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Let’s get down to business with the weekend’s Fa Cup action then. First up, Carling Cup Finalists, Sunderland, welcomed Southampton to the Stadium of Light, in an all Premier League ties. In what turned out to be a tight affair, Craig Gardner got the winner as Sunderland progressed to the Sixth Round.
With the Sheffield Wednesday vs. Charlton Athletic game being postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, there was only one 3pm kick off; this was the FA Cup Holders, Wigan, looking to beat Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Cardiff City. With all the goals coming in the first half, Wigan triumphed 2-1, to set up a repeat of last season’s final as they face Manchester City in the Sixth Round. Keeping with Man City, they faced Chelsea at the Etihad stadium in the late kick off on Saturday evening. City gained revenge for the defeat in the League just under 2 weeks ago, coming out on top thanks to goals from Stevan Jovetic and Samir Nasri.
Roberto Martinez, moves ever closer to being the first manager in history to win the FA Cup two years in succession with two different clubs. The last manager to win it 2 years in a row, but for the same club was Arsene Wenger with Arsenal in 2002 and 2003. An entertaining game at Goodison saw Everton overcome a much changed Swansea side, 3-1. Lacina Traore scored with a flick of the heel, before Jonathan de Guzman equalised with a well placed header. A change just after half time altered the outcome of the match as Steven Naismith was introduced and to great effect. A poacher’s goal (from Naismith) and a penalty, converted by Leighton Baines, saw Everton over the finishing line. They now head to North London to face Arsenal, who will face Merseyside opposition for the second round in a row.
Following on from Liverpool’s demolition of Arsenal last weekend, the Gunners were “gunning” for revenge. An embarrassing 5-1 score line was not on the cards this time, as Arsenal took the lead through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Lukas Podolski doubled the lead soon after halftime and Arsenal had a two goal cushion. In a game marred with controversy, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard pulled one goal back from the penalty spot, but was perhaps lucky to stay on the field for the full 90. Luis Suarez should have had a penalty, from Oxlade-Chamberlain’s clumsy challenge but referee Howard Webb was having none of it. In the end Arsenal held on to win 2-1.
In the other game of the day Sheffield United came back from one-goal down to beat promotion chasing Nottingham Forest 3-1. Two 90th minute goals proved to be the difference for the Blades and they will now face either, their fierce city rivals, Sheffield Wednesday, in the Steel City derby, or South East London club Charlton Athletic.
Monday Night game
An 86th minute equaliser from Hull City’s Sagbo denied Brighton and Hove Albion passage to the sixth round of the FA Cup and instead handed them a replay at the KC Stadium. The Seagulls will be disappointed now to have progressed to the next round where they could face Sunderland.
Below is the Sixth Round Draw, with some ties sure to delight.
Sixth Round Draw
to be played weekend of March 8th/9th
Arsenal v Everton
Brighton or Hull City v Sunderland
Sheffield United v Sheffield Wednesday or Charlton Athletic
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic