As the FA Cup lands at the third round, it is footballing folklore to expect a few cup giant killings with big names exiting unexpectedly. Right on cue, Macclesfield, Brighton and Luton all obliged and gave us exactly what we wanted.
In a repeat of their classic encounter in 1987, Tottenham squared off with Coventry however this time, the north London giants cruised to a convincing and stylish win over their inferior League One opponents.
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Middlesbrough progressed after defeating non-league Hastings whilst the reining Premier League champions Manchester City locked horns with Watford.
In a classic get-out-of-jail situation, Robin Van Persie saved the blushes of Manchester United, preventing defeat against a Joe Cole inspired West Ham, whilst it was an excellent start to life at Chelsea for Demba Ba starting for the first time against Southampton.
The great underdog scenarios.
Matthew Barnes Homer wrote his name into Macclesfield folklore, scoring two late goals to knock out Championship leaders Cardiff 2-1. Alan Pardew’s woes deepened as Brighton comfortably knocked his Newcastle side out 2-0, thus leaving the competition for the second successive season at the Amex Stadium. Gordie fans must be sick of facing the seagulls.
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Still in the mix by the skin of their teeth!
Girgious Karagounis rescued Fulham from a cup upset with a strike 10 minutes from time to deny Championship side Blackpool safe passage to the fourth round, to finish 1-1. In similar vein, a last gasp goal from Kieron Dyer ensured QPR lived to fight another FA Cup day as they forced a replay with West Bromich Albion. A second half ressurection from Sunderland ensured they avoided an embarrassing thrashing at the hands of Championship strugglers Bolton, ending 2-2 and Luciano Becchio’s equaliser earned Leeds a replay against fellow Championship team Birmingham at Elland Road.
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Other memorable draws meaning a replay is required were decided between Sheffield Wednesday and Milton Keynes Dons, Southend and Brentford, Hull City and Leyton Orient plus Crystal Palace and Stoke.
So as things stand, there's still some 4th round ties to be wrapped up. Let's watch this space to see how things settle.
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