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Premier League sides have been dropping like flies in the last couple of rounds of the FA Cup, and two more fell on Sunday.
At Bramall Lane, mid-table Championship side Sheffield United had Manchester City put away within 25 minutes, as Luton Shelton (12) and Jon Stead (24) put the Blades up 2-0. Daniel Sturridge pulled one back shortly after the second half restart, but City’s away deficiencies came back to bite them yet again.
Their archrivals had an uphill climb in their match as well, but wound up faring much, much better, thanks to one Cristiano Ronaldo, whose second half brace took Manchester United to a 3-1 win over Tottenham at Old Trafford. Ronaldo has seven goals in his last four games, and if he keeps this pace going (nearly a goal per game this season), 40 is looking like an easy target.
In the other tie, League Two Hereford’s hopes of an upset were dashed by Cardiff. Kevin McNaughton put the Bluebirds ahead shortly before halftime, and Steve Thompson’s 67th minute strike rendered Theo Robinson’s 77th minute goal little more than consolation for Hereford.
So, we’re down to the final 16 of the FA Cup, and now it’s time to look ahead to today’s draw, which is sure to reveal some pretty interesting matchups.
The Big Four are still alive, as Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool all survived their fourth-round tests, but there are only two other Premier League sides still standing, in Portsmouth and Middlesbrough.
With half of the remaining sides hailing from the Championship, and two others from League One (Huddersfield and Bristol Rovers), the chances of a non top-flight side making it to the final – and likely earning a place in the UEFA Cup – are looking better and better with every upset.
And, when the draw is revealed, there won’t be any uncertainty about opponents, because every tie was decided within 90 minutes, so no replays!
Below is the full list of results from this weekend’s FA Cup fourth round. It was a pretty good weekend for away teams, as they won nine of the 16 ties.
Friday, 25 January
Southend 0-1 Barnsley
Saturday, 26 January
Mansfield 0-2 Middlesbrough
Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle
Barnet 0-1 Bristol Rovers
Coventry 2-1 Millwall
Derby 1-4 Preston
Liverpool 5-2 Havant & Waterlooville
Oldham 0-1 Huddersfield
Peterborough 0-3 West Brom
Portsmouth 2-1 Plymouth
Southampton 2-0 Bury
Watford 1-4 Wolves
Wigan 1-2 Chelsea
Sunday, 27 January
Hereford 1-2 Cardiff
Manchester United 3-1 Tottenham
Sheffield United 2-1 Manchester City