Top three EPL clubs out of FA Cup
The top three Premier League clubs, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Southampton were all disgraced on January 24th as all three of them were knocked out of the FA Cup at home in the fourth round. In addition, fourth-place Manchester United as held to a draw. Fifth-place Arsenal and seventh-place West Ham managed to barely beat lower-ranked teams while eighth-place Liverpool also drew and sixth-place Spurs and ninth-place Swansea were also knocked out.
Chelsea blew a 2-0 lead at Stamford Bridge and was beaten 4-2 by League One’s Bradford City while Man City was humbled 2-0 by Championship League side Middlesbrough at the Etihad. Southampton dropped a 3-2 home defeat at St. Mary’s to 13th-place Premier League side Crystal Palace and Tottenham was beaten at home by Premier League cellar dwellers Leicester City 2-1. Liverpool hung on for a 0-0 home draw against Championship League side Bolton 0-0 at Anfield while Swansea was beaten away by Championship side Blackburn 3-1. West Ham managed a 1-0 away win against Bristol City of League One and Arsenal edged past Championship League side Brighton 3-2 in an away fixture.
The weekend started with fourth-place Man United playing to a 0-0 draw at the Abbey Stadium against Cambridge United, a League Two club which is 76 positions behind them in the standings and is the lowest-ranked team still in the Cup competition. Bettors who backed the underdogs had a field day and fans must be wondering if the Premier League really is filled with prima donna players and managers who are extremely overrated as well as overpaid.
It was the first time in FA Cup history that the top three teams were knocked out at once. Chelsea allowed a third-tier side to score four goals against them for the first time in 57 years in their loss to Bradford. Manager Jose Mourinho rightfully told the press he was ashamed and ’embarrassed by the defeat and said his players should be too. The Chelsea boss stated, “It’s a disgrace for a big team to lose to a small team from a lower league. Me and the players must feel ashamed.” Bradford manager Phil Parkinson remarked, “The lads are absolutely bouncing in that dressing room and what they’ve done today will be remembered for a very long time – not just in Bradford but all around the country.”