Section: FA Cup

FA Cup: Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough

Olivier Giroud struck twice as FA Cup holders Arsenal beat Middlesbrough at the Emirates Stadium to book their place in the quarter-finals.

The Gunners avoided going the same way as Manchester City had in round four against the Sky Bet Championship promotion-chasers with two first-half goals from the France forward in the space of as many minutes.

Giroud – out for three months earlier in the season with a broken fibula – blasted the ball past Boro keeper Tomas Mejias from close range on 27 minutes and before the visitors could recover, the forward sweetly volleyed home a corner.

Boro, who had been unbeaten in their last 10, worked hard enough, but never really stretched the Arsenal defence and have more important targets ahead over the closing weeks of the campaign in their bid to return to the elite.

Arsene Wenger’s side, meanwhile, looked to have found form again just at the right time ahead of a crucial run of games, which sees them take on Monaco for a place in the last eight of the Champions League.

Arsenal set the tone with a positive start as Santi Cazorla tested Mejias with a curling 25-yard free-kick which almost crept inside the right-hand post.

Left-back Kieran Gibbs, one of several fringe players handed a chance to impress, was inches away from connecting with another slide-rule pass into the Boro penalty area as the home side remained on the offensive.

Giroud had Mejias scrambling across his goal again on 14 minutes to acrobatically palm a curling shot away, with Alexis Sanchez, who had been a doubt because of a knee problem, putting the rebound into the side netting from the tightest of angles.

Boro, though, continued to defend resolutely, while also starting to offer a threat on the counter themselves.

Arsenal finally made their possession count on 27 minutes.

Cazorla, who had been running the game from a deep central role, picked out the overlapping Gibbs, who played a first-time pass into the six-yard box.

Giroud timed his run perfectly to blast the ball off the keeper and into the net.

Before the Championship side could recover, it was 2-0.

As everybody waited on the edge of the penalty area, Sanchez played a quick corner in from the left, which Giroud ran onto ahead of George Friend to volley past Mejias at the near post for his 10th goal of the season.

Boro were in danger of being overrun, as Adam Clayton made a goalline clearance after Sanchez almost finished off another sweeping Arsenal attack from Mesut Ozil’s through-ball.

When the Championship side were able to temporarily relieve the pressure, Albert Adomah’s 25-yard pot-shot was straight at Wojciech Szczesny, the Pole returning to the side in place of David Ospina.

Arsenal, who had laboured to a Premier League win over bottom club Leicester here in midweek, remained on the offensive in the second half.

Danny Welbeck’s angled chip dropped across the face of goal after more clever play from Giroud down the right.

Gabriel, making his debut, collected a first caution in English football when the former Villarreal defender clattered into Adam Reach as the Boro substitute broke quickly down the left.

As the hour mark passed, Mejias turned a rising drive from Gibbs over and then somehow got down to brilliantly tip away a glanced header from Sanchez as the ball looked to be dropping into the far corner.

Boro, though, still fancied their chances of getting back into the tie and Gabriel had to make a couple of important clearances.

It was almost 3-0 when Kenneth Omeruo blocked a bullet header from substitute Theo Walcott on the line, the England forward then denied by a save from Mejias after bursting clear down the right.

In stoppage time, a far-post header from Kike came back off the post, denying Boro’s superb 5,000-strong travelling support a late consolation.

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FA Cup: Bradford 2-0 Sunderland

League One Bradford claimed another Premier League scalp to book their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 39 years amid uproarious scenes at Valley Parade on Sunday.

Billy Clarke’s deflected third-minute effort – which goes down as a John O’Shea own goal – and a cool 61st-minute finish from Jon Stead saw the Bantams build on their stunning fourth-round win over Chelsea by dispatching Gus Poyet’s Sunderland with embarrassing ease.

From Clarke’s effort on, the underdogs seized control of the game in front of a sell-out crowd of over 24,000 and heaped more woe on a Black Cats side already reeling from Tuesday night’s dismal top-flight loss to QPR.

At times it seemed like throwback football – a frenetic pace, a muddy pitch cutting up more by the minute, a pair of players swathed in thick white headbands after an early head clash, and a controversial lack of television cameras present to show the action live.

The roar released by the home fans at the final whistle could probably be heard in the offices of TV executives across the land as Phil Parkinson’s men confirmed their richly deserved place in the last eight for the first time since 1976.

The latest chapter in the Bantams’ extraordinary recent tale of cup success began with just three minutes on the clock as a free-kick from Filipe Morais was only half-cleared to Clarke whose lashed effort was deflected by hapless Sunderland captain O’Shea into the net.

The massed ranks of Sunderland fans who were accommodated down one entire side of the ground might have feared the worst when they arrived at the ground to discover recent saviour Jermain Defoe had been left out of the matchday squad.

And while, Defoe apart, the seven changes made by Poyet might have been construed as a team-strengthening exercise in light of their dismal midweek exploits, the hosts were in no mood to be fazed by the big occasion in light of their extraordinary success at Stamford Bridge.

Bradford were simply rampant in the early stages. Clarke had already dug a shot wide before he sent in his effort for the opener, and James Hanson went agonisingly close to connecting with a Stead flick-on to make it 2-0 with barely a quarter of an hour played.

Sunderland belatedly stirred, Adam Johnson bringing the first save out of Bradford keeper Ben Williams and then Steven Fletcher inexplicably hesitating with the goal at his mercy and the bandage-swathed Rory McArdle getting back with a brilliant tackle to preserve the home side’s lead.

Sebastian Larsson had a shot deflected narrowly over the bar in the 21st minute but the danger was mostly coming from Bradford, their sweeping counter-attacks making the Black Cats stars look sluggish and clueless.

Clarke brushed aside Johnson and Billy Jones to bring a save out of visiting keeper Vito Mannone, then Hanson again went inches away from connecting with a Morais cross as the home side ended the first period well on top.

Any home fears the break could work in favour of shell-shocked Sunderland proved unfounded as the end-to-end action continued to swing mostly in Bradford’s favour in the early stages of the second half.

And it was no real surprise when Stead maintained his remarkable record of scoring in every round of this season’s competition as he squeezed an effort under Mannone after being gifted his chance following a mistake by Johnson.

The home side played out the final half-hour of the game with the minimum of fuss, to the extent that by the time referee Kevin Friend blew the final whistle, the home fans had already started celebrating another great achievement.

While Bradford’s players basked in the richly deserved ovation of their fans, Sunderland slunk off to face the music from Poyet after another humiliation in a season which is quickly turning into another one to forget.

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FA Cup: Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester

Tim Sherwood saw his new Aston Villa side edge into the FA Cup quarterfinals with a 2-1 win over Leicester at Villa Park.

Sherwood had a watching brief but after a goalless opening 45 minutes, his half-time team-talk seemed to galvanise Villa and goals from Leandro Bacuna and Scott Sinclair settled a scrappy game.

Andrej Kramaric netted an injury-time consolation for the Foxes but they could not force a replay.

First-team coach Scott Marshall took charge of Villa after ex-Tottenham boss Sherwood was appointed as Paul Lambert’s successor on Saturday.

Marcin Wasilewski hit the post for Leicester and Shay Given denied Matty James while Christian Benteke and Andi Weimann had goals ruled out for offside for the hosts.

But Villa reached the last eight for the first time since 2010 despite their late scare.

Benteke, Bacuna, Ron Vlaar, Tom Cleverley and Given all returned for Villa while Leicester replaced the cup-tied Robert Huth with Wasilewski.

Foxes boss Nigel Pearson was also in the stands and would have been worried by the Foxes’ slow start.

Eager to impress, Villa opened well and Weimann blazed over from 16 yards but their attacking threat waned, showing Sherwood the immediate problem he needs to fix.

While there was plenty of endeavour the hosts lacked quality with Benteke isolated and unable to seriously trouble the Foxes defence.

It gave Leicester encouragement and Wasilewski glanced James’ corner across goal and onto the face of the far post after 12 minutes.

Slowly, the Foxes began to assert themselves and Kramaric went down under pressure from Vlaar before Wes Morgan headed over.

Leicester were on top and Villa needed Given to roll back the years after 31 minutes to deny James.

Jeff Schlupp’s pass was dummied by Esteban Cambiasso for James to arrow a shot towards the top corner, only for Given to produce a wonderful fingertip save.

Villa did not need another warning and thought they were ahead a minute before the break when Benteke swept into the corner, but his strike was ruled out for offside.

Seemingly buoyed by Sherwood’s half-time words, the hosts began the second half well and Fabian Delph’s mis-hit header flew over before Mark Schwarzer saved at Benteke’s feet after Vlaar’s header caught out the Leicester defence.

The Foxes looked ragged and Benteke headed wide before Villa finally made their dominance count after 68 minutes.

Vlaar slipped a cute ball through to Bacuna and the midfielder cut inside to unleash a curling effort into the bottom corner from 18 yards.

Two minutes later Weimann had the ball in the net, only to be pulled up for offside, and Benteke fired over after outpacing Matthew Upson.

A dour game had come to life and Leicester almost hit back when Kramaric failed to force the ball in after Given had spilled a cross.

Vlaar then denied Riyad Mahrez with a last-ditch tackle and Kramaric headed over.

But Villa made it 2-0 in the 89th minute when substitute Sinclair wriggled free. His weak shot was straight at Schwarzer but the keeper spilled it into his own net.

Leicester immediately hit back in stoppage time when Kramaric headed in Schlupp’s cross but Villa held on.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool

Liverpool exorcise Selhurst Park demons, reach FA Cup quarterfinals

Liverpool exorcised some demons at Selhurst Park by reaching the FA Cup quarterfinals with an impressive win against Crystal Palace.

Brendan Rodgers’ side returned to south London in Saturday’s late kick-off looking to avoid another horror show at the ground where last season’s title dreams went up in smoke before then suffering a 3-1 loss this term.

An early Fraizer Campbell goal had the Reds fearing another nightmare result, yet their dominance eventually told as Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana goals secured a 2-1 comeback win.

Victory keeps alive the dream of Steven Gerrard ending his Liverpool career by holding the FA Cup aloft on his 35th birthday, although for a while it looked like Alan Pardew could be involved in another upset against the Merseyside giants.

The Palace manager’s extra-time winner secured the Eagles a famous win against the Reds in the 1990 FA Cup semi-final and he was celebrating again after 15 minutes, when a gaffe from Martin Skrtel allowed Campbell to slot home.

Dwight Gayle could have doubled that lead as half-time approached but that would have been harsh on Liverpool, who had 17 shots over the course of the opening period.

Furthermore, Palace debutant Pape Souare got away with a penalty after taking down Sturridge, who started the comeback four minutes after the break, finishing a fine team move with aplomb.

It was a fantastic volley from the England striker, whose international team-mate Lallana scored what proved to be the 58th minute decider – directing home after Julian Speroni failed to deal with a stinging Mario Balotelli free-kick.

Few could argue with the result as Liverpool impressed from the outset, with Sturridge directing a Lazar Markovic cross wide early on.

Rodgers’ side were looking decent but they were almost caught out when Joe Ledley sent a wonderful through ball to Gayle, only for Skrtel to cut out his threatening cross.

It was a timely interception by the Slovakian defender, who undid that good work in the 15th minute.

Skrtel’s attempted clearance from a high Ledley ball forwards ended going backwards after a slight nudge from Gayle. The forward chased the loose ball and forced Simon Mignolet into a save, only for the ball to fall kindly for Campbell to slot home.

It was a sucker punch but one Liverpool responded well to.

Speroni did fantastically to prevent Lallana drawing parity after a fine, intricate team move, before Philippe Coutinho tested the Palace goalkeeper in twice quick succession.

Jordan Henderson was the next to call him into action, before Sturridge was left perplexed as to why referee Robert Madley did not point to the spot soon after being brought down by Souare.

The visiting fans certainly let their displeasure known, although that anger almost turned to joy as Joe Allen volleyed just wide, with Coutinho and Markovic having efforts as Pardew’s men rode their luck.

Liverpool were in complete control yet would have gone in two-down at the break was it not for Mignolet stopping Gayle.

A two-goal deficit would have harsh and, smelling blood, Balotelli was brought on in place of Markovic at the break.

Palace, too, made a change with Marouane Chamakh replaced by Jason Puncheon, who flashed an effort over within a minute of his introduction.

It was again Liverpool looking the most threatening side and they drew level in some style inside four minutes of the restart.

Allen’s ball between the lines found Henderson, whose cute, clipped ball was met by a wonderful left-footed volley by Sturridge.

Palace attempted to go back ahead through Joel Ward and Gayle, although Liverpool were looking confident and went ahead in the 58th minute.

Scott Dann was adjudged to have fouled Balotelli, whose stinging effort from the result free-kick was spilled by Speroni into the path of Lallana.

Palace went with a more attacking approach in search of a leveller but they were struggling to break down the Liverpool defence and create clear-cut chances.

The Reds appeared happy to soak up the pressure and Henderson saw a cross cut out by Scott Dann, before Rickie Lambert had an effort deflect over.

Gayle blazed a late free-kick over but Palace never really looked like drawing level as Palace fell to a second defeat in all competitions under Pardew.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Derby 1-2 Reading

Yakubu guides Reading into FA Cup quarterfinals

Former Everton and Middlesbrough striker Ayegbeni Yakubu showed his class in front of goal as Reading swept into the last eight of the FA Cup at the expense of a Derby side reduced to 10 men for 50 minutes.

Derby looked the better side until full-back Stephen Warnock was sent off for a second yellow card in the 39th minute but Reading made the advantage count.

Hal Robson-Kanu’s goal was cancelled out by Darren Bent but Yakubu, who was signed as a free agent during the January transfer window but has cost English clubs a total of more than 25 million pounds in transfer fees, netted the winner.

Derby’s promotion ambitions dictated seven changes but there was no lack of cohesion from them and it took a good save from Adam Federici to keep out winger Simon Dawkins snap-shot within 90 seconds of the kick-off.

Next, Rams defender Richard Keogh was inches short of stabbing home a free-kick from Omar Mascarell but after a quarter of an hour Reading hit back to win a free-kick that let in Simon Cox for an angled shot that rattled the near post.

Derby swept back upfield for Dawkins to lay on a shooting chance that Jeff Hendrick fired over the bar and then Federici turned away a blistering low shot from Jesse Lingard, making his debut on loan from Manchester United.

The keeper then produced an even better reflex stop to beat away a powerful point-blank effort from Bent as Derby continued to press.

A long-range shot from Mascarell was drilled straight into the goalkeeper’s hands but a rapid break caught Derby undermanned at the back and Cox latched on to a header from Pavel Pogrebnyak to fire a thunderous shot just too high from the right of goal.

After so much Derby pressure, the odds turned in Reading’s favour when Warnock was sent off in the 39th minute for a lunge that left Jamie Mackie rolling in pain and produced a second yellow card from referee Craig Pawson.

It could have got worse for Derby when a shot from Danny Williams bounced up against Keogh’s raised hand off his thigh to prompt penalty claims but the referee waved play on.

Cox had a powerful shot blocked as Reading tried to make their advantage count and their extra man paid off in the 53rd minute when a rapid counter-attack ended with the same player escaping on the right to deliver a clever pass for Robson-Kanu to curl left-footed inside the far post.

Reading, who had previously lost to Derby in the Championship and the Capital One Cup this season, stayed in front for only seven minutes and it was the in-form Bent who scored.

A right-wing cross was just too strong for Bent to meet but the ball was crossed again from the left by Craig Forsyth and this time the England striker made no mistake from close range – his fifth goal in as many games since joining the Rams on loan from Aston Villa and his ninth in his last 10 FA Cup appearances.

Mackie fired wide from 12 yards after in what was becoming a rip-roaring cup tie and nine minutes from time Reading got back in front when a Derby attack fizzled out and left them short-handed at the back.

Cox swept the ball straight through Derby’s floundering back line and there was substitute Yakubu to underline his quality by powering forward and firing home a clinical left-footed shot from the edge of the box.

 

FA Cup: Blackburn 4-1 Stoke

Stoke knocked out of FA Cup as Josh King scores Blackburn hat trick

Ten-man Stoke suffered FA Cup embarrassment at Ewood Park as they were torn apart 4-1 by a second-string Blackburn side with Josh King, one of those fringe players, scoring a hat trick.

The 23-year-old, on only his 14th appearance this season and with just one league goal to his name, was a nuisance for a Potters defence which was severely hampered by the sending off of Geoff Cameron just before half-time.

Former Rovers boss Mark Hughes, a three-time FA Cup winner with Manchester United, could only watch as the ex-Red Devils youth team player sent his side crashing out of the competition and Rovers into the quarter-finals for the second time in three years.

King’s poacher’s finish equalised Peter Crouch’s early goal before he won the penalty from which Rudy Gestede scored his 14th of the campaign when he was pulled back by Cameron.

The 23-year-old Norway international had caused the visitors problems with his blistering pace before the break but he enjoyed the extra space available against 10 men for 45 minutes and twice raced clear to score with virtually identical goals just 10 minutes into the second half.

King, who attracted some interest from struggling Barclays Premier League clubs in the January transfer window, is out of contract in the summer and if this performance cannot persuade manager Gary Bowyer to offer him a new deal then it will certainly have made someone else’s mind up.

Despite beating another top-flight side Swansea at home in the last round, the priority for Rovers is to close the 10-point gap to the Sky Bet Championship places so, with that in mind, manager Gary Bowyer made eight changes from the midweek win over Rotherham.

Hughes, by contrast, was targeting some silverware and his only alteration from the team which lost to Manchester City on Wednesday was a switch of goalkeepers with England international Jack Butland replacing established number one Asmir Begovic.

There was a sense that Rovers were missing an opportunity and that was reflected in the crowd of 13,934, although that would have been more had police not objected to Stoke having an extra allocation of 2,000 on safety grounds.

When Crouch, on target for the third successive match, smashed home a 10th-minute Victor Moses corner it appeared the script was being followed.

Marko Arnautovic and Mame Biram Diouf had chances to put the game bed inside half-an-hour but let Rovers off the hook and King, at the heart of every real threat, took full advantage.

He should have equalised midway through the half with only the goalkeeper to beat but his shot grazed the crossbar and he also guided a header wide before, after 36 minutes, he deflected Shane Duffy’s powerful header past Butland from close range.

Having created a good chance for Gestede after stripping Philipp Wollscheid for speed, only for his team-mate to fluff his shot, King was fouled by Cameron in the eight minutes of stoppage time for three lengthy injury breaks.

The Stoke defender was shown a straight red card by referee Anthony Taylor and Gestede did not make a mistake with his second chance from the spot.

Rovers ensured there would be no turnaround of momentum in the second half as King – had scored five goals in his previous 68 appearances – twice raced through to slot the ball past Butland in carbon-copy goals within five minutes of each other.

Stoke were deflated and dejected and home fans took great delight in taunting their former manager.

It all got a bit too much for some of the visiting supporters, some of whom became involved in a minor scuffle with stewards and police late in the game.

Hughes ordered his players to go acknowledge what was left of the travelling fans at the final whistle.

It looked more like an offer of an apology but that should not take anything away from another impressive cup performance from Blackburn.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: West Brom 4-0 West Ham

Brown Ideye scores twice as West Brom reach FA Cup quarterfinals

Reinvigorated striker Brown Ideye inspired West Brom to a 4-0 FA Cup romp against West Ham as the Baggies reached the quarterfinals in style.

The striker bagged two as he continued his remarkable return to form under head coach Tony Pulis.

James Morrison and Saido Berahino also scored while former Albion loanee Morgan Amalfitano was sent off for the Hammers just 10 minutes after coming on.

Ideye, a 10 million pound record buy, was set to leave the Baggies on deadline day for Qatari club Al Gharafa but stayed because they failed to land Carlton Cole from the Hammers.

Cole stayed at Upton Park after their move for Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor broke down and since then Ideye has scored four goals in three games.

Ideye and Berahino started as their blossoming partnership continued while Craig Gardner replaced the cup-tied Darren Fletcher and Stephane Sessegnon came in for Callum McManaman.

Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble returned for the Hammers with ex-Baggies target Cole on the bench.

After an even opening Ryan Cresswell fired a free-kick over but the Baggies took control and deservedly opened the scoring on 20 minutes.

Craig Dawson won Gardner’s crossfield ball ahead of Cresswell to break down the right and, with Ideye free in the centre, found the striker who converted from five yards.

The Nigeria international has admitted he feels reborn under Pulis and he had the Hammers in trouble again soon after, going down under Nolan’s challenge in the area with replays suggesting it was a penalty.

Albion were dominant and Sessegnon blazed over but Gardner almost scored in spectacular style eight minutes before the break.

The midfielder collected the ball 35 yards from goal and unleashed a fierce drive which crashed off Adrian’s bar.

Gareth McAuley lashed the rebound over but the Baggies did not have long to wait before doubling their lead.

They had been on top since scoring and grabbed a deserved second when Morrison rode Noble’s challenge and lashed into the corner from 25 yards.

A third then arrived on 57 minutes from Ideye when he nodded in Sessegnon’s cross from six yards.

The Hammers had offered little but Ben Foster had to save well from Diafra Sakho’s header, with McAuley then clearing off the line on 65 minutes.

But West Ham imploded with 20 minutes left when Amalfitano – who was on loan at West Brom last season – was sent off just 10 minutes after replacing Nolan.

He was initially booked for a foul on Chris Brunt but reacted by pushing the midfielder in the face to receive a straight red.

Then, barely two minutes later, Berahino rifled in from a tight angle to spark a mass exodus of the travelling West Ham fans.

They had jeered Sam Allardyce’s substitutions and also briefly abused the manager in the second half.

Adrian then saved well from Ideye’s flick late on to deny the striker as the Baggies cruised through.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Bolton 1-2 Liverpool

Liverpool secure late win at Bolton thanks to fine Philippe Coutinho strike

Philippe Coutinho celebrated his new five-year contract with an added-time winner as Liverpool kept their FA Cup hopes alive in a dramatic late turnaround at Bolton.

The Brazil international committed his long-term future to the club on Monday and marked the occasion with only his third goal of the season in the second additional minute to seal a 2-1 win.

Raheem Sterling had equalised in the 85th minute as Wanderers buckled under the pressure of having to play the last 25 minutes with 10 men after Neil Danns’ dismissal following Eidur Gudjohnsen’s disputed penalty.

It kept alive the hope of a fairytale ending to Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool career before he flies off to join Los Angeles Galaxy, with the final falling on the day of his 35th birthday.

The Liverpool captain was making his 700th appearance, becoming only the third person to reach the landmark for the club after Ian Callaghan (857) and Jamie Carragher (737), in this tie but for once he was not the one to influence proceedings.

But for a long time it looked as though it would be a miserable occasion for the midfielder as Neil Lennon’s team produced a similarly admirable defensive performance to the one which had earned them a goalless draw at Anfield, and for 85 minutes it looked like being the perfect gameplan.

With injury denying Emile Heskey another chance to face his former club, defender Matt Mills started the match as a makeshift striker alongside Eidur Gudjohnsen.

His lack of experience in the position was reflected by the pre-match odds, which had him at 50-1 to score with midfielder Darren Pratley, out for six weeks with a hamstring injury, rated a better bet at 20-1.

As in their first meeting, chances were at a premium for Wanderers and the best, as at Anfield, fell to Gudjohnsen who ballooned over from Josh Vela’s cross, and David Wheater who headed straight at goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

Liverpool, as you would expect, created the greater number of opportunities, with Sterling planting a shot against the post after being given far too much time to turn and pick his spot by the Bolton defence.

It was a rare error of judgement in the first half as they restricted the visitors to weak efforts from Gerrard, Coutinho (twice) and Sterling.

Dorian Dervite produced the tackle of the match early in the second half to dispossess Sterling just as he was about to pull the trigger having raced on to Coutinho’s pass as the hosts’ defending continued to keep the Premier League side at bay.

If Liverpool were frustrated by their opponents then they were infuriated by referee Roger East’s decision to award a 59th-minute penalty.

Skrtel was naive in dangling a leg but the 19-year-old Clough showed the nous of an old pro in taking full advantage to go down from minimal, if any, contact.

Gudjohnsen drilled home from the spot but Bolton soon found themselves down to 10 men when Danns was sent off for a second bookable offence for a foul on Joe Allen.

Daniel Sturridge was sent on to find a goal in the final 20 minutes, just as he had on his comeback against West Ham on Saturday, but it was Jordan Henderson, another substitute, and defender Emre Can who came closest, with the former’s volley deflected on to a post by Wheater and goalkeeper Andy Lonergan finger-tipping the other on to the crossbar.

Sterling was the saviour five minutes from time as he slotted Can’s pass through Lonergan’s legs – Liverpool’s 700th FA Cup goal – before Coutinho bent one into the top corner from distance as Bolton’s resistance eventually broke and the Reds booked a fifth-round tie at Crystal Palace.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Man Utd manager Louis van Gaal charged by FA over comments

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has been charged by the Football Association over comments he made to the media after last month’s FA Cup fourth-round match at Cambridge United.

The FA charge states the Dutchman’s words “allege and/or imply bias on the part of the match referee and/or bring the game into disrepute”.

The 63-year-old has until 18:00 GMT on 9 February to respond to the charge.

The match at Abbey Stadium on 23 January ended in a goalless draw.

The Premier League side beat Cambridge 3-0 in the fourth-round replay at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

After the first tie against League Two Cambridge, Van Gaal told the BBC’s Match of the Day: “Every aspect of a match is against us – the pitch, the referee.”

He later repeated the accusation, adding: “You have seen the referee. It’s always the same.

“Everywhere I have coached these games – and I have coached them also with other clubs – it’s always the same.”

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Man Utd 3-0 Cambridge

Juan Mata, Marcos Rojo ensure Manchester United advance

Cambridge’s heart-warming FA Cup run came to an end as Manchester United snuffed out any hopes of another shock at Old Trafford.

Juan Mata, Marcos Rojo and second-half substitute James Wilson scored in the 3-0 win which sent United through to a fifth-round tie at League One Preston.

Cambridge failed to match the heroics of Bradford and Middlesbrough — who knocked out Chelsea and Manchester City respectively — but it could have been a much different story had Tom Elliott converted a great opportunity after just 50 seconds.

Cambridge will not care about that though. The 6,500 fans they brought to Old Trafford — and the supporters they have won along this FA Cup run — were just delighted the team made it this far.

And in fairness to the League Two outfit they put up more than a fight in their two fixtures against the 20-time English champions.

The 0-0 draw against United 11 days ago will live long in the memory of the club’s fans — as will their trip to Old Trafford, where they came up against a team worth almost £240million.

The £1million windfall the minnows have earned from this replay will come in particularly handy to Cambridge, who have an annual turnover of £1.6million.

Read more at ESPN