by Wycombe. The non-league club have reached the fourth round on two previous occasions, the last time coming in the 1988-89 season, when they beat then-top flight opponents Coventry in the third round.
Wimbledon, who were returning to the ground where they played their first game after forming in 2002, have never reached the fourth round.
Ryan Sessegnon becomes one of the youngest scorers in the history of the FA Cup
Fulham’s promising attacker Ryan Sessegnon became one of the youngest scorer’s in the history of the FA Cup as his tap-in in the 33rd minute for Fulham, gave them a 2-1 victory. At the tender age of 16 years old and 235 days. Although he has some way to go to beat the record set by Barrow’s Sean Cato, who remains the youngest FA Cup goal scorer at the age of 16 years and 25 days.
Changes and Youth mean a replay for Klopp
Mirroring what had been seen across third round weekend, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp made sweeping changes to his Liverpool side, and as a result now faces a replay at Plymouth. The Liverpool manager made 10 changes, which resulted in Liverpool fielding the youngest side in their history with an average age of 21 years and 296 days, but was frustrated by the plucky League Two side.
Despite his side enjoying plenty of possession – 87.2% after the first 15 minutes – they could not find the creativity to pierce the banked masses of Plymouth players.
Divock Ojo failed to make proper contact with a header from five yards and Ben Woodburn – showing some neat footwork at times – had a shot saved, but chances were few and far between for the youthful Reds, who managed just four efforts on target from 28 overall.
Klopp said before the game he could be criticised if his team selection backfired and, even with the introduction of Sturridge, Lallana and Firmino, his much-changed side could not find a winner.
John Terry sees red as Chelsea make the 4th round
John Terry is one of the most successful players in the history of the FA Cup, having won the trophy 5 times in his Chelsea career. However, he will want to forget his latest game in the Cup, as he was sent off with Chelsea leading 3-0. Terry saw red for bringing Lee Angol down as the last man.
Antonio Conte felt Terry was harshly treated and should not have been sent off, and claimed the decision was “not right”.
But the central defender, who was making his 50th FA Cup start, clearly impeded the impressive Angol despite the fact Branislav Ivanovic, was behind him. Before his early bath Terry had completed 100% of his 30 passes, though he only won 20% of his duels, less than defensive partners Gary Cahill (50%) and the fit-again Kurt Zouma (60%).
Chelsea, responded well to their first competitive loss in 11 in all competitions, and went on to win the game 4-1, despite the disadvantage of having Terry sent off.
By Rich Lee @RichLee2202