The magic of the FA Cup was well and truly on show this weekend as the top three of the Premier League were all knocked out in their fourth round ties leaving the FA Cup wide open this season.
Premier League leaders Chelsea were sensationally knocked out after throwing away a two goal lead at home to Bradford to lose 4-2 to the 2013 Capital One cup finalists. Mourinho said he was both “embarrassed” and “ashamed” by the manner of the defeat as he saw his sides chances of a quadruple this season come to an end.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side were also thrown out as Middlesbrough walked away from the Etihad with a momentous 2-0 victory. Third placed Southampton were another of the Premier League sides to lose out, losing at home to Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace side.
These were not the only shocks of the weekend however, Spurs and Swansea saw their FA Cup dreams come to an end at the hands of Leicester and Blackburn respectively while Liverpool and Manchester United were both forced to replays in their fourth round ties.
The absence of some of these big sides from the fifth round draw is sure to encourage a lot of teams who will now have realistic ambitions of challenging for the FA Cup and hopefully ending the season with a trophy.
Defending champions Arsenal were not to be the victims of another upset as they overcame Brighton by 3 goals to 2. Having won the trophy last season and with both City and Chelsea out it looks as if they will be favourites to regain their crown come May.
Should Manchester United and Liverpool make it through their replays they will also see this FA Cup as a big possibility of getting their hands on a trophy, especially for United who will see this as their only chance of glory this season with no European football and with Van Gaal’s side being well off the pace in the Premier League.
Sam Allardyce’s West Ham squad will be particularly happy with how this weekend has gone as they progressed to the next round after a hard fought win away to League one side Bristol City. The Hammers have been having a great season so far and will be optimistic of their chances of getting to the latter stages of the FA Cup.
Other Premier League sides such as West Brom and Aston Villa are still standing in the cup and should the weekend’s results be anything to go by every side will be full of confidence in the forthcoming rounds.