The FA Cup very rarely fails to deliver, and on the second day jam-packed with third round fixtures, the famous competition has once again come up with the goods.
While there were not quite any history-making shocks to take away from Sunday’s action – not yet, at least – ?Tottenham came up with perhaps the day’s big eyebrow-raiser.
José Mourinho fielded a strong-looking team away to Middlesbrough, missing only really Harry Kane from what you would consider to be the Portuguese’s ‘first-choice’ XI from recent weeks, and while that indicated a strong desire to pursue what is perhaps their only realistic hope of 2020 silverware to the very end, they will require a replay to do so.
Jonathan Woodgate’s side sit 16th in the Championship, but required a Lucas Moura header to bail them out after Ashley Fletcher slotted in the opener five minutes into the second half.
So Spurs will be in the hat – for now – and joining them will be Liverpool, who fielded an astonishingly young team to face Everton at Anfield, yet still managed to come away with a 1-0 victory thanks to a screamer from 18-year-old Curtis Jones.
Only James Milner and Joe Gomez from Jurgen Klopp’s established first-team options started the match, and the former was forced off within ten minutes to add to a mountain of injury troubles, but the Reds rode out a tricky first half and dominated the second to book a famous victory over Carlo Ancelotti’s full-strength Toffees.
Sheffield United will be another Premier League representative in the fourth round, after recording a convincingly unconvincing victory over AFC Fylde. It had been all going to plan for a near-unrecognisable Blades side that had changed its entire 11 from its midweek trip to Anfield.
Callum Robinson and Leon Clarke looked to have them cruising by the hour mark, but Jordan Williams got the National League side back into the game with 12 minutes remaining, making it a nervy finish for Chris Wilder’s men.
In London, there was what you might describe as a lukewarm shock, as a solitary Chris Martin effort sent Derby through at the expense of Premier League side ?Crystal Palace, while across the city, Chelsea – managed, of course, by former Derby boss Frank Lampard – brushed aside Nottingham Forest thanks to goals from Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ross Barkley.
QPR smashed fellow Championship playoff hopefuls Swansea by five goals to one, with a Jordan Hugill double and a Bright Osayi-Samuel putting the ‘R’s out of reach by half-time before Lee Wallace and Josh Scowen put it to bed – the latter with one of the goals of the round.
20 league places separated League One Burton from League Two Northampton Town, but that chasm didn’t stop the cobblers from recording a handsome 4-2 victory, Scott Fraser taking some of the emphasis off a resounding win that was dead and gone by the 70th minute.
You can see the results from the rest of the ?14.01 kick-offs below, and we’ll update this as the remaining full-times come in.
|?14.01||?Bristol Rovers 2-2 Coventry|
|?14.01||?Burton 2-4 Northampton|
|?14.01||?Charlton 0-1 West Brom|
|?14.01||Chelsea 2-0 Nottingham Forest?|
|?14.01||?Crewe Alexandra 1-3 Barnsley|
|?14.01||?Crystal Palace 0-1 Derby|
|?14.01||?MIddlesbrough 1-1 Tottenham|
|?14.01||?QPR 5-1 Swansea|
|?14.01||Sheffield United 2-1 AFC Fylde?|
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