We had a little bit of everything in the FA Cup today. Four of the eight round of 16 games took place today and we had blowouts, red cards, upsets and come from behind wins today.
West Brom 4-0 West Ham
This was not a good day for Sam Allardyce. West Brom’s first goal was the result of a great pass across the field and Craig Dawson just driving through and allowing Brown Ideye to open the scoring. James Morrison then drilled a beauty of a shot right before halftime to make it 2-0. Ideye made it 3-0 after 57 minutes. After a Morgan Amalfitano yellow/red in the 70th minute, West Brom got number four with Saido Berahino to close out the win. West Ham was the fourth highest ranked team in the FA Cup and now they are eliminated.
Derby County 1-2 Reading
The all Championship League game matched up Derby County and Reading. The game considerably changed when Derby’s Stephen Warnock got his 2nd yellow and was sent off. Derby still kept things interesting while being down to 10. Reading got a goal with Hal Robson-Kanu and Derby answered with a Darren Bent goal, although that was really a Jesse Lingard shot that deflected off of Bent. Derby was trying to maintain the draw, but a Aiyegbeni Yakubu goal sealed the win for Reading.
Blackburn 4-1 Stoke
Peter Crouch got Stoke the lead due to a corner kick in the 10th minute. Then the next 80 minutes was pure Blackburn domination. Joshua King got the equalizer and was his first of three goals today. Deep into stoppage time in the first half, American Geoff Cameron got a straight red and allowed a PK. That was all that Blackburn needed when Rudy Gestede got the goal. Two more goals by Joshua King and Blackburn got the upset with style.
Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
In arguably the best matchup of the round and the game of the day, Crystal Palace and Liverpool traded momentum throughout the game. Crystal Palace got things going with a Fraizer Campbell goal in the 16th minute. Martin Skrtel mistimed the header and while Simon Mignolet made the save, Campbell took the rebound and slotted it home. Liverpool got it going in the second half as Jordan Henderson passed it through to Daniel Sturridge, who got behind the Palace defenders while the ball was in the air, and equalized for Liverpool. Liverpool got the winner after a Mario Balotelli free kick got through the wall and was blocked by Julian Speroni. Adam Lallana got through before anyone cold react and one touched the ball in. I know it’s probably not a designed play but what a great setup that was. Lallana definitely made that goal with his quick reactions.
Tomorrow and Monday
Half the games in the FA Cup are final but there are four more games to go. We have an all EPL matchup and a couple League One teams who are looking at taking down a couple EPL giants. Aston Villa faces Leicester City in the early game in the all EPL game. The lowest ranked team remaining, Bristol City faces Sunderland. Arsenal takes on Middlesbrough. The possible EPL promotion bound Middlesbrough looks to take down another top team at their home, just like they did to Manchester City. Last, but not least, Preston North End welcomes Manchester United on Monday. Manchester United drew to low league Cambridge United in their last round, can Preston North End finish what Cambridge couldn’t do?