Aldershot Town v Rotherham United - FA Cup Third Round

FA Cup Roundup: The other 25 Saturday games

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I’ll admit at the onset, I didn’t watch any of these games (only saw a bunch of clips). However, good guy that I pretend to be in public, I’m going to try and point you in the right direction. And newsflash: Nobody has watched all these games (yet).

Besides, as you’re flipping through PST and reading about other results, you might want to know what else happened during the FA Cup’s third round.

The four we’ve covered:

For the day’s other results, feel free to add your analysis in the comments. Here, however, is a brief rundown:

Crystal Palace 0-0 Stoke City – With the January window open, all Palace news will be about Wilfried Zaha, the 20-year-old attacker and rumored target of various Premier League giants. He played 55 minutes, drew some raves, but was unable to break the deadlock. For that matter, neither was Michael Owen, who got the start for Stoke. Palace manager Ian Holloway: “I wanted a win or a loss.” [more]

Wigan Athletic 1-1 Bournemouth – A bit of an embarrassing result for Wigan, who needed a second half goal from Jordi Gomez to draw at home with third-tier side. For Bournemouth, the result continues the club’s resurgence (unbeaten in 17) since manager Eddie Howe returned from Burnley. [more]

Fulham 1-1 Blackpool – Like Wigan, Fulham needed a late goal to earn a replay a against visiting a lower-level side. Blackpool capitulated in the 80th minute to Giorgos Karagounis and are left the try their luck at home. [more]

Aston Villa 2-1 Ipswich Town – Michael Chopra gave Villa a scare before Darren Bent (against his old club) and Andreas Wiemann dismissed the Championship side. [more]

Charlton Athletic 0-1 Huddlersfield Town – The Addicks fall after former Everton striker Jermaine Beckford’s early goal holds up, Charlton playing the match’s final 34 minutes with 10 men. [more]

Macclesfield Town 2-1 Cardiff City – The day’s token “magic of the Cup” game. Cardiff, leading the Championship, falls after Matthew Barnes Homer scored twice in the last seven minutes of regulation time, sending the non-league side through. [more]

Barnsley 1-0 Burnley – It took the home side 50 minutes to take advantage of their 10-man guests, but Danny Rose’s 85th minute winner wins the battle of Championship clubs. [more]

Manchester City 3-0 Watford – As competitive as you’d expected. City where up two at half and were able to get 17-year-old Marcos Lopes a second half, debut goal. Carlos Tévez and Gareth Barry also got on the scoresheet. [more]

Leicester City 2-0 Burton Albion – Two tiers and two goals separated the Foxes from Albion, with Chris Wood and Richie De Laet pushing the Championship side through. [more]

Millwall 1-0 Preston North End – Liam Feeney’s first half score sent the Championship site into the fourth round, past one of David Beckham’s former clubs. [more]

Derby County 5-0 Tranmere Rovers – An easy day at Pride Park for the second-tier Rams, getting four second half goals to send the American-owned club past League One’s Rovers. [more]

Crawley Town 1-3 Reading – Adam La Fondre struck twice, once from the spot, for the Royals, with three goals by the 49th minute helping to turn around Nicky Adams’ first minute opener. [more]

Aldershot Town 3-1 Rotterdam United – Aldershot’s Danny Hylton (pictured) scored three times before being red carded in the 84th minute. Not quite a Gordie Howe hat trick, but a noteworthy night nonetheless. [more]

Middlesbrough 4-1 Hastings United – That Hastings, a seventh-tier side, made it this far was the story. The result, however, was predictable. Merouane Zemmama scored twice for Boro. [more]

Oxford United 0-3 Sheffield United – As the Yorkshire Post tells us, Sheffield United is now the lowest-ranked Yorkshire club still alive in the FA Cup. A goal from Dave Kitson helped the League One side survive. [more]

Queens Park Rangers 1-1 West Bromwich Albion – Like Ian Holloway, Harry Redknapp can’t relish this result. His club has more pressing considerations than a third round replay in the Midlands. Kieron Dyer’s stoppage time goal, however, forced the replay for Rangers. [more]

Peterborough United 0-3 Norwich City – Chris Houghton’s team had an easy time at London Road as Elliott Bennett, Simeon Jackson, and Robert Snodgrass goals see off the struggling Championship side. [more]

Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Sunderland – The Black Cats needed goals from Connor Wickham and Craig Gardner to avoid an upset at the regrouping Trotters, who jumped out early thanks to Lee Chung-Yong and Marvin Sordell. Martin O’Neill, typically successful in cup competitions, will get another crack at the second-tier club.  [more]

Nottingham Forest 2-3 Oldham Athletic – As if Forest fans didn’t already have reason to rue the Alex McLeish era, the team loses at home to a League One club in the cup. Danny Collins’ 59th minute dismissal set the stage for Forest’s failure. [more]

Hull City 1-1 Leyton Orient – Steve Bruce’s team needed a stoppage time goal from Nick Proschwitz to salvage a result. The Tigers have been surging in the Championship, but the home draw to a third-tier team is one of the more disappointing results (and per the report, performances) since Bruce came on board. [more]

Leeds United 1-1 Birmingham City – In a tie between two clubs that might be too big for the Championship (if such a distinction exists), Luciano Becchio’s goal on the hour sent the match back to St. Andrews. [more]

Southend United 2-2 Brentford – Two headers from Barry Corr reversed a two-goal deficit for Southend, the League Two side sending salvaging a replay. [more]

Luton Two 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers – Alex Lawless’s goal just after halftime ended up costing Stale Solbakken his job, the Wolves coach dismissed after losing at the non-league club. [more]

Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Milton Keys Dons – Nothing. Seriously. Read the match report. The word “uninspiring” is in the first sentence. [more]

Cantona claims ethnicity played role in Benzema, Ben Arfa France snubs

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 14:  Former Footballer Eric Cantona of France speaks during a press conference at the Shanghai Grand Theatre prior to the  Laureus World Sports Awards  on April 14, 2015 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images for Laureus)
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Eric Cantona has made the headlines again, this time making some bold claims against France national team manager Didier Deschamps.

Cantona, a former Manchester United legend and French international, questioned whether Deschamps excluded Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa from the team due to their North African origins.

[ MORE: Skrtel set to leave Liverpool ]

Speaking to The Guardian, Cantona calls Benzema and Ben Arfa two of France’s best footballers, both of whom will not be playing for the national team this summer.

Benzema is a great player. Ben Arfa is a great player. But Deschamps, he has a really French name. Maybe he is the only one in France to have a truly French name. Nobody in his family mixed with anybody, you know.

So I’m not surprised he used the situation of Benzema not to take him. Especially after [French Prime Minister Manuel Valls] said he should not play for France. And Ben Arfa is maybe the best player in France today. But they have some origins. I am allowed to think about that.

One thing is for sure – Benzema and Ben Arfa are two of the best players in France and will not play the European Championship. And for sure, Benzema and Ben Arfa, their origins are north African. So, the debate is open.

Cantona’s view doesn’t hold much merit as Deschamps did not even have the option of selecting Benzema, the country’s active leading goalscorer. The Real Madrid striker is suspended by the federation, embroiled in a blackmail sex-tape scandal involving French teammate Mathieu Valbuena, who was also left off the EURO roster.

[ MORE: Three battles that could determine the Champions League final ]

France is an extremely diverse nation with a large North African population, Benzema of Algerian descent and Ben Arfa’s father a former Tunisian international. Both players were born in France and have received prior call-ups under Deschamps, with Cantona’s quite ridiculous comments likely to cause a stir before the EURO.

FA Cup will no longer have quarterfinal replays

HALIFAX, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09:  The FA Cup is seen prior to the FA Cup First Round match between FC Halifax and Bradford City  on November 9, 2014 in Halifax, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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Starting in 2017, the FA Cup will no longer have replays in the quarterfinal round.

The decision was made in an effort to combat the congested English fixture list, which has been a topic of debate for years now.

[ MORE: Lukaku wants out at Everton ]

This season, Manchester United defeated West Ham in a quarterfinal replay before going on to win the competition.

In a statement released by the FA, these changes aim to add drama to the matches while eliminating an extra matchday needed for replays.

The revamped competition will see eight clubs battle it out over one weekend with each tie to be played to a finish on the day, adding to the drama and impact the competition has enjoyed in recent years.

Other new initiatives will be explored to ensure The FA Cup retains its status and appeal. These plans also form part of The FA’s commitment to help ease English football’s congested fixture schedule.

There will still be replays in the earlier rounds of the tournament, which allows lower level clubs the opportunity to earn a nice financial boost should they force a second match at a Premier League ground.

The Premier League is the only top league in Europe that does not take a winter break, a schedule that has been criticized by multiple managers, including Jurgen Klopp.

Judge hears arguments on US women’s team strike rights

HARRISON, NJ - MAY 30:  The United States team poses for a team picture before the match against the South Korea during an international friendly match at Red Bull Arena on May 30, 2015 in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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CHICAGO — A federal judge in Chicago has heard arguments whether the world champion U.S. women’s soccer team has the right to strike for improved conditions and wages before this year’s Olympics.

Lawyers for the U.S. Soccer Federation told Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman at a Thursday hearing that a no-strike clause is implied in a still-valid 2013 memorandum with players.

[ MORE: All of PST’s USWNT coverage ]

But a lawyer for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association balked at that claim. Jeffrey Kessler said the federation had “screwed up” by not securing a no-strike clause in writing and can’t argue three years later that such a provision is implied.

The union wants the option to strike before the Olympics start in August, but hasn’t said it will. Many players have voiced concern over gender equity in soccer.

Three battles that could determine the Champions League final

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 14:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF is tackled by Koke of Atletico Madrid and Mario Suarez of Atletico Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final First Leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid CF at Vicente Calderon Stadium on April 14, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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We’re just two days away from the Champions League final, as Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid prepare to face each other in Milan on Saturday.

The tie is a rematch of the 2014 final when Real Madrid won 4-1 to claim a record tenth Champions League title. Atletico led that match 1-0 in stoppage time, only to concede a late equalizer before collapsing in extra time.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s UCL coverage ]

With Real one of Europe’s best attacking teams and Atleti the best defensive side, two completely different styles of play will clash at the San Siro this weekend. Below, we take a look at a few key matchups that could determine who leaves Milan as champions.

Keylor Navas vs. Jan Oblak

In the Champions League this season, Navas has kept nine clean sheets in ten appearances (tied for the most-ever in a single campaign), while Oblak has kept eight in 12 appearances. Oblak was named to the La Liga Team of the Year after a stellar season for Atleti, and his massive double-save on Thomas Muller’s penalty kick in the semifinals helped Simeone’s men reach Milan. For Navas, the keeper’s strong play is often overshadowed by Real’s attack, but the Costa Rican international has proved massive for the club all season long. In what will surely be an extremely tight match, one big save could prove the difference.

[ MORE: Ranking the Copa America Centenario contenders ]

Luka Modric vs. Gabi 

These may not be two “superstar” names in the sides, but Luka Modric and Gabi may be the most important men on the pitch for Real and Atletico, respectively. When Real goes forward, it starts with Modric in the midfield. The Croatian playmaker is confident in possession and spreads the ball all over the pitch, seemingly always in the right place at the right time. On the other side, Gabi epitomizes what Diego Simeone wants in his Atletico squad. The hard-nosed midfielder sits right in front of the back-line, in charge of clogging up and holes and making sure the rest of his midfield tracks back and keeps shape, which will be vitally important against Real. A product of the Atleti youth system, red and white runs through Gabi’s veins, and having already experienced a loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League final back in 2014, Simeone’s leader on the pitch will want to turn the tides this time around.

(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Atleti back-line vs. BBC

When all is said and done, the biggest battle will be between the stout Atleti defense and Real’s potent attack. Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez have become the best center-back pairing in Europe, while Real’s BBC trio of Bale, Benzema, and Cristiano combined for 119 goals in all competitions this season. Atleti have already kept clean sheets in the Champions League against Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but both of those matches were in front of a home crowd at the Vicente Calderon. Expect a few heavy challenges to come in early, as the Atletico defense will look to keep Ronaldo & Co. honest.