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: Six Barcelona board members quit, recommend new election

Barcelona
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Barcelona might be atop La Liga, but the behind the scenes atmosphere is ugly.

A day after reports that president Josep Maria Bartomeu asked four board members to leave the club, the quartet and two others have resigned and called for new leadership.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Marca translated the letter signed by Emili Rousaud, Enrique Tombas, Silvio Elias, Josep Pont, Maria Teixidor and Jordi Calsamiglia (Spanish report here). The first four were asked to leave, with Teixidor and Calsamiglia joining them.

That leaves the board at 13 members.

“We ask that once the results of the audit entrusted to PWC are presented, all responsible to be swept away with the eventual corresponding compensation.

“As a last service to our club, we recommend that as soon as circumstances allow it to call new elections to allow to direct the club, with all the ‘authority’ and in the best possible way in the face of the important challenges of the most immediate future.”

It’s been a terrible season for Barca off-the-field, and Bartomeu’s leadership simply must be questioned given the actions of him and some of the people under his watch. Former players and legends have spoken out against the club’s hierarchy, including Pep Guardiola.

The ouster of Ernesto Valverde was handled without much class, and director Eric Abidal threw the players under the bus for the managerial change. The club has also dealt with “Barcagate,” in which a contracted social media company was fired for posting Tweets against Barca’s players.

Both drew the ire of Lionel Messi, who can exercise a clause to leave the club this summer (though that seems unlikely). Messi also admitted he “sees weird things happening” after Bartomeu spoke to the players after “Barcagate.”

Messi also refuted Thursday rumors of a move to Inter Milan in a since-deleted IG post.

Bartomeu has been Barca’s president since January 2014, and the club has won the 2014/15 Champions League and four of five La Liga crowns during his full seasons in charge. There have, however, been a lot of misses in the transfer market.

It might get uglier before it gets better, but there isn’t too much room for worse.

Premier League March Madness: Handicapping the Final

Premier League March Madness
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There was a thriller when Wolves and Everton met at Goodison Park on Sept. 1, and we’re hoping for the online poll equivalent when our Premier League March Madness concludes on Friday.

Wolves already gave us one on Thursday, blowing a lead they held for most of the day to see a 50-50-to-the-vote deadlock before a sizeable win in extra time (30 minutes of added voting).

Everton had an interesting win of its own, destroying Merseyside Derby rivals Liverpool with more than 80 percent of the vote.

[ LIVE: March Madness PL hub ] 

Before we go any further, if you’re unfamiliar: To make sure you’re not missing out on either March Madness or the business end of the PL season, we’ve gone ahead and merged the two competitions. The March Madness Final Four and Championship game were due to take place this weekend in Atlanta but now you will be voting on Tottenham v. Arsenal instead of Duke v. Kansas.

Teams are seeded from 1-16 based on their current spot in the table, with Aston Villa winning the relegation playoffs on Monday to remain in the Premier League.

Road to the Final

Monday: Relegation semifinals, final – Aston Villa prevailed, Norwich, Bournemouth, Watford relegated
TuesdaySweet 16 results
WednesdayElite Eight
Thursday: Final Four
Friday: Championship game

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

The Toffees are the favorites here, having knocked off Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool.

But this will be the first time in the tournament where Everton won’t have the benefit of a club many other teams hate as the opposition.

Wolves’ extra time win over Sheffield United was a first real scare of the tournament, and the Molineux set will hope its extra time performance was a showing of what it will do when faced with elimination.

It’s difficult to choose against Everton here, even if the Anfield faithful will move to the side of the Wolves. We’ll call it 54-46 to the blue side of Liverpool.

RESULTS: Premier League March Madness Final Four

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Everton has its first Merseyside Derby since 2010 thanks to the voters of ProSoccerTalk.

The Toffees’ 21-match run without a win over Liverpool “ended” Thursday in Premier League March Madness, the fusion of two of our favorite sporting competitions.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

We hinted at this win on Wednesday given the exits of all the Premier League giants besides Liverpool, as supporters of Manchester United, Man City, Arsenal, Spurs, and Chelsea might leap at the chance to take the Reds off any throne.

But to say we saw this margin? The Toffees didn’t just beat their rivals; Carlo Ancelotti’s men stomped the Reds into online oblivion.

So who will Everton meet in the final after knocking off Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool?

The winner of Sheffield United and Wolves came in nail-biting fashion, the two sides nearly as evenly-matched as their 1-1 draw at the Molineux on Dec 1.

Wolves led for much of the day but saw their lead slip to 50.4-49.6 with minutes left in voting.

At 6:30 p.m. ET, it was dead-even. 50-50.

So we extended voting to extra time, and Nuno Espirito Santo must’ve deployed a ridiculous substitute because Wolves ran away with the thing to the tune of 59.6-40.4. #Swing.

[ LIVE: March Madness PL hub ]

If you want to see the full game schedule, seedings and bracket, here is the post you need as the tournament will run all week long:

Monday: Relegation semifinals, final – Aston Villa prevailed, Norwich, Bournemouth, Watford relegated
TuesdaySweet 16 results
WednesdayElite Eight
Thursday: Final Four
Friday: Championship game

Much-chased Havertz reportedly prefers Bayern move

Kai Havertz
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The latest transfer gossip regarding rumor mill regular Kai Havertz pours a lot of cold water on the hopes of several Premier League giants.

Havertz, 20, has been linked with Liverpool, Manchester United, and Manchester City this season with his odds of leaving Bayer Leverkusen at an all-time high. He’s also been connected to Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham to cover most of the Top Six bases.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

But Sky Sports says the German playmaker is keen to stay in his home country and make a move to Bayern Munich, who has been linked with Havertz, Leroy Sane, and Timo Werner in a bid to revolutionize its UEFA Champions League credentials.

Havertz has 10 goals and eight assists in 34 matches this season after exploding for 20 and seven in 42 last year. He doesn’t turn 21 until June.

The youngster provides little defensively but averages 2.3 key passes and 2.3 dribbles per match in Bundesliga play while passing at a tidy 87 percent despite living in the danger areas.

Whoever gets Havertz has a gem on its hands, but perhaps the Premier League will amp up their interest and recruiting efforts after these reports (if they haven’t already).