FA Cup Roundup: Few cup-sets on the way to the final sixteen

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Those looking for dramatic David-beats-Goliath stories from this weekend’s FA Cup action were solely disappointed. Only one Premier League side fell to lower-level competition, but as that side was Crystal Palace, who lost to Championship Wigan, it’s a bit difficult to even classify that game as a “cup-set”.

Watford, to their credit, did their best to provide us with a genuine thriller. The Championship side, currently 15th, went to Manchester City and nearly came away winners. The Hornets were up 2-0 by the 30-minute mark, and carried that lead until 30 minutes to the end. Then Sergio Agüero happened. The Argentine scored a hat-trick, with Aleksandar Kolarov adding a fourth, to make sure City advanced and kept their dreams of a quadruple alive.

(READ MORE: MANCHESTER CITY COME BACK TO BEAT WATFORD)

Liverpool started off Saturday’s action with a routine 2-0 win over Bournemouth, and Everton closed it in similar style by beating Stevenage 4-0. All in all nine Premier League sides advanced to the final sixteen: Arsenal, Liverpool, Swansea, Cardiff City, Manchester City, Southampton, Hull City, Sunderland and Everton.

The remaining slots are filled by Championship sides Brighton and Hove Albion, Charlton, Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan. Two League One sides remain hopeful of making it to the final sixteen: Sheffield United play Fulham on Sunday, while Preston North End face a replay against Nottingham Forest.

Finally, one of Chelsea or Stoke will be the final addition to Round 5. The two sides meet tomorrow in the final match (excluding replays) of Round 4.

Friday’s Results

Arsenal 4-0 Coventry
Nottingham Forest 0-0 Preston

Saturday’s Results

Bournemouth 0-2 Liverpool
Birmingham 1-2 Swansea
Bolton 0-1 Cardiff
Huddersfield 0-1 Charlton
Manchester City 4-2 Watford
Port Vale 1-3 Brighton
Rochdale 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday
Southampton 2-0 Yeovil
Southend 0-2 Hull City
Sunderland 1-0 Kidderminster
Wigan 2-1 Crystal Palace
Stevenage 0-4 Everton

Sunday’s Fixtures

Sheffield United vs. Fulham
Chelsea vs. Stoke City

Red Bulls freestyler shows off dribbling skills… on a treadmill (Video)

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Players from around the world display their skills on social media on a regular basis, but they’re usually on a soccer field or blacktop when they do so.

[ MORE: Almiron wins MLS Newcomer of the Year, beats out Nikolic, Martinez ]

This New York Red Bulls freestyler had a different interpretation of how he’d show off his ball control on Monday.

DJ Diveny (@djdiveny on Twitter) posted this video — below — across his social media platforms today dribbling a soccer ball on a treadmill, while his colleagues appear to introduce cones at random points as obstacles.

In addition to his talents as a freestyler, Diveny is also a youth coach with Student Athlete Coaching & Consulting, based out of New Jersey.

Again… he’s on a treadmill while doing this. Pretty cool stuff.

Watch below.

Villa: Seeing Pirlo retire showed me that I have to train harder

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New York City FC has quickly become one of Major League Soccer’s most exciting clubs in three short seasons, and a lot of its success can be attributed to be David Villa.

[ MORE: Miguel Almiron named MLS Newcomer of the Year ]

The Spanish international has been with the club since completing a move to MLS in 2014, and has easily been NYCFC’s most important signing since the team’s inception.

Despite boasting an impressive 22 goals in 2017 for Patrick Vieira’s side, Villa knows that his days in MLS are starting to count down after one of the legends of the international game recently announced his retirement.

“[Seeing Andrea Pirlo retire showed me] that I have to train harder every day if I want to continue extending my career. Someday I will leave, as will everyone, it’s a fact of life. But I’m going to fight to make it as late as possible,” Villa told Marca.

Villa, 35, received a one-year extension to his contract in 2017, leaving his future with NYCFC up in the air beyond next season.

Additionally, the forward says that he constantly receives positive feedback about MLS and he knows that there is a lot of interest from players outside the United States in the developing league.

“Really, quite a few [have reached out],” he said. “The MLS is growing a lot and is having more and more global impact. Many have called me and are interested in what’s going on here.”

Brighton 2-2 Stoke: Seagulls remain ninth thanks to Izquierdo’s equalizer

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Three Premier League newcomers remain in close contention with one another after 12 weeks, one of which picked up another positive result today.

[ MORE: Congested PL schedule challenges the big boys ]

Brighton & Hove Albion earned a 2-2 draw against Stoke City at the Amex Stadium on Monday after Jose Izquierdo’s persistence gave the home side the leveler in the 60th minute from Glenn Murray‘s clever pass inside the box.

The result made for Brighton’s sixth consecutive match unbeaten at home this season.

A back-and-forth first half saw the on-loan Chelsea defender give Stoke the lead heading into the halftime break after a disappointing spell of defending by Brighton allowed Zouma to finish of a corner kick.

Pascal Gross gave Brighton an equalizer one minute from halftime after Davy Propper had done superbly to create space for himself down the right wing.

The visitors struck in the 28th minute after Shaqiri delivered a perfect long ball into the path of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

The Cameroonian proceeded to control the pass beautifully from his Stoke teammate, before tucking his shot from close range into the near corner past Brighton goalkeeper Maty Ryan.

Brighton thought they had the chance to level the score prior to the equalizer when the hosts appeared to have a penalty appeal after Murray went down inside the Stoke area. However, referee Lee Mason opted against spot kick.

The two sides will both be in action on Saturday when Brighton travels to Old Trafford to face Manchester United and Stoke takes on Crystal Palace.

At the half: Zouma’s header has Stoke in front against Brighton

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It’s been a wild one thus far at the Amex Stadium, and we’ve still got 45 minutes left to play.

Stoke City holds a 2-1 advantage against newcomer Brighton & Hove Albion after Kurt Zouma gave the visitors the lead on the stroke of halftime.

[ MORE: West Brom fires manager Tony Pulis ]

Zouma headed home close range in first-half stoppage time to restore the Potters’ advantage, after Pascal Gross had equalized in the 44th minute for Brighton.

Stoke opened the scoring just prior to the half hour mark when Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting finished off a stellar move that originated from a Xherdan Shaqiri long ball over the Brighton back line.

Brighton were fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men after Glenn Murray went in late on a challenge against Stoke defender Kevin Wimmer.

Murray thought he had won himself a penalty kick minutes prior, but referee Lee Mason decided to continue play.