The 133rd FA Cup continued today, and there was plenty of action to be had.
Most notably, David Moyes suffered his latest setback in an attempt to replace Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United tumbled out.
Sam Allardyce also hit a low point in charge of West Ham as Championship promotion candidates Nottingham Forest blasted the Hammers 5-0.
Liverpool, Sunderland, and Chelsea all rolled over lower-league opposition.
Here’s a breakdown:
Manchester United 1-2 Swansea
Boy, Old Trafford ain’t what it used to be. Once Sir Alex Ferguson’s fortress in northern England, now it’s giving teams confidence they can take a visit and come back with the spoils. The latest to take advantage of Moyes’ boys are Swansea, who capitalized on a straight red card to substitute Fabio just four minutes after coming on, and Wilfried Bony headed the Swans through to the fourth round. They’ll take on one of a trio of lower league teams in Birmingham City, Bristol Rovers, or Crawley Town.
Nottingham Forest 5-0 West Ham
It’s hard for an under-fire manager to lose standing in the FA Cup, but with a 5-0 drubbing Big Sam Allardyce may have done just that. Jamie Patterson had a hat-trick for Forest as they move on. Consider this: if they’d stayed home, West Ham would have only lost 3-0. American Eric Lichaj went the full 90 for Nottingham in the blowout victory.
Sunderland 3-1 Carlisle United
It was a complete performance from front to back as Sunderland saw themselves through to the fourth round of the FA Cup. Adam Johnson opened the scoring with a 34th minute free kick and despite an equalizer before halftime from Carlisle, the second half proved Sunderland’s key. The Black Cats get another lower-league opponent next round, taking on either Kidderminster or Petersborough United
Chelsea 2-0 Derby County
The Premier League title contenders also had no issues with their lower league opponents, as Derby held Chelsea for 66 minutes until John Obi Mikel (!!) gave Chelsea the lead. It’s just Mikel’s fourth goal for the Blues in his 300th club appearance (although he now has two this season – floodgates!). Oscar doubled their lead five minutes later to seal the victory.
Liverpool 2-0 Oldham Athletic
Brendan Rodgers gazumped his son with a comprehensive win over Oldham to move Liverpool into the fourth round. Two changes after halftime saw immediate dividends as Iago Aspas deposited the game’s first score in the 54th. James Tarkowski was unlucky to double Liverpool’s lead with an own-goal, but the result was never really in doubt. They will play either Bournemouth or Burton Albion in the next round.
Port Vale 2-2 Plymouth Argyle
With a 2-0 deficit on the road, Plymouth secured a replay with a dramatic second-half comeback to keep their FA Cup hopes alive. Reuben Reid and Ben Purrington gave Plymouth their lifeline, as they had fallen behind early against the run of play. The replay winner will face Brighton Hove & Albion in the fourth round.