The Imperial Squad

In what was a weekend of cup shocks and upsets. We truly witnessed the magic of the FA Cup. We saw Lincoln City shock Burnley and Huddersfield held on bravely to earn a replay with Manchester City.

Lincoln City vs Burnley15862400-large

There’s only one way to kick this review off, and that has to be with the fairy tale that is Lincoln City. The non-league side became the first non-league team ever to reach the FA Cup 1/4 Finals. They accomplished this astonishing feat with a surprise victory over Premier League side Burnley. This was a major shock considering, Burnley have one of the best home records in the Premier League. The visitors started brightly with Jack Muldoon hitting his shot over the bar after just 5 minutes of play. Lincoln ‘keeper Paul Farman did well to deny Andre Gray and Joey Barton in the first half to send the two teams into break with score 0-0. The second half lacked any real action besides Joey Barton getting himself involved in some little scraps and picking up a yellow card. However the Clarets kept coming forward with only 10 minutes remaining. The magical moment came from a set piece, in the 89th minute. With the visitors first attempt on target, Sean Ragget found the back of the net to win the game for his side 1-0. The Imps, have now made history becoming the first ever non-league side to reach the 1/4 Finals. However, that won’t be an easy game at all as they will be up against Arsenal.

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Lincoln celebrate in the dressing room
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The Imps celebrate Ragget’s late winner

 

Huddersfield vs Manchester Citymdc-hud

The Championship side take on 2nd place Premier League side Manchester City. These two sides will head for a well deserved replay at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s men found it hard to break down Wagner’s Terriers leading to a 0-0 draw. Philip Billing did score for Huddersfield, however his goal was disallowed for offside. Bravo saved to keep Van La Parra from scoring aswell. City also had their chances with Nolito firing wide and Jesus Navas having a shot blocked off the line. The sides went into the break 0-0. City started well in the second half, however a good save by Joel Coleman kept the game goalless. The game ended in a 0-0 with the replay scheduled to be played out on the 27th February. With City in the Champions League and chasing League leaders, Chelsea, they can barely afford a fixture pile up at this stage. Neither can the Terriers as they have their sights set aiming for Premier League promotion. The winner of this replay will progress to 1/4 Finals to face Middlesborough.

Middlesborough vs Oxford Unitedp04tbfwx

This was an absolute goal fest as Premier League side Middlesborough took on Sky Bet League One team Oxford United. Boro took an early commanding lead in the first half to send the hosts into the break 2-0 up. The first goal came through Grant Leadbitter scoring a penalty which came as an immediate result of Stewart Downing being brought down by Chris Maguire. Leadbitter scored to make it 1-0. The second goal was an absolute beauty, as Rudy Gestede scored a stunning overhead kick after Fabio crossed into the box to find Adama Traore who flicked the ball into the path of Gestede who made it 2-0. Boro lead 2-0 at half time.

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Rudy Gestede overhead kick

Oxford weren’t going to take this lying down and they proved that with two second half goals with 60 seconds. The first of which came through Chris Maguire, a cool calm free kick on the 64th minute simply chipped over the wall into the top corner, making up for his error of giving away the penalty earlier. Just 60 seconds later, the away side equalised making it 2-2. The visitors catch Boro on the break as they come forward. Guzan manages to parry away Maguire’s shot but Martinez Lopez slots the ball home to make it 2-2. However, this game was not over just yet as one again, a cross from Fabio causes havoc, this time Negredo completely scuffed his attempt of an overhead kick. The wayward shot was tipped away by ‘keeper Eastwood who couldn’t do anything with Stuani waiting at the back post to slot home the winner. Boro only just narrowly avoid a huge FA Cup shock, however they found a way through and the win is the only thing that matters, they can now look forward to facing the winner of the replay between Huddersfield vs Manchester City.

Millwall vs Leicester City millwall_v_leicester_city

The Premier League Champions took on League One side and this season’s FA Cup giant killers Millwall. In order to get to this stage, Millwall dispatched of Premier League sides Watford & Bournemouth. The Italian Tinker Man made 10 changes from last weeks Premier League defeat as he looks towards his side’s Champions League tie vs Sevilla in mid week.Youngster Demarai Gray started this game in a lively spirit. It was only 10 minutes before he curled a menacing shot wide of the goal. Millwall ‘keeper, Jordan Archer, pulled off a great save to deny Shinji Okazaki and keep the scores level. The Foxes’ really put pressure on the hosts as Musa went close a number of times before half time. The two teams went into the break level 0-0. Early in the second half, with just 7 minutes gone Jake Cooper was given his second yellow card after he clattered into Musa. However going down to 10 men didn’t phase Millwall one bit as they repeatedly came forward and went close a number of times. However, if it wasn’t for Archer repeatedly denying Okazaki this match wouldn’t been finished a long time ago. In the dying minutes, Onyedinma’s hoofed ball forward finds Lee Gregory who plays in the right back Shaun Cummings who kept his cool to slot home the winner for the home team and finish the game 1-0.

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Millwall celebrate late goal

 

Wolves vs Chelsea
wolves-vs-chelsea-680x350The home team started quick as it only took 5 minutes for former Chelsea player George Saville to hit the post. Chelsea didn’t deal too well with Wolves‘ direct attacking style and it showed as the hosts got a few early opportunities. However, the back three lead by returning skipper John Terry soon got their acts together. Costa did manage to eventually lose his marker in the first half, however his shot was saved by ‘keeper Carl Ikeme. Both sides went into the break 0-0. In the second half, Chelsea managed to get Cesc Fabregas on to the ball and he just started spraying the ball around just like 5 time Super Bowl winning Quarterback Tom Brady. Willian also joined in on Cesc’s fun as he found a smart pass through to Diego Costa just after the hour mark. Costa hit the ball into the side netting. Willian was again involved just 5 mintues later as his cross found an unmarked Pedro who headed home to make it 1-0 to the Premier League leaders. Pedro has now scored in every single round of the FA Cup that Chelsea have participated in. Fabregas had a chance to win the match in the 86th minute however his shot was deflected behind. However in the 89th minute, Chelsea killed the game off when Diego Costa pounced onto a loose ball and shot hard and low into the corner to make it 2-0 and clinch the win for Chelsea. Chelsea will now face current FA Cup Holders Manchester United in the 1/ 4 Finals.

Fulham vs Tottenhamfulham_vs_tottenham

This fifth round tie threw up a London derby in West London as Fulham welcomed Tottenham to Craven Cottage. Looking to move from another dismal mid week European performance. Pochettino’s Spurs’ came into this one all fired up. They started early in the first half as we only had to wait 16 minutes for the first goal of the game. A fine cross from Christian Ericksen allowed club top scorer Harry Kane to score from close range to make it 1-0. The teams went into the break at 1-0. Kane added his second early in the second half to make it 2-0. He again pounced on another Ericksen cross. Kane completed his hat trick in the 73rd minute,  a first time pass from Dele Alli allows Kane to slide in for his hat trick to make it 3-0. Tottenham face another London Derby as they will go up against in Millwall in the 1/4 Finalstottenham-hotspur-vs-fulham-harry-kane

Blackburn vs Manchester United maxresdefault_live

Jose Mourinho took his Red Devils back to Ewood Park for the first since 2012. The hosts came out the blocks firing as they raced to an early lead after just 17 minutes. Danny Graham scored the goal to give his side a 1-0 lead. A goal that saw a round of applause by United boss Mourinho. Marvin Emnes played through Danny Graham who fired the ball past Romero. United soon drew level and it only took them 10 minutes. Armenian international Mkhitaryan plays in Rashford with a beautiful ball who takes in round goalkeeper Jason Steele before putting the ball in the back of the net to make the score 1-1. With the score locked at 1-1 the referee brought the first half to a close with both sides looking eagerly for the deciding goal. With the scores still level approaching the hour mark, Jose Mourinho pulled out his big guns. 63 minutes gone and the world record signing Paul Pogba and legendary striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic entered the fray. Almost immediately, Zlatan has a chance however he can’t quite connect with the ball. With another chance going begging, it looked like Mourinho’s substitution was going to fail. However just under 15 minutes after the changes were made, Pogba plays a beautiful ball over the top of the Rovers defence and with Zlatan waiting to pounce he fired the ball across goal into the far corner to make it 2-1 to United. United weren’t home just yet, as the hosts weren’t going down easy. They kept coming forward and at one point even thought they had equalised on 86 minutes. However, the goal was ruled out as the scorer Tomlinson was offside. United saw out the rest of the game and can now look forward to a 1/4 Final tie with Jose Mourinho’s former team Chelseaskysports-zlatan-ibrahimovic-man-united_3893943

Sutton United vs Arsenal

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Another cup fairy tale was played out as non-league side Sutton United, took on the mighty Arsenal. The Gunners managed to win this one easily with the final score being 2-0. Sutton held their own in this one as it could’ve been a lot worse. Summer signing Lucas Perez broke the deadlock in the 27th minute. He fired home from the edge of the box into the far corner to make the game 1-0. With Sutton holding their own in the first half, the referee brings the first half to an end. Arsenal came out pumped out for this second half as it only took them 10 minutes to score a second goal and put this game beyond doubt. The goal came from winger Theo Walcott who in turn scored his 100th goal for Arsenal. The goal from a low cross when Nacho Monreal found Walcott who swept home for 2-0.  The Gunners managed to see the rest of the game out and consequently ending the dream run in the FA Cup for Sutton United. Can they kill another dream as they face Lincoln in the 1/4 Final.

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