The FA Cup on Saturday was not a happy day for the billionaires from Manchester City and Chelsea. First, former European Champions Nottingham Forest spanked the moneybags from the blue side of Manchester 3-0. Before the game City paraded their new signing Wayne Bridge.
City are out of the cup and two points above the drop-zone, which is not what the Abu Dhabi United Group expected when they bought the club in August. You have to wonder how much longer they will give Mark Hughes to turn City’s fortunes around?
Down at Stamford Bridge, it was another disappointing performance from Chelski as they were held to a 1-1 draw by League One side Southend. Salomon Kalou put Chelsea in front, but Peter Clarke’s goal in stoppage time means a replay at Southend and a financial windfall for the league one side.
After a promising start to the season, Chelsea have really been struggling and now have only one win in their last five games, and three in their last ten games. Teams have figured out Chelsea’s preferred style of attack under Scolari (both fullbacks playing as wingers) and Scolari has been unable to adjust. With matches against Manchester United and Liverpool away in the next three weeks, this is a big month for Scolari and Chelsea.
Other notables results included Hartlepool beating Premier League Stoke 2-0 at Victoria Park and Blue Square Premier side Torquay knocking Championship outfit Blackpool out of the cup with a 1-0 win Robbie Keane wasted a bunch of chances as Liverpool beat Preston 2-0 and Arsenal failed to impress as they beat Plymouth 3-1 win at the Emirates.
In all Premier League matches Sunderland beat Bolton 2-1 while Newcastle and Hull played to a goalless draw. 1987 FA Cup winners Coventry City brushed aside Blue Square Premier side Kidderminster 2-0 at the Ricoh Arena with goals from Leon McKenzie and Leon Best.
A number of matches fell victim to the weather. Sheffield United’s game with Leyton Orient, Cheltenham’s match against Doncaster, the midlands derby between Birmingham and Wolves and Swansea’s trip to Histon were all called off.
FA Cup 3rd Round Matches
Tuesday January 13
Birmingham v Wolves
Cheltenham v Doncaster
Histon v Swansea
Leyton Orient v Sheffield United
Third Round Replays
Tuesday January 13
Bristol City v Portsmouth
Norwich v Charlton
Peterborough v West Brom
Crewe v Millwall
Burnley v QPR
Crystal Palace v Leicester
Wednesday Jan 14
Newcastle v Hull
Southend v Chelsea