Tag: FA Cup 4th Round

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 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.

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FA Cup: Sheff Utd 1-3 Preston

Preston North End rally to set up tie against Manchester United

Preston hit three goals in 10 second-half minutes to dispose of cup kings Sheffield United 3-1 and set up a mouth-watering FA Cup fifth-round home clash with Manchester United.

It looked as if the Blades, who were beaten in the Capital One Cup semi-final by Tottenham last week , would continue their love affair with the cup competitions as they led through Jamie Murphy’s first-half opener.

But they were second best throughout and Preston responded in style after the break as Paul Gallagher netted either side of Paul Huntington’s header to arrange the meeting with Louis van Gaal’s side, who saw off Cambridge 3-0 in their replay on Tuesday night.

It was thoroughly deserved for the visitors, who bossed matters from the off and should have been in front after 12 minutes when a defensive lapse from Chris Basham sent Kevin Davies clear but, with time and space, the veteran striker could only hit the post.

There were further chances for Simon Grayson’s men and home goalkeeper Mark Howard made a hat-trick of saves, the best a superb low stop to keep out Tom Clarke’s back-post header.

And it was against the run of play when the hosts, who reached the last four of this competition last season, stole into a 38th-minute lead as Murphy cut inside and his low shot went through keeper Thorsten Stuckmann’s grasp.

It was an open start to the second half, with both sides threatening, but North End wrapped up the tie with a 10-minute three-goal salvo.

Gallagher’s moment of brilliance brought the sides level after 63 minutes as the on-loan Leicester man whipped a stunning 18-yard free-kick into the top corner, and Huntington’s header from Scott Laird’s corner six minutes later put the visitors ahead.

The game was made safe when Gallagher netted from the spot following Jay McEveley’s foul on Chris Humphrey, and United had no response as their impressive cup exploits ended for another season.

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FA Cup: Fulham 1-3 Sunderland

Bettinelli blunder helps Sunderland

Sunderland looked like they would become the latest Premier League victim of a shock-filled FA Cup fourth round until Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli’s embarrassing fumble help them turnaround this replay.

Little over a week after Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham and Southampton saw their hopes go up in smoke, Gus Poyet’s side looked like they would follow suit after Hugo Rodallega gave the Championship side a first-half lead.

However, an unfortunate own goal from the otherwise impressive Bettinelli was followed up by a fine strike from Ricardo Alvarez and Jordi Gomez’s penalty as Sunderland secured a 3-1 win at Craven Cottage.

A trip to giant-killing Bradford now awaits in the fifth round for Sunderland, who dominated proceedings for the most part.

However, poor finishing and fine goalkeeping from Bettinelli allowed Fulham to make the breakthrough in the 28th minute as Rodallega struck home their first real chance .

Ross McCormack threatened to add to that strike but Sunderland pushed for a leveller which came in slapstick fashion as Bettinelli somehow fumbled a deflected Patrick van Aanholt cross over the line.

It proved the catalyst to a Sunderland comeback and Alvarez, the evening’s standout player, cut in from the right to unleash a fierce drive to put the visitors ahead with 15 minutes remaining.

Gomez’s stoppage-time penalty to a chorus of “cheat, cheat, cheat” rubber-stamped their progress to the fifth round.

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FA Cup: Rochdale 1-4 Stoke

Bojan and Victor Moses both scored fine individual goals as Stoke beat League One side Rochdale to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Ex-Barcelona striker Bojan opened the scoring with a 25-yard volley after four minutes, before Stephen Ireland doubled the lead from six yards.

Moses made it three when he beat his marker down the left and cut inside before curling home from a tight angle.

Rhys Bennett pulled a goal back, but Jon Walters tapped home Stoke’s fourth.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Brighton 2-3 Arsenal

Arsenal beat Brighton as FA Cup holders march on

Arsenal held firm to see off Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion and book their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Arsenal took the lead inside two minutes with Theo Walcott rewarding Arsene Wenger’s faith with a fine goal as he controlled before turning to fire past goalkeeper David Stockdale.

Mesut Ozil, another player back in the starting lineup after injury, then slid home a deserved second to give the visitors a 2-0 lead going into the break.

Brighton were given hope five minutes into the second half when Chris O’Grady found space at the edge of the area to turn and fire past Wojciech Szczesny, but Arsenal restored their two-goal cushion within 10 minutes as Tomas Rosicky volleyed home.

Brighton, though, refused to be beaten, and Sam Baldock revived the home fans’ hopes with a dinked finish with around 15 minutes to play.

Alexis Sanchez came close for Arsenal when he came off the bench and hit the woodwork with a deflected free kick, but ultimately the Premier League side progressed with a 3-2 win.

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FA Cup: Aston Villa 2-1 Bournemouth

Villa see off Bournemouth challenge

Carles Gil helped fire Aston Villa into the FA Cup fifth round as they avoided an upset to beat Bournemouth 2-1.

The midfielder’s first goal for the club on his full debut put the hosts ahead against the battling Cherries, who troubled Villa in the first half.

Andi Weimann’s second-half strike – his first goal since November – then proved crucial as Villa extended their lead.

Callum Wilson replied deep into stoppage time but the visitors ran out of time to mount a comeback.

Eddie Howe’s Sky Bet Championship leaders did scare Villa, though, with Kieran Richardson clearing off the line from Shaun MacDonald and Eunan O’Kane twice going close.

The win was just the third time Villa had scored more than once this season and eased the pressure on boss Paul Lambert.

The Scot made six changes to his Villa side, Shay Given and Leandro Bacuna starting, while Bournemouth made eight changes, with just Steve Cook, Tommy Elphick and Harry Arter keeping their spots.

The hosts announced Fabian Delph’s new four-and-a-half year deal before kick-off but it did not serve to inspire his team-mates.

Bournemouth began brighter, even if Weimann headed Alan Hutton’s cross inches wide after eight minutes, and the Cherries blew their first big chance 11 minutes later.

Arter found MacDonald and he rounded Given, only for the covering Richardson to stop his weak goalbound effort.

Jores Okore mopped up and Villa immediately broke which ended with Weimann firing wide from 25 yards.

It was the hosts’ last chance of a subdued first half, with Christian Benteke isolated and forced to feed off scraps.

Bournemouth were brighter as Villa struggled to gain momentum against the vibrant Cherries.

O’Kane was denied by Given before he fired over from the edge of the box as Villa hung on and Okore made a fine tackle five minutes before the break as Yann Kermorgant threatened to break through.

Bournemouth were in control, although were unable to find a breakthrough before half-time, but Villa conjured a fine chance just two minutes after the re-start.

Benteke seized on a loose pass and evaded two challenges before Gil collected the ball and fired into the side netting.

However, the Spain Under-21 international did break the deadlock on 51 minutes with a beauty. He collected the ball before cutting inside, easily beating Cook on the right, and curling a wonderful strike into the top corner from 18 yards.

It was Villa’s first goal in 223 minutes in all competitions and knocked the stuffing out of Bournemouth.

Wilson and Simon Francis were thrown on but Villa doubled the lead on 71 minutes when Weimann converted Hutton’s low cross from 10 yards.

The Cherries did pull a goal back in injury time when Wilson tapped in from close range to end a neat move.

Ashley Westwood should have made it 3-1 a minute later but was denied by Lee Camp before Villa negotiated the last few seconds.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Bristol City 0-1 West Ham

Substitute Diafra Sakho headed West Ham into the fifth round of the FA Cup, breaking the hearts of brave Bristol City with an 81st-minute winner.

It was the striker’s first appearance since suffering a back injury against West Brom on New Year’s Day and he marked it by rising at the far post to beat Frank Fielding from close range after Andy Carroll had done well to get in a cross from the right.

The outcome was harsh on the Sky Bet League One promotion contenders, who were competitive throughout and gave their Barclays Premier League opponents all the trouble they could handle.

City looked the more threatening side for most of a lively first half and it took two goal line clearances to keep the Hammers on level terms.

Mark Noble was on hand to block Matt Smith’s fifth-minute header after Aden Flint’s power in the air at a corner had set up the chance.

And Carroll did even better to divert another Smith header over his own crossbar in the 26th minute, leaving the big City striker holding his head in disbelief after he had connected with a Jay Emmanuel-Thomas cross.

Smith had already seen an early shot blocked by James Tomkins and Joe Bryan fired across goal from an Emmanuel-Thomas pass as the home side displayed the confidence gained from their league form this season.

It took West Ham until the 37th minute to force a save from Fielding. Then Carroll’s close-range shot was straight at the City goalkeeper from a Carl Jenkinson cross.

Kevin Nolan had a shot charged down by Bryan as the first half drew to an end, but it had been a largely frustrating one for the Premier League outfit.

City were more energetic in midfield, with Luke Freeman and debutant loanee George Saville showing up well.

The second half began more quietly, with an Emmanuel-Thomas free-kick from 25 yards bringing a comfortable save from Adrian in the 55th minute.

West Ham were still struggling to put any meaningful moves together and Sam Allardyce had seen enough, sending on Sakho and Morgan Amalfitano for Enner Valencia and the out-of-sorts Alex Song before the hour mark.

Stewart Downing sprang to life in the 62nd minute, driving at the City defence and sending a powerful shot over from the edge of the box.

But it was a rare moment of anxiety for Fielding. At the other end Smith continued to pose problems, heading over from Bryan’s left-wing cross.

Flint was outstanding at the back for City and did well to block a Sakho shot in the 75th minute and seconds later the lively Hammers substitute went closer, grazing the crossbar with the fierce shot from 12 yards.

Home boss Steve Cotterill responded by sending on Scott Wagstaff for Mark Little at right wing-back as the visiting fans did their best to lift their team following Sakho’s efforts.

West Ham were looking increasingly solid, but Nolan picked up a booking for a late challenge on Bryan, whose deep cross from the left was then headed over at the far post by Luke Ayling.

Amalfitano forced a save from Fielding with a curling shot from distance just before the deadlock was finally broken. Even then, City almost forced an injury-time equaliser when Smith headed inches wide from an Emmanuel-Thomas cross.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Liverpool 0-0 Bolton

Bolton earn FA Cup replay with goalless draw at Liverpool

Liverpool’s avoided an FA Cup upset at home to Bolton but even on a day of shocks it was not much of an achievement after a toothless display against Championship opponents Bolton.

There was a distinct absence of the vigour and verve of their exhilarating second-half performance against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup in midweek as Neil Lennon succeeded where Jose Mourinho had failed in keeping a clean sheet at Anfield.

The visitors defended resolutely, if sometimes illegally, to earn a replay after Liverpool failed to break them down.

There was no cup fairytale for Emile Heskey on his return to his former club as part of a combined 73-year-old strikeforce with Eidur Gudjohnsen as he was replaced just after half-time – but the consolation is he gets another go back at the Macron Stadium, where there will be a greater chance of an upset.

After the surprise results posted by lower league opposition against the Premier League’s finest earlier in the day Liverpool could have been forgiven for being cautious.

However, inviting the opposition onto them in the first 10 minutes, which included one almighty penalty area scramble at a corner, was not the ideal way to settle the nerves.

Gradually they established some control with Jordan Henderson, deputising for the captain Steven Gerrard who was omitted from the squad entirely with Tuesday’s League Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge to come, taking charge in central areas with a dipping left-footed volley palmed away by Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.

The growing relationship between Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling again looked Liverpool’s most profitable avenue but too often the final pass could not get through or, if it did, neither appeared too keen on shooting.

Finding themselves having to cope with runners from all directions, Wanderers’ Matt Mills and Josh Vela were both booked for attempted rugby tackles on Sterling and Joe Allen, making his first appearance since the loss to Manchester United in mid-December – Liverpool’s only defeat in the last 16 matches.

Bolton’s best chance came from Dean Moxey’s long-range shot which spun just wide, although Simon Mignolet chesting down the ball outside his area and almost getting caught in possession at the end of the first half produced an audible sharp intake of breath around Anfield.

Within five minutes of the restart Henderson’s diagonal ball picked out Lazar Markovic, on for the ineffectual Jose Enrique, who passed Mills only to go down just outside the area.

Inexplicably referee Kevin Friend decided the already-cautioned Bolton captain had not committed a foul nor had the Serbia international dived – although television replays suggested the former.

Bogdan judged his block far better when Sterling raced onto a through-ball from Coutinho, who then saw a low drive well saved by Bogdan – only for Javier Manquillo to snatch at the rebound and drag his shot wide.

Bolton knew they would not get many chances but they would have wanted them to fall to Gudjohnsen and a striker of his experience had to do better than ballooning over Vela’s cross from 10 yards out.

Rodgers’s last throw of the dice was to send on Lucas Leiva and Fabio Borini for Allen and the disappointing Javier Manquillo – and virtually Borini’s first touch saw his shot denied by Bogdan.

Another former Liverpool player Jay Spearing, on as a substitute, could have gifted his old club a penalty after seeming to push Henderson as he charged through on goal but Friend saw no foul.

A header wide from Borini and Lucas’s long-range effort were Liverpool’s last chances as Bolton held on as their fans celebrated like it was a victory and in the directors’ box chairman Phil Gartside punched the air.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Southampton 2-3 Crystal Palace

Marouane Chamakh struck twice to inspire Crystal Palace to a thrilling win at Southampton and a first FA Cup fifth round appearance in five seasons.

The striker slid in a rebound to level Graziano Pelle’s prodded close-range opener as the sides served up four goals in 13 first-half minutes.

Yaya Sanogo slammed in his first Palace goal with the aid of a deflection to cancel out Scott Dann’s own goal.

And Chamakh sealed the win before half-time, rounding Fraser Forster to net.

It was a potent return from injury for Chamakh, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since 13 December.

His winner confirmed Palace’s second last-16 appearance in 12 years and the striker was superbly supported by Sanogo, Wilfried Zaha and Fraizer Campbell.

They terrorised the Premier League’s tightest defence. Ronald Koeman’s side had conceded two goals in a game only once this season but Palace’s three efforts from just 36% possession in the first half underlined their clinical display.

Former Newcastle manager Alan Pardew had to defend his approach towards the FA Cup this week, having won just one tie in four seasons on Tyneside – a record he has now surpassed in three weeks at Palace.

It is now four wins from four for the 53-year-old and his side ended Southampton’s eight-match unbeaten run in the process.

Saints, whose manager Koeman has won domestic cups in Netherlands with Ajax and Spain with Valencia, led twice early on.

Pelle’s prod from an in-swinging corner was followed swiftly by Chamakh’s first goal since August, as he bravely followed up on Sanogo’s shot to net from four yards.

Southampton, runners-up in 2003, have reached round five in six of the last 12 seasons and led again when Dann skewed into his own goal at the near post, but they again squandered the advantage quickly.

Sanogo and Campbell had drawn saves from Forster either side of Dann’s unfortunate moment and they continued to probe – equalising when Sanogo slammed in the exceptional Zaha’s pass with the aid of a wicked deflection.

And Palace were ahead before the break when Chamakh collected a diagonal through-ball on his chest before rounding Forster, ensuring both his shots on the day yielded goals.

Southampton pushed hard after the break but barely forced a save, with a wall of yellow shirts blocking shots and intercepting in key areas as Palace moved within three wins of a Wembley final.

Read more at BBC Sport