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    Sunday, January 27, 2013

    MAAJABU MATUPU FA, SPURS NA LIVERPOOL ATOLEWA NA 'VITIMU VYA MCHANGANI'


    The magic of the FA Cup eh? Almost every week we end up with a so called 'Super Sunday', but it doesn't often live up to the billing.
    But on Sunday January 27, with three of the Premier League's top sides in action against opposition from League One and the Championship, we were given a hat-trick of treats.
    And these three games produced results which show that although the likes of the Manchester sides and Arsenal remain in the cup, anything can happen.
    Do you believe? Oldham stunned Liverpool on a day of upsets in the FA Cup
    Do you believe? Oldham stunned Liverpool on a day of upsets in the FA Cup
    Take that: Ross McCormack smashes home Leeds' second goal against Tottenham
    Take that: Ross McCormack smashes home Leeds' second goal against Tottenham

    The 13 that hit the rocks

    LIVERPOOL (Lost 3-2 v Oldham A, 27/01/13)
    TOTTENHAM (Lost 2-1 v Leeds A, 27/01/13)
    NORWICH (Lost 1-0 v Luton H, 26/01/13) 
    STOKE (Lost 1-0 v Man City H, 26/01/13)
    QPR (Lost 4-2 v MK Dons H, 26/01/13)
    FULHAM (Lost 4-1 v Man Utd A, 26/01/13)
    A VILLA (Lost 2-1 v Millwall A, 25/01/13)
    WEST HAM (Lost 1-0 v Man Utd A, 16/01/13)
    SWANSEA (Lost 1-0 v Arsenal A, 16/01/13)
    SUNDERLAND (Lost 2-0 v Bolton H, 15/01/13)
    WEST BROM (Lost 1-0 v QPR H, 15/01/13)
    NEWCASTLE (Lost 2-0 v Brighton A, 05/01/13) 
    SAINTS (Lost 5-1 v Chelsea H, 05/01/13)
    First up on Sunday were Chelsea, travelling to Brentford for the lunchtime kick off.
    The Champions of Europe against a team in what used to be known as the third division. They hadn't played each other competitively since in 1950.
    Physically the clubs are very close, just six miles apart, but in reality there is a chasm between the two sides.
    You couldn't tell that on the pitch though, with the Bees matching the Blues blow for blow over the pitch, deservedly earning a draw and as such a lucrative replay at Stamford Bridge.
    Next in line were Leeds United, hosting Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road.
    Although Neil Warnock's men are in mid-table in the Championship and Andre Villas-Boas' side are fighting for a Champions League spot, that gulf in quality was not apparent on Sunday.
    When Luke Varney ran in on Brad Friedel's goal and coolly fired his shot beyond the veteran stopper and in to the far corner, you couldn't tell which side had lofty European aspirations and which side were hoping to hit the play-offs.
    What you could see was which side wanted it more. Which side believed they were going through.
    And that brings us to Oldham Athletic. Welcoming the mighty Liverpool to Boundary Park. 
    Yes, you might demand quotation marks around 'mighty', with the Reds experiencing a relatively torrid few years in their history.
    Rollercoaster: Marcelo Trotta sets Brentford on their way against Chelsea
    Rollercoaster: Marcelo Trotta sets Brentford on their way against Chelsea
    Spot on: Harry Forrester capped a superb performance against Chelsea by burying a penalty
    Spot on: Harry Forrester capped a superb performance against Chelsea by burying a penalty
    But there is quality in Brendan Rodgers' side. Ask the fans, and they'll tell you Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez is the best player in England.
    And when he scored the equaliser after Matt Smith had sent Latics fans to Wonderland after just two minutes, you feared that the walls might cave in under a Red flood.
    But they did not. Smith struck again and Reece Wabara's superb header gave Oldham a cushion and they dragged themselves over the finish line after Joe Allen's deflected strike crept in.
    On the way: Luton travelled to Carrow Road and silenced the home support
    On the way: Luton travelled to Carrow Road and silenced the home support
    Dispatched: Rendell pounced late on from close range to send Chris Hughton's side tumbling out
    Dispatched: Rendell pounced late on from close range to send Chris Hughton's side tumbling out
    Although bringing top flight sides to small, intimidating stadiums and raucous atmospheres helps, the MK Dons and, brilliantly, Blue Square Bet Premier side Luton Town set off on their travels to give Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City miserable afternoons respectively.
    Milton Keynes raced into a 4-0 lead against the beleaguered Harry Redknapp's hapless QPR, while a late strike from Hatters super sub Scott Rendell silenced Carrow Road. 
    When you look at the fifth round draw, even though there aren't many standout fixtures, you know the likes of Everton won't be looking forward to visiting Boundary Park, having seen their Merseyside rivals booted out there.
    Blackburn can travel to the Emirates with hope, having seen Arsenal given a shaking there by Brighton. 
    Here's where it started: John Marquis struck late against Aston Villa to kick off a thrilling weekend
    Here's where it started: John Marquis struck late against Aston Villa to kick off a thrilling weekend
    Big goal: Danny Shittu, who captained Millwall on Friday, grabbed the equaliser for his side
    Big goal: Danny Shittu, who captained Millwall on Friday, grabbed the equaliser for his side
    Middlesbrough could be welcoming a misfiring Chelsea to the Riverside, if they make it through against Brentford. 
    And Leeds, visiting the home of reigning Premier League champions Manchester City, will believe they can at least earn a draw against Roberto Mancini's side and take them back to Elland Road.
    For too long, we've been deprived of a real string of cup shocks. An FA Cup where no side could feel safe no matter their reputation. 
    But thanks to a weekend kicked off by Millwall's triumph over Aston Villa, and culminating in Oldham holding off the likes of Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling, we might just have that vibrancy and unpredictability back. 
    At the double: Matt Smith converts Oldham's second goal and the players go wild after the game (below)
    At the double: Matt Smith converts Oldham's second goal and the players go wild after the game (below)
    Ecstatic Oldham players celebrate in the dressing room 
    Oldham's Cliff Byrne (centre) celebrates with Matt Smith (left) in the dressing room after the match

    FA CUP FIFTH ROUND

     

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    Item Reviewed: MAAJABU MATUPU FA, SPURS NA LIVERPOOL ATOLEWA NA 'VITIMU VYA MCHANGANI' Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Mahmoud Bin Zubeiry

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