Big games ahead after cup shocks

 Big games ahead after cup shocks

THIS weekend there are crucial games at both ends of the Premiership with Arsenal taking on ManchesterCity and Aston Villa meeting Southampton.

The other PL fixtures are Everton-Swansea, Fulham-Wigan, Manchester United-Liverpool, Norwich-Newcastle, Reading-WBA, QPR-Spurs, Stoke-Chelsea and West Ham-Sunderland. The big game in League One features Bournemouth against Swindon while Gillingham, first, and second-placed Port Vale meet in League Two.

As always there were shocks in the third round of the FA Cup.  Macclesfield, 82 places below Cardiff, beat the Championship leaders 2-1, and Luton, 60 places below Wolves, ousted the Wanderers 1-0.

Brighton knocked out Newcastle 2-0, making it another fruitless 720-mile round-trip for Alan Pardew’s team.  Oldham won 3-2 at NottinghamForest while Blackpool (at Fulham), Bournemouth (at Wigan) and Bolton (v Sunderland) gained creditable draws.

Robin van Persie’s brilliant ‘Fergie time’ equaliser earned Manchester United a 2-2 draw at West Ham who re-introduced Joe Cole (signed from Liverpool).

After a bust-up with his manager, Mario Balotelli helped Manchester City beat Watford 3-0 and holders Chelsea walloped Southampton 5-1 with €8.63 million debutant Demba Ba scoring twice.  Spurs licked Coventry 3-0 in a repeat of the 1987 final while gallant Hastings, up from the seaside to the Riverside, lost 4-1 at Middlesbrough,

Elsewhere, Liverpool beat Mansfield 2-1, Daniel Sturridge (€14.79 million from Chelsea) and Luis Suarez (with his hand) on target; Aston Villa ousted Ipswich, Huddersfield won at Charlton, Norwich defeated Peterborough, Leicester overcame Burton Albion and Swansea drew with Arsenal.

The fourth round (on 26/27 January) includes Bolton or Sunderland v Everton or Cheltenham, Brighton v Swansea or Arsenal, Crystal Palace or Stoke v Manchester City, Leeds or Birmingham v Spurs, Macclesfield v Wigan or Bournemouth, Millwall v Villa, Norwich v Luton, Oldham v Liverpool, Southend or Brentford v Chelsea, WBA or QPR v Sheffield Wed or MK Dons and West Ham or Manchester Utd v Fulham or Blackpool.


Milan players walk off

* AC Milan players walked off the pitch during a friendly in Pro Patria when home fans chanted racist abuse. “We will do this again” said Milan’s skipper Prince Boateng.

* Real Madrid chief Jose Mourinho wants to manage in the UAE before he retires.

* Wolves sacked manager Stale Solbakken immediately after their Cup exit at Luton. He’s the sixth managerial casualty since Christmas and the 20th this season. Dean Saunders will be the new man in at Molineux.

* South African paceman Vernon Phillander took five for seven in New Zealand’s all-out total of 45 in the first cricket Test in Cape Town. That was the lowest Test score for 39 years. The hosts declared on 347 for eight before bowling out the Kiwis again for 275 to win by an innings and 27.

* England’s cricketers are in India for the one day international series.

* Former Australian bowler Glenn McGrath has been inducted into Cricket’s Hall of Fame, while another Aussie, Mike Hussey, has retired.

* Olympic tennis champion Andy Murray won the Brisbane International tournament to set him up nicely for the Australian Open which starts on Monday.

* Next month, Darren Clarke will play in India’s new Golf League (modeled on cricket’s 20/20 game).

* It’s Harlequins first, Saracens second, Leicester third and Wasps fourth in Rugby’s Aviva Premiership.

* The Masters Snooker championship starts on Sunday at London’s AlexanderPalace .

* And disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong might ‘reveal all.’



Former Bradford, West Brom, Chelsea, ManchesterCity, Luton, CrystalPalace, Stockport, Peterborough and England striker Derek Kevan has died, aged 77.  Between 1951 and 1969, the ‘Tank’ scored 235 goals in 440 games, including 173 in 291 starts for WBA.  Promoted with Chelsea (1963), he helped Stockport win the Fourth Division (1967), gained 14 England caps (eight goals) and played in the 1958 World Cup.

  • Wing-half Keith Ripley, who made 305 League appearances with Leeds, Norwich, Mansfield, Peterborough and Doncaster, has also passed away, aged 77.


Frank Lampard is now Chelsea’s second highest scorer of all-time with 192 goals, 10 behind Bobby Tambling club record haul of 202.


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