The magic of the FA Cup was in full effect in the Fourth Round will major upsets galore.
It was all kicked off on Friday evening when Millwall beat Aston Villa, who had just come off a two leg defeat to Bradford in the League Cup, 2-1, leaving many to question how long Lambert is going to have left in charge of the midlands club. Villa took the lead thanks to the reinstated Darren Bent, but the lead was short lived. Millwall drew level with a goal by veteran defender Danny Shittu with Millwall winning the tie late on thank to John Marquis’ 88th minute goal.
One think football fans like to do is make fun of when another team loses. But when it is the FA Cup people should wait until there team is through before they laugh at another fans pain. Not doubt there were some Liverpool, Spurs, Norwich and QPR fans sniggering but by the end of the weekend they where hiding their heads. The biggest upset, in terms of league position, was Conference side Luton Town beating the Premiership’s Norwich City. It wasn’t bad enough that they lost to a non league side, but to lose at home in front of your fans is worse. Losing at home, you have nothing to hide behind. You can’t blame the pitch, or the atmosphere. It all comes down to the players and the manager.
The other big upset on Saturday came from MK Dons beating QPR 4-2, and again the Premiership side were at home. At one point it was 4-0 to MK Dons, and it wasn’t as if Harry Redknapp had put out a weak side. To say he was disappointed with his players is a little bit of an understatement. As the scores were coming in, goal by goal, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. When they were 1-0 down, I fully expected a come back. To see 2 then 3, I was shocked. So when a 4th went it, it just became comical.
When Sunday came around, everyone was looking at the fixtures and thinking, could there be more upsets on the cards? Yes. Yes there could.
Brentford twice took the lead over Champions of Europe, Chelsea and it was left late for Chelsea to score their second equalizer. The conditions and the pitch where not to Chelsea usual standard and Brentford took advantage of that and to their credit played with desire and ambition. The Brentford players gave a good account of themselves, but with a replay at Stamford Bridge, I have to be honest, I don’t see an upset happening. Though in saying that, I didn’t see QPR getting beat 4-2 at home! Brentford took the lead through the young Italian Marcello Trotta, who is on a season long loan from Fulham. Oscar gave Chelsea a way back into the game scoring the equalizer on the 54th minute but Brentford would again take the lead, this time thanks to the young Harry Forrester. Tom Adeyemi, on loan from Norwich, was brought down for a penalty, which Forrester converted. Chelsea grabbed a late equalizer thanks to Fernando Torres. The travelling Chelsea fans voiced they displeasure of Rafa Benitez’s tactics. With them feeling he left it too late to being on Demba Ba and when needing a goal taking Ivanovic off and bringing on Azpilicueta, in stead of making a more offensive swap.
Tottenham fans would have been hoping for a good run in the FA Cup. A cup they have won eight times. The last time they did so was in 1991 when they beat Nottingham Forest 2-1. It is a cup that is held dear to Spurs fans’ hearts, so they will be bitterly disappointed that they lost to Leeds United 2-1. Leeds took the lead through Luke Varney on the 14th minute and then Ross McCormack made it 2-0 on the 49th. Spurs got one back thanks to Clint Dempsey but that was all they could muster against the Championship side.
The final tie of the Fourth Round saw Liverpool travel to Oldham Athletic where Liverpool fans stood in horror when they watched Oldham take the lead 2 minutes in. They didn’t have to wait too long before they could be cheering a goal of their own as Suarez equalized on the 16th minute. With the game looking like Liverpool were going to score, there was the feeling of doubt that Oldham could again take the lead and just before half time they did just that. Fingers will be pointed at Brad Jones as he really should have dealt with an easy gather, but the ball loose and a shot blocked the ball passed to the open Smith to knock it home for his and Oldham’s second. Liverpool were needing to come out strong in the second half and get a goal early to push on for a win, but it was Oldham who again struck early with Reece Wabara, on loan from Manchester City, scored. Liverpool scored their second on the 72nd minute thanks to a big deflection from Joe Allen’s shot and all though they pushed for another goal it didn’t come and they became another big name to be unceremoniously knocked out of the FA Cup.