SUNDAY FA CUP ROUND-UP: MAN UTD BEST LIVERPOOL, CHELSEA AND LEICESTER PROGRESS
Five more FA Cup fourth-round ties were played on Sunday, and the pick of them came at Old Trafford as Man United beat Liverpool 3-2.
The pattern of none of the round’s matches going to extra time continued as Chelsea, Burnley, Leicester and Everton also scored three goals to progress to the last 16.
Manchester United 3-2 Liverpool
Bruno Fernandes was the man of the moment once again for Manchester United as his free-kick saw them beat rivals Liverpool.
It was certainly much more entertaining than the goalless draw in the Premier League last week, and after a slow start, United were at their counter-attacking best at times.
That slow start allowed Mo Salah to chip Dean Henderson from a perfectly-weighted Roberto Firmino through ball, but Mason Greenwood equalised within ten minutes.
Marcus Rashford gave the hosts the lead at the start of the second half, before Salah levelled things once more in the midst of a good spell for Liverpool.
Fernandes was brought on after 66 minutes and it didn’t take long for him to whip a free-kick into the corner for his 16th goal of the season and for a massive win for the Red Devils.
Chelsea 3-1 Luton Town
Chelsea picked up a much-needed win after a poor run of form in the Premier League that has threatened to cost Frank Lampard his job.
The Blues are very rarely upset by lower-league sides in the FA Cup, and that continued against Championship team Luton, with a hat-trick from Tammy Abraham enough for a fairly comfortable progression.
The striker became Chelsea’s top scorer this season with his three goals. Two of them came early on as he swept in controversially with two balls on the pitch at one point in that move, before heading over the on-rushing Simon Sluga.
Jordan Clark’s strike evaded Kepa Arrizabalaga to halve the deficit, but Abraham finished off a nice move with a close-range tap-in to seal the victory.
The Premier League side set up a fifth-round trip to Barnsley despite a late missed penalty from Timo Werner.
Fulham 0-3 Burnley
Two goals from Jay Rodriguez helped Burnley ease past Fulham and continue the Lancashire club’s impressive upturn in results.
After a series of draws in the Premier League, a couple of narrow defeats to two of the ‘Big Six’ seemed to affect Scott Parker’s side in this game as they went out before the fifth round of the FA Cup for the fourth straight season.
Sean Dyche’s Burnley were full of momentum after their league win at Anfield, and took the lead when Rodriguez finished Jack Cork’s cross.
A penalty from Rodriguez and a Kevin Long tap-in completed the win for the visitors, who play Bournemouth or Crawley in the next round.
Brentford 1-3 Leicester City
These two sides met in round four for the second season in a row, and Leicester came out on top again as they continued their excellent season, still going strong in three different competitions.
EFL Cup semi-finalists Brentford took an early lead against the Foxes via Mads Sørensen and took that advantage into the break, but after that, Leicester showed why they are flying high in the Premier League.
Cengiz Ünder equalised in the first minute of the second period, before a Youri Tielemans penalty put them ahead and James Maddison finished off a pleasing victory for Brendan Rogers.
Everton 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Everton’s first game for 12 days saw them ease past Sheffield Wednesday, who also hadn’t played for a couple of weeks after a coronavirus outbreak at Hillsborough.
Dominic Calvert Lewin returned to action with his 15th goal of the season to give the hosts the lead, before a quickfire double from Richarlison and Yerry Mina meant Everton could allow themselves to gently return to match sharpness.
All focus for the Owls now turns to the Championship relegation battle under interim manager Neil Thompson, while Everton can look forward to an intense run of Premier League games before Wycombe or Tottenham travel to Merseyside in round five.