The magic of the FA Cup is still alive as Sunday gave us more shocks and upsets as both Spurs and Liverpool were knocked out by lower division teams while Chelsea barely got a replay against Brentford.
In a weekend that saw five Premier League clubs knocked out the cup by lower league sides, the biggest shock occurred today when Oldham beat seven time cup winners Liverpool 3-2 at Boundary Park.
Oldham striker Matt Smith He scored either side of Luis Suarez’s 21st of the season in the first half before Reece Wabara’s header put the Latics into the last 16 despite Joe Allen’s goal 11 minutes from time. It was the first time Liverpool had been beaten away from home in the FA Cup by a team at least two divisions below them since defeat at non-league Worcester City in 1959.
Leeds United claimed another Premier League scalp as they beat toothless Tottenham 2-1 at Elland Road. Leeds knocked out three Premier League sides in the Capital One Cup this season and they picked up another big win today.
With Jermain Defoe reportedly injured and Emmanuel Adebayor on international duty, manager Andre Villas-Boas went into the Elland Road clash without a recognized striker and it showed as Spurs, Clint Dempsey’s consolation strike aside, repeatedly failed in front of goal.
AVB has repeatedly said that Spur will not add another striker in the January transfer window, but that might well have changed after today’s performance.
Leeds went ahead in the 15th-minute lead when Luke Varney scampered down the inside-left channel before calmly beating goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
Ross McCormack made it 2-0 five minutes into the second half with a sweet left-foot shot following a lobbed pass from El-Hadji Diouf, before Spurs replied through a Clint Dempsey header in the 58th minute.
McCormack had a chance to seal it in the 72nd minute, only for Friedel to save, but the Elland Road side withstood Spurs’ attempts to find an equaliser to take their place in round five.
In the early game today, Chelsea needed an 83rd-minute equaliser from Fernando Torres to rescue a 2-2 draw at third-tier Brentford as they narrowly avoided a humiliating exit.
A penalty from Brentford starlet Harry Forrester looked destined to send the European champions out of the competition, only for Torres to curl home a fine goal to deny his side’s west London neighbours a memorable upset.