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]

Report: Wenger ready to pay Ozil, Sanchez club record deals

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Arsenal knows its departure from the UEFA Champions League has to be a short one, and that keeping its two best attackers around is imperative.

That’s why Arsene Wenger is preparing to make Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez the top paid players in Arsenal history, according to a report from The Telegraph’s Jeremy Wilson.

The contract status of both players has been a touchy one this season, and Sanchez especially has been linked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe (including London neighbors Chelsea).

[ MORE: Yaya to stay at Man City ]

But perhaps the Gunners’ FA Cup triumph over Chelsea has Ozil and Sanchez feeling good vibes about the Emirates Stadium set, and Arsenal is ready to pounce. According to the report:

Wenger has told the board that he thinks he can win the Premier League if this group stays together and is supplemented by no more than two or three key additions. Ozil is understood already to have been offered more than £250,000 a week and the club are ready to go to around £280,000 for both him and Sanchez.

The Gunners need both players healthy and happy heading into next season, and appropriate additions as well (A top striker is a must. Again). Wage structure is important, but Arsenal will have a blessing in disguise if another player can make a legit case he deserves to be paid like Ozil and Sanchez any time soon.

West Ham, Everton, and the superstar striker’s need for the Champions League

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Come up with a list of active elite level strikers, and it’s likely to be a short one filled with names from UEFA Champions League clubs.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Costa, Luis Suarez, Robert Lewandowski, Edinson Cavani, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Harry Kane, even Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Rarely do names like these move to a non-UCL club while in their prime, and it’s just as uncommon to see them stay at clubs which have failed to qualify for the UCL.

The money, the prestige, the endorsements; All are amplified by the world stage. Given the massive import of their domestic stage and spotlight, Premier League sides have bucked this trend on occasion — see Romelu Lukaku — but it’s the exception to the rule.

That’s what puts an ambitious club like West Ham United between a rock and a hard place. The Irons have been vocal about their desires to bring in a top-end striker, and it’s likely they’d be happy to spend what it takes to attract Alexandre Lacazette, Aubameyang, or Cavani to town.

Lyon reportedly rejected a $45 million bid for Lacazette last season, admitting that ultimately the player’s desires would determine his future. Higuain, too, was linked to chairman David Gold’s wallet before moving to Juventus. Carlos Bacca also saw his future connected to the Irons.

Instead, Gold landed Andre Ayew from Swansea, and had to hope Andy Carroll could stay healthy or Enner Valencia would deliver. Not a striker, Dimitri Payet apparently decided to skip town soon after West Ham’s Europa League exit at the hands of Astra Giurgiu.

Now it’s Kelechi Iheanacho being linked to the London Stadium, another hopeful swing from the Irons that points a strong finger at the problem: West Ham can be as ambitious as it likes, but it’s going to need a miracle to pull an elite striker to London without European football.

And it shouldn’t happen, but what if Everton is bumped from the UEL in the third qualifying round or playoff next year? Will Lukaku follow Payet’s lead and sink another team from joining the discussion? Though an argument can be made it’s better for Everton to lose those summer games, the Toffees very much need to succeed in the UEL qualifying and also show signs of strength in the early PL docket. That’s the unforgiving life of sitting on the outskirts of the powerful tier.

Every team at every level is searching for the next elite striker. Some, like West Ham, will need to luck into a young buck on the rise or a flawed striker finding his potential. And how do they hold onto that player, one who will have alerted the big boys to his arrival, without qualifying for Europe? It’s improbable.

The ability of teams like Chelsea and Liverpool to compete for a European slot in the PL standings thanks to missing out on the UCL the year before signals hope for clubs like Everton and West Ham. And five Premier League sides competing in the UCL this year could extend an invitation to stay longer in the Top Seven discussion for sides like Southampton and Leicester City, too.

So this summer’s striker captures are huge for Slaven Bilic and David Gold. This is a window the league’s “next group” won’t have open annually, and West Ham’s hopes of barging into the discussion again hinge on who shows up by August.

Toure reportedly set for another year with Man City

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Never say never.

Yaya Toure looks like his season-long peace with Pep Guardiola will stretch into a new season, with Toure’s combustible agent admitting talks with Manchester City regarding a new contract.

Dimitri Seluk is among the worst agents on Earth Toure’s agent, and said, “We are talking. We will see what happens but City is a club that is in Yaya’s heart.”

[ MORE: Barcelona names new manager ]

But Seluk has not been in City’s heart, having made numerous poor decisions on when to open his mouth, deepening a rift between Toure and Guardiola that kept the player off the pitch for some time. Earlier this Spring, Seluk also suggested that Toure could join Manchester United.

So, yeah, smart guy. Hates microphones and publicity.

Toure turned 34 this month, and became a fixture for Guardiola once he broke into the lineup. The midfielder made nine-straight starts around the turn of the calendar, scoring five goals in the Premier League.

Wolfsburg holds off Braunschweig with Vieirinha blast (video)

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Outworked and outperformed in the first half of their playoff second leg at Eintracht Braunschweig, Wolfsburg needed a wake-up call to steady its hopes of staying in the Bundesliga.

That came off the boot of longtime right back Vieirinha, as the Portuguese veteran ran onto a rebound and fired a 17-yard arrow into the goal to boost Wolfsburg aggregate lead to 2-0.

[ MORE: Barcelona names new manager ]

That would mean the 2.Bundesliga hosts would need three goals to give the second tier a third promotion this season. An 82nd minute red card to Braunschweig’s Maximilian Sauer effectively ended those far-off dreams.

Ingolstadt and Darmstadt were relegated in the season, and Stuttgart and Hannover were promoted from 2.Bundesliga.