We saw another big upset as one of the few lower league teams remaining in the competition kept rolling. Here’s the action from today’s FA Cup schedule:
Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester City
Tim Sherwood got his first win with his new club…kind of. He watched from the stands, but got to see Villa go through to the quarterfinals on goals from Leandro Bacuna and Scott Sinclair. The first half was a complete dud, with just one big save by Shay Given and a goal for Christian Benteke ruled out correctly for offsides. Bacuna brought the game some life with a curling effort, and Sinclair scored off the bench in the 89th minute thanks to some poor goalkeeping by 42-year-old “leaner than ever” Mark Schwarzer.
The goal from Sinclair was a big one, because new Foxes signing Andrej Kramaric scored in added time, but the deficit was too great as Villa goes one win away from an appearance at Wembley.
Bradford City 2-0 Sunderland
An own-goal in just the third minute by Black Cats defender John O’Shea off a Billy Clarke shot meant League One minnows Bradford City went ahead early. They’d hold to halftime, and then double that lead in the second half when Adam Johnson painfully gave the ball away right in front of his own penalty area, and Jonathan Stead pounced and scored.
The goal for Stead means he’s scored in every single round of the FA Cup for Bradford, with five total goals. Bradford City held on to win, defeating their second Premier League side in a row to move to the quarterfinals of the competition for the first time since 1976.
Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough
Olivier Giroud scored a first-half brace, and it allowed Arsenal to cruise the rest of the way owning possession and holding off their lower-league opponents. Gabriel Paulista earned his full Arsenal debut, earning a yellow card in the 55th minute in the process.
There wasn’t much else to report, as Arsenal held nearly 70% of the possession and sailed into the quarterfinals of the competition. It was good for Gunner fans to see Alexis Sanchez on the field, as Arsene Wenger speculated before the match that he would be unable to go thanks to a swollen knee suffered in their Premier League fixture midweek. Sanchez played 72 minutes before being replaced by Tomas Rosicky.