A full round-up of all the action from the Fifth Round of the FA Cup including giant killing acts from Lincoln and Millwall, and professional performances from Chelsea and Man Utd.
Leicester City made sure that 2016 was the year of the underdog when they won the Premier League. Lincoln City has extended that saga by becoming the first non-league club to make the quarter-finals of the FA Cup by beating Burnley at Turfmoor.
It’s the first time the Imps has made the last eight of the world’s grandest tournament in the club’s 133-year history, and they beat a side with one of the best home records in the country.
Burnley had only lost three times at home in 18 games this season. Not even Chelsea could find a way past them recently, but Lincoln did. The team 81 places behind their Premier League rivals snatched a last-gasp winner after Sean Raggett rose higher than anyone to head home in the last minute of the match. It was Lincoln’s first shot on target.
Lincoln will now face either non-league Sutton or Arsenal in the quarter-final – the first time in over a century for a non-league club – meaning if Sutton can pull off another miracle on Monday night one non-league club will feature in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Lincoln’s next match is away to North Ferriby United in the National League.
Millwall pour more misery on Leicester
A few weeks ago, I said that Claudio Ranieri was unsackable. I want to change my mind. The kings of the upset were barged out of the FA Cup by League One side Millwall, and Ranieri looked like he had finally lost the dressing room.
He would have been hurling in player’s faces.
Leicester was the better side in the first half but was wasteful in front of goal, in particular, Shinji Okazaki. And when Millwall went down to 10-men in the 52nd minute following Jake Cooper’s second yellow card, the champions should have gone on and finished the job.
It seems a little phoney to call them that after Shaun Cummings scored a dramatic winner from full back, in a quite miraculous victory.
“They were better than us, and we have to ask why?” Said a down and out Ranieri after the final whistle.
Leicester now travels to Spain to face Sevilla in the Champions League on the back of a run of eight matches where they have only beaten Championship side Derby, losing six times without scoring a single goal.
Spurs do a Number Over Fulham
Next up for Millwall is Spurs after the Premier League side came through a comfortable ride at Craven Cottage.
Mauricio Pochettino fielded a strong side after losses to Liverpool and Gent, and they didn’t let him down. Harry Kane scored his fifth hat-trick of his short Spurs career, in a 3-0 win, to sink the Championship side. Kane has hit the back of the net 19 times this season, including two hat-tricks.
Chelsea Get Through a Tough Test at Molineux
FA Cup favourites Chelsea avoided a banana skin of a tie at Wolves thanks to goals from Pedro and Diego Costa. The only difference between the two sides was that touch of quality – Willian producing a peach of a cross for Pedro to head home the opener after 65 minutes, and Costa producing a bit of magic in the box to seal things with time running out.
Up until that Pedro header, Wolves looked just as likely as Chelsea to win the game, and they should have been 1-0 up after George Saville smashed the ball against the post from eight yards out when it looked like a certain goal.
Antonio Conte never won the Cup during his time in Italy and will be looking to make up for that with a Wembley win.
The Holders Are Through
If Chelsea is going to win the FA Cup, they are going to have to get past the holders Man Utd in the last eight.
United is on course to win a record 13th FA Cup after a professional job at Ewood Park. Blackburn had taken a shock lead in the 17th minute after Danny Graham finished off some excellent work from Marvin Emnes, but Marcus Rashford equalised 10-minutes later after the ball of the round from Henry Mkhitaryan.
Then a pivotal moment in the match as Jose Mourinho sent Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic onto the pitch in the second half. And it was the giant Swede who sealed the win in the 75th minute after getting on the end of a Pogba long ball to coolly slot the ball home. It was his 24th goal of the season in all competitions.
Middlesbrough Scrape Through; City Held at Huddersfield
Premier League strugglers, Middlesbrough, scraped through against a plucky Oxford side who seemed destined to take a Premier League scalp at the Riverside. Middlesbrough was two goals ahead around the half hour mark thanks to goals from Grant Leadbitter (pen) and Rudy Gestede, but two goals inside a minute from Chris Maguire and Toni Martinez gave Oxford the momentum. Then tragedy struck in the final minute of the game, Fabio crossed from the left, Alvaro Negredo found a touch in the box, and Cristhian Stuani arrived at the far stick to poke home the winner. Boro’s reward is a home tie against Huddersfield or Man City after the Terriers held City to a goalless draw at the Kirklees Stadium.
Remaining Ties (Mon, 20 Feb)
Sutton v Arsenal
FA Cup Final Draw
Chelsea v Man Utd
Middlesbrough v Huddersfield/Man City
Spurs v Millwall
Sutton/Arsenal v Lincoln
FA Cup Odds (Courtesy of Bodog)
Man City +300
Man Utd +600