FA Cup Review: Newport lead the cupsets as Fabregas says goodbye
Newport County, Oldham Athletic, Gillingham and Barnet all upset the odds as FA Cup third round weekend produced its usual share of thrills, spills and drama.
A £1 four-fold on the lower league quartet would’ve paid over £3,000, as three days of high drama saw five Premier League clubs go packing.
We’ve rounded it all up, along with news of one high profile player departure.
Minnows topple the big boys
There’s only one place to start – the upsets. Newport, Oldham, Gillingham and Barnet all booked their place in round four after taking advantage of weakened opponents.
The unfancied foursome all faced under-strength opposition in their respective matches. But they were all still made to work for their wins.
The Latics came from behind against Fulham, County hit back late at home to Leicester City, while Barnet and Gillingham squeaked through with tight 1-0 victories.
City and Spurs in seventh heaven
Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur will see the FA Cup Final in May as an afterthought at this stage of the season.
Both clubs are still fighting on all four fronts, with City favourites for the Champions League and second-favourites for the Premier League.
Yet there’s a serious possibility that both Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino will miss out on the season’s most desirable trophies. So their FA Cup odds could be worth a look.
The two clubs showed this weekend that they have the squads to swat aside the also-rans of the competition. Tranmere Rovers and Rotherham United were both put to the sword 7-0.
Fabregas says goodbye
This weekend was all about the cupsets. But it was also a final chance to say goodbye to a Premier League legend, as Cesc Fabregas made his last Chelsea appearance.
The Spanish maestro missed a penalty before being substituted to a standing ovation against Nottingham Forest with five minutes of the match remaining.
It was his 500th match in English football, and 16 years after his first as a 16-year-old substitute for Arsenal against Rotherham United in the League Cup.
A star-studded career on these shores has produced two Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a League Cup. And he’s the only person to have allegedly hurled a pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson.
Monaco is the next destination for the 31-year-old, and a reunion with old teammate Thierry Henry.
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