Category Archives: FA Cup

FA Cup: Millwall ousts Leicester; Lincoln into quarter-final

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The FA Cup continues to unveil surprises as Premier League clubs continue to fall against lower-tier clubs.

Premier League champions Leicester City proved to be one of the latest casualties after Millwall secured a last-minute winner to secure a 1-0 result and arrive at the quarter-finals.

The club had already ousted Premier League sides Bournemouth and Watford in the last two rounds, but this win is even more momentous one as the League One side had defender Jake Cooper sent off in the 52nd minute for two bookable offences.

However, right on the 90th minute, Shaun Cummings grabbed the dramatic match-winning goal when he collected Lee Gregory’s pass, cut in from the right side, dribbled past a Leicester defender in the box and finished low past Ron-Robert Zieler.

Another Premier League club to suffer the same hock was Burnley, who was eliminated by Non-League team Lincoln City with an identical result.

The fifth-tier club became the first non-league team in 103 years to reach the last eight of the FA Cup, after a late header from Sean Raggett single-handedly sent his team past Burnley and into the next round.

They merely proceeded to defend through the five minutes of stoppage time, with Andre Gray’s shot saved by Paul Farman, before Lincoln’s defense cleared away back-to-back corners.

Lincoln’s 3,210 travelling support then erupted in fervent celebrations as their club reached the quarter-finals for the first time in their 133-year history.

Leicester City gets first home win of the year

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Leicester City earned their first home win of 2017 after a strong performance from the Foxes led to a 3-1 victory against Championship side Derby County in their FA Cup fourth round replay.

English Champions Leicester, who struggled for goals and league wins in the new year, were condemned to a fierce Premier League survival battle after a 3-0 rout by Manchester United last weekend.

The team and coach Claudio Ranieri came under immense scrutiny in recent weeks as they struggled to find a suitable formation — as opposed to last season, when they won the Premier League title with the least amount changes of all the teams.

But despite Ranieri making 10 changes to the team, the host took the lead with an Andy King header, after Demarai Gray’s clever cross was nodded back across goal by Marc Albrighton.

Abdoul Camara’s free-kick forced extra time for Championship Derby only for substitute Wilfred Ndidi to restore the Foxes’ lead with a fantastic individual strike.

Gray then sealed a deserved win with an angled finish after another fine run.

“Derby played good football and we won. This is what we needed and I wanted,” Ranieri said after the match.

“We want to do well in all competitions. We want to go forward in the FA Cup. The Premier League is not so good but we have to stay in the Premier League. This fresh air is good for the players.”

The Foxes will face League One club Millwall in the fifth round.

Benteke brace saves Crystal Palace against Bolton

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Two goals from Christian Benteke was needed to save Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce from suffering defeat against his former club Bolton wanderers in their FA Cup third round replay.

The League one team inadvertently took the lead when winger James Henry, who missed a number of chances in the first game, had looped over Julian Speroni in the second half to put the visiting team ahead.

With a quick exit threatening last season’s finalist, Allardyce quickly brought on Benteke, and the Belgian equalized not five minutes after coming on from the bench by heading in Mathieu Flamini’s cross.

Less than 10 minutes later, the former Liverpool player doubled the score for Palace, giving the Eagles the advantage. Collecting Andros Townsend’s cross with his back to goal, the striker spun and fired home the winner past the Bolton defense, scoring his 10th goal of the season.

The game then finished at the 2-1 score, with the Trotters having little to show for in attack — aside from a poke by Zach Clough that went just wide of the post.

This was Allardyce’s sixth game in charge of Palace after being appointed as manager, but also his first win. His attention would be needed this weekend in the Premier League as Palace stays just a place above the relegation zone.

Everton, whom they will play against this weekend, defeated Manchester City by 4-0 last weekend. The Manchester club are also Palace’s adversaries in the next round of the FA Cup.

“It is nice to get through and of course when Manchester City come in a couple of weeks it will be nice to play that game, but it is all about Everton in the league now,” he said after the match. “Wins grow confidence, there is no doubt about that. How much confidence we get from this will show on Saturday.”

Jurgen Klopp to seek legal advice over Joel Matip case

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be consulting club lawyers over whether the inclusion of Joel Matip into his squad against Plymouth could expel Liverpool from the FA Cup.

The 25-year-old had already missed Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United after the Reds failed to get him clearance from FIFA to play for his club as the African Cup of Nations kicks-off in another continent.

Klopp said he was not “100% sure” of Matip’s availability.

“I have to ask [Liverpool’s lawyers] but the decision is for me to make,” the former Borussia Dortmund coach said in the pre-match press conference against Plymouth. “I could put him in the lineup. I don’t think the referee is going to say: ‘Stop, stop, you cannot go on the pitch.’ But I will do it when it’s OK from our point of view. Of course I need advice – I’m not a lawyer.”

Matip allegedly ‘refused to play’ for Cameroon after being named in their preliminary squad — and FIFA regulations dictate that a player may be blocked from playing for his club if he refuses to play for his country.

But as far as Liverpool is concerned, Matip was not selected in Cameroon’s final 23-man squad for the African Cup of Nations and has stopping playing for his country since 2015.

With FIFA set to make a decision on Friday whether Matip has a case to answer and, if so, Klopp admitted it could be “another seven or 10 days before we get a decision”.

If that is so, the player could miss six to eight games for Liverpool if he is not made available until the end of the competition.

This includes games against Swansea City in the Premier League on Saturday, the EFL Cup semi‑final second leg against Southampton and an FA Cup fourth-round tie at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers should they defeat League Two club Plymouth.

“I have to ask [Liverpool’s lawyers] but the decision is for me to make,” Klopp said. “I could put him in the lineup. I don’t think the referee is going to say: ‘Stop, stop, you cannot go on the pitch.’ But I will do it when it’s OK from our point of view. Of course I need advice – I’m not a lawyer.”