The FA Cup fifth round on Sunday saw two of the Premier League’s top four teams plunge out of the competition to fellow league foes as Tottenham and Manchester City both came up short.
Chelsea trudged on in its most likely source of silverware, topping Man City 5-1. Guus Hiddink named a strong Blues squad that looked as if he is gunning for the Cup, while Manuel Pellegrini handed five players their full debuts in a squad that seemed to suggest he has no interest in extra fixtures.
Diego Costa, Willian, Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard, and Bertrand Traore all scored for Chelsea to send them on their way. On the other end, only two players – Pablo Zabaleta and Fernando – featured in the starting lineup for Manchester City who also started against Tottenham on the weekend. Oluwatosin Adariboyo, Bersant Celina, Manu Garcia, Aleix Garcia Serrano, and David Faupala all made their debuts for the club. The latter scored before halftime to even things up, but the Blues trudged on with a strong second half. The loss for City is their third straight across all competitions, having lost two in league play coming into Sunday.
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Tottenham, meanwhile, came into its meeting at White Hart Lane as one of the more in-form clubs in England, but they were stymied by Crystal Palace and a goal in first-half added time by Martin Kelly saw them out of the competition. Mauricio Pochettino named a strong squad that included Harry Kane and Dele Alli, with Christian Eriksen coming off the bench, and while Spurs held much of the possession, the Palace defense absorbed all the pressure and saw just four of Spurs’ 19 shots find the frame.
In the early fixture, West Ham went down early to Blackburn but came back strong for a 5-1 win as Dimitri Payet showed off with a pair of goals – a scrumptious free kick plus a late solo goal that wowed the crowd. Emmanuel Emineke also scored a pair as West Ham moved on to the quarterfinals.
Tomorrow is the last remaining fixture, as Shrewsbury hosts Manchester United. There will be a replay yet to be scheduled, with Hull City and Arsenal meeting again after a 0-0 draw on Saturday.