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FA Cup: Chelsea, Swansea into 4th rd; B’mouth ousted by Wigan

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Two more Premier League sides booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup, courtesy of third-round replays, on Wednesday, bringing the PL’s total representation to 14 clubs…

[ MORE: Tuesday’s 3rd-round replay roundup ]

Chelsea 1-1 (5-3 PKs) Norwich City

Chelsea’s scoreless streak — for both themselves and opponents (three straight 0-0 draws across all competitions) — came to a merciful end on Wednesday, but not before surpassing the 300-minute mark. Michy Batshuayi — who, it must be said, struggled mightily in making just his third start (all in cup competitions) since mid-October — broke yet another scoreless deadlock in the 55th minute, ending the Blues’ scoreless run at 331 minutes.

With barely 30 seconds remaining in second-half stoppage time, 19-year-old left back Jamal Lewis brought the Canaries level with a thunderous header off the post.

Extra-time saw Chelsea reduced to 10, and then nine, men. Pedro was booked for diving just after the hour mark, and the Spaniard earned a second yellow card for a wild challenge in the 117th minute. Four minutes later, in second-half extra-time stoppage time, Alvaro Morata was booked for diving and proceeded to shout and gesticulate in the referee’s face. A second yellow was shown immediately.

Willy Caballero denied Nelson Oliveira on Norwich’s first attempt of the ensuing penalty shootout, giving the Blues the only cushion they’d need as Willian, David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta, N'Golo Kante and Eden Hazard all converted.

Chelsea will host Newcastle United in the fourth round on Sunday, Jan. 28.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Tuesday | Friday ]

Swansea City 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Swansea faced the greatest threat of a Cupset on Wednesday but managed to come out on top, knocking off runaway Championship leaders and champions-elect Wolves. The Swans went ahead through Jordan Ayew in the 11th minute before the prolific Diogo Jota, who’ll be in the PL one way or another next season, brought Wolves back to 1-1 in the 66th. Three minutes later, Wilfried Bony bagged the winner to see Carlos Carvalhal’s side through to the next round.

Swansea will visit League Two side Notts County, who knocked off Championship playoff hopefuls Brentford in the third round, on Saturday, Jan. 27.

Wigan Athletic 3-0 Bournemouth

Bournemouth sat 32 places above Wigan in the English football pyramid when Wednesday’s replay kicked off, and it matter not a single iota, as Paul Cook’s side hammered the Cherries at the DW Stadium. Sam Morsy, Dan Burn and Callum Elder bagged the goals for the League One leaders (three points clear after 26 of 46 rounds played). Wigan have alternated each of the last four seasons, finishing 23rd in the Championship and leading/winning League One. It’s been five years since the Latics were relegated from the PL, in the 2012-13 season.

Wigan will host West Ham United in the fourth round on Saturday, Jan. 27.

Follow Live: Chelsea, Swans, Cherries in FA Cup replays

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Chelsea, Swansea City, and Bournemouth look to avoid upsets in replays of their third round FA Cup matches.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

All three matches kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET

The Blues tangle with former Premier League peers Norwich City, this time at Stamford Bridge, in a bid to host a fourth round match with Newcastle United.

Antonio Conte‘s not messing around (too much) with the XI.

Swansea City and Wolves, meanwhile, are arguably battling for a bid in the fourth round, as a trip to Notts County is on the docket for the winner of Wednesday’s replay at the Liberty Stadium.

Bournemouth is at Wigan Athletic for a replay with the third-tier Latics, with the victor hosting West Ham United on Jan. 27.

FA Cup preview: Three more PL sides face 3rd-round replays

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Three more Premier League sides, including a top-four fighter, attempt to join a dozen of their top-flight contemporaries in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday…

[ MORE: Tuesday’s 3rd-round replay roundup ]

Chelsea and Swansea City host Championship opposition in the form of Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, respectively, while Bournemouth will make the 500-mile roundtrip to take on League One side Wigan Athletic.

The Blues, who now sit fourth in the PL after their disappointing 0-0 draw with Leicester City, could manage only a scoreless draw with the Canaries at Carrow Road earlier this month. They are winless in their last four games across all competitions — all draws — including their League Cup semifinal first-leg draw with Arsenal last week; the last three of those all finished without a single goal scored. Chelsea, who are tied with Liverpool with the fourth-most FA Cups in their history (7), lost out to Arsenal in last season’s final at Wembley Stadium.

Swansea are undoubtedly the side on highest Cupset alert, as Wolves are the runaway leaders and champions-elect in the Championship (10 points clear after 27 of 46 rounds played), thus able to devote more attention to the FA Cup than the typical second-division side. With the two sides separated by just a single place in the English footballing pyramid (Swansea, 20th in the PL; Wolves, 1st in the Championship), they appear destined to swap places by the end of May.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth’s punishment for conceding a pair of early goals to a side currently 32 places below them in the pyramid, is the long, midweek trip from the south coast to the DW Stadium in the northwest of England. It was the Premier Leaguers who needed a two second-half goals, including Steve Cook‘s 90th-minute equalizer, to draw level at home in the first meeting.

Tuesday’s FA Cup replay actionFULL ROUNDUP

Leicester City 2-0 Fleetwood Town
West Ham United 1-0 (AET) Shrewsbury Town
Mansfield Town 1-4 Cardiff City
Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Carlisle United
Reading 3-0 Stevenage

Bournemouth 2-1 Arsenal: Cherries keep Gunners down

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  • Sanchez left out of squad
  • Bellerin puts Arsenal up
  • Wilson scores in 100th AFCB app
  • Cherries beat Arsenal for first time

Callum Wilson and Jordon Ibe scored second half goals as Bournemouth came back to beat Arsenal 2-1 on Sunday at the Vitality Stadium, securing its first ever win over the Gunners.

Hector Bellerin scored Arsenal’s lone goal in a match played without injured Mesut Ozil and “vague” Alexis Sanchez.

It’s Arsenal’s first league loss since Dec. 2, but that eight-match stretch includes just two wins to go with Sunday’s loss and five draws.

The Gunners are now five points back of the Top Four before fourth-place Liverpool hosts Man City at 11 a.m. ET.

Bournemouth rises to 13 with 24 points, four points clear of the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

An active first 20 minutes showed both Arsene Wenger and Eddie Howe remained aligned in spirit, pushing tempo (albeit at the expense of precision on this particular Sunday).

Perhaps the best chance of the half was blocked by Arsenal’s Callum Chambers, as in-form Ryan Fraser was alone at the back post following a seeing-eye cross from the right.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Bellerin put Arsenal ahead in the 52nd minute, racing down the right and watching as Asmir Begovic could only get most of his hard shot.

Bournemouth, spurred by lively Ibe and Nathan Ake, produced some promising moves over the next quarter hour.

The Cherries went level in the 70th minute through Wilson, who beat a sliding Petr Cech to a Fraser cross.

Ibe then broke his Cherries duck, belting a low shot through traffic after Wilson’s trap spun onto his path.

Wenger: Sanchez’s been “vague… so I left him at home”

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger left Alexis Sanchez out of his 18 for Sunday’s trip to Bournemouth, and the manager said the following in his prematch interview (from Sky Sports):

“He’s been vague at the moment, his situation is not decided one way or the other so I left him at home,” he said.

[ STREAM: Bournemouth vs. Arsenal ]

Wenger was asked if resolution on Sanchez’s future was coming soon.

“Yes, but don’t read too much into it because even I don’t know what way it will go. You want to focus on the players who are on the pitch who can do well for the club.”

If Wenger is tired of the questions and stories regarding Alexis Sanchez’s departure, I’ve got some news for him: They’d have to continue for about three more seasons to knock on the door of rumors concerning his future.

At this point, Sanchez’s future almost seems like a chess match between Arsenal’s willingness to stick to its guns versus its desire to get some money for the Chilean star. Could the message sent by sitting him for a while be worth more than $30 million? $40 million? $50 million?