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FA Cup Sunday preview: Chelsea, Tottenham in action, Liverpool host Everton

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The third round of the FA Cup is underway, with Aston Villa being the only Premier League team to lose on Saturday. But Sunday’s action promises for quality entertainment and more possible upsets as six top-tier sides enter the tournament.

 [ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

Carlo Ancelotti and Everton travel down the road to Anfield as the Merseyside Derby headlines the oldest knockout competition in world’s Sunday action. Earlier this season, in Champions League group stage play, Jurgen Klopp and Ancelotti went head-on, with Napoli – the Italian manager’s team at the time – taking the two-match series with a victory and draw. In early December, Liverpool thumped the Toffees 5-2 at Anfield.

Meanwhile, a recovering Chelsea host a thriving Nottingham Forest, while Wayne Rooney and Derby County visit Crystal Palace. Tottenham commences their post-Mauricio Pochettino FA Cup journey as they travel to Middlesbrough, who are coming off a four-game winning streak in the Championship.

Who will win bragging rights in Liverpool? Will Jose Mourinho double down for FA Cup glory?

Below is Sunday’s full schedule of the FA Cup’s third round bouts.


Sunday’s FA Cup third round schedule

Sunday

9:01 a.m. ET: Charlton v West Brom
9:01 a.m. ET: Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
9:01 a.m. ET: Middlesbrough v Tottenham
9:01 a.m. ET: Crystal Palace v Derby County
9:01 a.m. ET: QPR v Swansea
9:01 a.m. ET: Sheffield United v AFC Fylde
9:01 a.m. ET: Crewe v Barnsley
9:01 a.m. ET: Bristol Rovers v Coventry
9:01 a.m. ET: Burton Albion v Northampton
11:01 a.m. ET: Liverpool v Everton
1:16 p.m. ET: Gillingham v West Ham

Everton’s Silva, Holgate react to blowout derby loss

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Marco Silva‘s big trouble grew larger after a 5-2 loss to Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby at Anfield on Wednesday, but Everton defender Mason Holgate said his team’s rookie mistakes are not the manager’s fault.

When asked how much fault the players bear with their manager under fire, there were no minced words from the 23-year-old.

[ RECAP: Liverpool 5-2 Everton ]

“Pretty much all of it,” he said. “The manager has told us what we need to be doing and we have not gone out and done that. We played well in patches of the game but route one, direct balls are not things the manager should be telling us about. We should be dealing with and we have not done that.”

Silva accepted responsibility for the result and said “my words will change nothing” when asked about his fate as Everton boss, but he also agreed with his defender about the mistakes.

He was asked point-blank about Everton’s status in relegation zone.

“Really, really bad for us. We are making the same mistakes. We are not strong enough to be in a different position. I’m not here to talk about the players because they are fighting. Our opponent was more brave than us. We should be better, of course.”

It’s difficult to imagine anything changing in the near future even if Silva is fired. There were very redeeming performances from the players at Anfield. Richarlison was the top performer, while Lucas Digne was adequate.

It should be noted that the Toffees did score twice, and produced numerous chances. Moise Kean missed a late chance, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin could’ve won a penalty in the first half (It wasn’t the type of foul VAR is ever going to overrule, but it wouldn’t have flipped it the other way had Mike Dean awarded it).

But this was about defending, and keeping the balls out of the net. Goal scorer Michael Keane and Holgate were under fire all night, and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was credited with more errors than saves (which isn’t difficult; He didn’t have a save).

These players will remain the same as Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal loom on the league docket, with a League Cup trip to Leicester City thrown into the mix.

Silva’s likely to be dismissed, and Everton might be best served not named a successor until after this run of fixtures.

Liverpool smash five past rivals Everton

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Sadio Mane had a goal and two assists as Liverpool tore through Everton back line in a 5-2 win at Anfield on Wednesday to bring their table lead back to eight points.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Divock Origi scored twice, with Xherdan Shaqiri and Georginio Wijnaldum also scoring in the win.

Michael Keane and Richarlison netted for Everton, who slipped into the relegation zone. The Toffees sit 18th, a point behind three teams.


Three things we learned

1. Klopp’s “second choice” attack brings first class results: Origi continued his Toffee-killing ways with a first half brace, and Shaqiri delivered a goal while Adam Lallana didn’t look too rusty in a rare start. The manager has done this to his Merseyside rivals before, thumbing his nose at the gulf in class by keeping stars out of the Starting XI. It’s difficult to perceive it as anything but that, especially considering that there’s no giant ahead: Bournemouth is Saturday’s opponent.

2. Reds open floodgates and own back line in 6-goal first half: Make no mistake about the fact that Liverpool was much, much better than the Toffees in opening a 4-1 lead before halftime, but Richarlison’s wide open headed goal as the teams headed to the locker rooms showed the

3. Toffees do little to save under fire Silva: There was graft and guile, but Everton had little impact on a wobbly Reds back line. Alex Iwobi and Richarlison had their moments, to be sure, and the two goals are nice, but the Toffees were carved up like a holiday feast. Now in the Bottom Three, Everton looks at the following fixtures ahead: Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal, with a League Cup trip to Leicester City thrown into the mix.

Man of the Match: Origi had two great goals and Sadio Mane relished his Derby day. He would’ve gotten our nod after a goal and two sensational assists but he missed an 81st minute chance as if to prove his fallibility and then blew a breakaway chance in the 85th. Origi gets his derby due.


Origi had Liverpool ahead before the clock hit six, finishing a lightning counter attack. It was inspired by an incredible pass from Sadio Mane, and Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made the highlight look better by charging to the top of the 18 and letting the Belgian walk around him.

Shaqiri had it 2-0 just over 10 minutes later. Trent Alexander-Arnold sent a rocket cross some 60 yards that Mane took down with his chest before playing the Swiss striker into the box for calm finish past Pickford.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Toffees answered through unlikely source Keane, who walked over Dejan Lovren after trapping a Alex Iwobi pass and drilled it past Adrian in the 21st minute.

Iwobi then sent Calvert-Lewin behind the Reds back line, but the Everton youngster took a sloppy touch. Virgil Van Dijk fouled the player but it wasn’t called by Mike Dean and VAR was not going to call it back.

Origi had it 3-1 before long, though, running onto a long ball from Dejan Lovren and taking two classy touches to complete his brace.

Liverpool were still in danger at times, as Richarlison was denied an assist from a sliding Lovren in the 44th.

Mane then made it 4-1 before the end of the half, as Alexander-Arnold led a counter attack off an Everton corner.

Richarlison answered in first half stoppage, turning a Bernard cross past Adrian with a fine header.

Liverpool started the second half in brighter fashion, and Everton’s chances were fewer and farther between. Tom Davies mishit a chance that Adrian comfortably gathered in the 65th.

Mane missed two chances to seal the deal, but Moise Kean let him off the hook by beating Adrian but firing wide in the 85th.

Wijnaldum added Liverpool’s fifth in the 90th minute, taking a feed after Roberto Firmino roasted Mason Holgate and poking past Pickford.

Liverpool’s obstacles on path to PL title

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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It is not unreasonable to say that, barring long-term injuries to multiple major players, the Premier League title could be decided on Thursday.

Don’t hate the player, hate the games (this week), as Spurs and Man City faltered while Liverpool continued to dominate its opposition.

[ MORE: Kompany ready for Liverpool ]

So while the Reds look upon a seven-point table lead and pretend they haven’t thought about red ribbons on the Premier League trophy — hilarious, right?!? — let’s eyeball the other important mile markers if Liverpool is to claim its first English top-flight crown since 1989-90.

1, 2, 3, and 4) Manchester City v. Liverpool, 3 p.m. ET Thursday, NBCSN

The question here is whether Jurgen Klopp will play it just a bit safer as he did at Anfield earlier this year when Pep Guardiola made adjustments to the Reds’ press. The attack-forward manager really only needs a draw for his title hopes to become very likely, and even he will be tempted to keep some of the proverbial horses in the stable at the Etihad Stadium.

If Liverpool wins, opening up a 10-point lead on City and a minimum 9-point lead on the rest of the field, we can begin to heap shovelfuls of dirt on City’s reign.

5) Manchester United v. Liverpool, 9:05 a.m. ET Feb. 24

Five days after Liverpool hosts Bayern Munich, the Reds will have to turn their attention to a rested Manchester United (The Red Devils’ UEFA Champions League first leg with PSG in Feb. 12). It will also be at minimum a few weeks since United’s presumed new pieces will have began to settle into life at Old Trafford.

6) Everton v. Liverpool, March 2

A prolonged FA Cup run aside, the Merseyside Derby will likely be the lone focus of Marco Silva‘s Everton. The Toffees hung tough with the Reds before Jordan Pickford‘s stoppage time error sprung three points into Liverpool’s account.

7) Liverpool v. Chelsea, April 13

We’ve skipped the Spurs match for now given the North London side’s problems with the Reds in a loss at Wembley and the Anfield status of the second match.

Should the Reds get past Bayern Munich (and Chelsea stay alive in the Europa League), this match takes place between legs of the Champions League quarterfinals. Tricky.

8) Liverpool v. Wolves, May 12

The Reds may’ve just played a UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg a few days prior, but all bodies will want on the field for the final match of the PL season. Nerves will be jangly if it isn’t coronation, and Wolves did not lay down for the Reds at the Molineux earlier this month.’

Liverpool, Everton react to goal from Origi

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It was over, really.

Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk badly flubbed a bid at the spectacular, his wayward shot floating toward the Everton end line.

[ MORE: Match recap | Klopp apologizes ]

Everton backstop Jordan Pickford tracked it, just in case, and had a last-minute change of heart and pushed the ball off the top of the crossbar.

It bounced a second time on the crossbar, and fell to Divock Origi. Making his first appearance of the Premier League season, the Belgian was on the spot to prod the ball over the line and provide a Merseyside Derby win for his club.

“I tried to be ready,” Origi said. “There was a lot of scuffles so I knew I had to be ready. I had a tap-in so it was good! I tried to use every good and bad moments.

“I was happy I could rectify my error from the beginning. It’s difficult as a player whenever you make a mistake. Jordan Pickford seems like a very good keeper and, mentality-wise, he seems like a good lad so he’ll learn from this.”

Hear more from Origi, and some from Van Dijk, at bottom.

Then there’s the other side of the stadium, where Pickford was said to be struggling after his mental mistake.

Liverpool defender Michael Keane is among the players trying to cheer up Pickford.

“Everyone is devastated and silent. We are consoling Jordan [Pickford]. He got unlucky. He has been brilliant for us. Everyone is devastated because of the work we put in. We had our chances and came close. We are devastated for ourselves and the fans.”