The romance of the cup is still very strong. Football’s oldest cup competition begun for the Premier League sides this weekend and there were many shocks.
There were several giant killings in the FA Cup third round at the time of writing, but the number has increased since. Nottingham Forest and Newcastle, look away now.
Forest, who at the start of these round of fixtures were out of the relegation zone, would have been looking to have carried on that confidence to Bloomfield Road, the home of Championship strugglers Blackpool, but The Tangerines were in no welcoming mood.
Neil Critchley’s men would end up blowing away Forest 4-1. The East Midland side were only able to get a consolation through Ryan Yates.
It can be argued that, a cup run although good for the supporters, might have been a hinderance as they look to fight to survive in the Premier League, but this manner of defeat would have frustrated boss Steve Cooper.
Yes it was Nottingham Forest’s second string, but especially since their summer outlay, such an excuse isn’t valid. Fellow Premier League side Newcastle were also the victim of a giant killing.
Unlike Forest, The Magpies did have some of their first team regulars in the starting line-up and even welcomed back record signing Alexander Isak, but that wasn’t enough to save Eddie Howe’s side from defeat at Hillsborough.
This defeat for Newcastle was just their second this season. The Owls were the better side and could have had scored more, Newcastle United will now need to prepare for their Carabao Cup quarter-final with Leicester on Tuesday.
As shocking as those two upsets were, nothing compares to the upset that unfolded at Villa Park as League two highflyers Stevenage dumped Aston Villa out of the FA Cup.
It all started so well for Unai Emery’s side as Morgan Sanson put The Villains ahead, but to their credit Steve Evans’ side fought back with two late goals. Aston Villa were brutally punished for not making the most of their possession.
The Boro had two shots on target, both lead to goals, Phillipe Countinho had five shots on goal himself, with just one on target. As reward for that win, Stevenage are back on the road again, this time they travel to Championship strugglers Stoke.
Wrexham who beat Coventry in a 4-3 thriller at the Coventry Building Society Arena, host Championship high-flyers Sheffield United. Newcastle conquerors Sheffield Wednesday face fellow League one side Fleetwood Town.
Manchester City, who beat Chelsea in the third round could face Arsenal in round four if The Gunners beat Oxford on Monday and it’s worth looking at the tie at Pride Park where Derby host Premier League side West Ham United. Here’s the fourth round draw in full;
Preston v Tottenham
Southampton v Blackpool
Wrexham v Sheffield United
Ipswich v Burnley
Manchester United v Reading
Luton Town/Wigan v Grimsby Town
Derby County v West Ham
Stoke City v Stevenage
Blackburn v Forest Green Rovers/Birmingham City
Walsall v Leicester City
Sheffield Wednesday v Fleetwood Town
Manchester City v Oxford United/Arsenal
Bristol City/Swansea v Chesterfield/West Brom
Brighton v Liverpool/Wolves
Fulham v Sunderland
Boreham Wood/Accrington Stanley v Cardiff/Leeds
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