Queens Park Rangers crashed, but Alan Pardew won on his Crystal Palace debut and both Manchester clubs avoided disappointments as FA Cup action resumed Sunday.
Things have become increasingly difficult for Harry Redknapp as QPR didn’t just fall out of the competition, they bombed out to League One side Sheffield United 3-0 at home. The minnows bracketed halftime with goals and added another at the death to increase Redknapp’s misery and cause the London club further headache.
Sunderland squeaked by Leeds United thanks to a first-half goal from Patrick van Aanholt in his first start since November. The 24-year-old Dutch defender struck a low drive from outside the box on his return from a dislocated shoulder, and the goal gave Sunderland a mirror-image victory over Leeds to their 1973 FA Cup Final win, also 1-0. That game was followed by this humorous moment:
Morgan Schneiderlin salvaged a replay as Southampton will need to hit the road following a 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town. The Premier League side managed 2/3 of the possession but just couldn’t produce a winner as 11 shots on target wasn’t enough.
Fresh off earning a side-by-side place at the top of the Premier League table, Manchester City produced a near-miss against Sheffield Wednesday that nearly required another 90 minutes away from home to settle, but James Milner produced a double on his birthday to nullify an early strike from Sheffield’s Atdhe Nuihu. The second came in the final minute as he tapped in the cross from Jesus Navas. Manuel Pellegrini seemed to changed the game with a double substitution in the second half, bringing on David Silva and Samir Nasri.
Their cross-town rivals Manchester United struggled to break down League One celler-dwellars Yeovil Town, but an absolutely stunning goal from Ander Herrera put Louis van Gaal’s Red Devils through 1-0. Fulham loanee Stephen Arthurworrey was especially impressive in defense for the underdogs covering Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao. Angel Di Maria put things away on the stroke of full-time as Yeovil had thrown men forward.
Alan Pardew managed Crystal Palace for the first time as the Londoners won in convincing fashion at non-league side Dover Athletic. Scott Dann scored twice in the first 35 minutes and it was smooth sailing from there for the former Newcastle manager.
Stoke City was nearly forced into an away replay but Marko Arnautovic equalized with 10 minutes to go to cancel out one from Wrexham‘s Mark Carrington seven minutes earlier, and Stephen Ireland came on and slashed the dreams of the non-league Welsh side by scoring in the 88th minute to put Mark Hughes’ Premier League club through.
Aston Villa also nearly needed another 90 minutes against a lower division side, but Christian Benteke avoided the replay with a powerful 88th-minute volley to put the Claret and Blue through to the next round, securing a 1-0 win over Championship bottomfeeders Blackpool.
A frustrated Jose Mourinho made two halftime changes, and it jolted Chelsea to life as sub Willian put them through early in the second half. The Blues found it hard to break down Watford in the first half but Mourinho brought off Andre Schurrle and Oscar, replacing them with Willian and Diego Costa, and it bore fruit. Loic Remy doubled things up with 20 minutes to go to end any threat, and young Kurt Zouma broke open the floodgates three minutes later.
Arsenal and Hull City, in a rematch of last year’s final, played to a 2-0 final at the Emirates. Joel Campbell missed a sitter early on for Arsenal, but Per Mertesacker did put them in front with a header off a corner. Arsenal was clearly on top the whole way, but could only put through their second seven minutes left with Alexis Sanchez bagging a deserved goal.
Sunderland 1-0 Leeds United (van Aanholt 33′)
QPR 0-3 Sheffield United (McNulty 36′, Campbell-Ryce 49′, 90′)
Dover 0-4 Crystal Palace (Dann 10′, 34′, Gayle 68′, Doyle 87′)
Man City 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday (Nuhiu 14′; Milner 66′, 90′)
Stoke City 2-1 Wrexham (Carrington 73′; Arnautovic 80′, Ireland 88′)
Aston Villa 1-0 Blackpool (Benteke 88′)
Southampton 1-1 Ipswich Town (Ambrose 19′; Schneiderlin 33′)
Yeovil Town 0-2 Manchester United (Herrera 64′, Di Maria 90′)
Chelsea 3-0 Watford (Willian 58′, Remy 69′, Zouma 72′)
Arsenal 2-0 Hull City (Mertesacker 20′, Sanchez 83′)