So here we are in the fifth round of the F.A Cup. We have seen great goals, shocks and many upsets. Now, we will see who can book themselves a place in the quarterfinals.
In the following slides, I will predict my top five games of the fifth round fixtures in what looks to be a great weekend of football.
Will Poyet be able to best Dalglish
Liverpool vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
Liverpool overcame Manchester United in what was touted as match of the round. The two bitter rivals locked horns once more at Anfield, and Liverpool took the lead through a Daniel Agger header. The lead was short-lived and a tidy cut back found Park Ji Sung, who promptly found the back of the net with a stinging effort.
The game went back and forth from that moment with both teams having their own chances to win the game, but Dirk Kuyt found the back of the net in the dying moments after a great flick on from Andy Carroll. So Liverpool got the upper hand this time, but it has left Sir Alex Ferguson bubbling under the lid and looking for revenge on the Merseyside team as soon as he can.
Brighton’s fourth-round tie against Newcastle will be remembered by the Seagull’s fans for a very long time as they pulled of a memorable win. This is the second time in consecutive seasons that the Seagulls have reached in the fifth round of the F.A. Cup, and they will fancy their chances as they face up against Premier League giants Liverpool.
It was a Will Buckley shot that deflected off the unfortunate Mike Williamson and found the back of the net to give Brighton their 1-0 win over the Premier League high flyers.
Liverpool 3 – 2 Brighton
Will Blackpool be able to stop Everton?
Everton vs. Blackpool
The other Liverpool-based side found their way into the fifth round after a great performance against fellow Premier League side Fulham.
The blue side of Merseyside would have been delighted to see Everton come from behind after a Danny Murphy penalty gave the West London side the lead. Goals from Stracqualursi and Fellaini were enough to give Everton a 2-1 win.
Neither Blackpool nor Sheffield Wednesday could find the killer blow in a great tie that looked destined for a Sheffield Wednesday win.
It took a converted penalty kick by Kevin Phillips in the 90th minute to grant them a replay. Phillips' last gasp goal caused very effective as a confident Blackpool side went to the replay and claimed a 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.
Everton 1 – 1 Blackpool
Can Leicester upset Norwich?
Norwich City vs. Leicester City
Norwich played out a hard fought victory against fellow Premier league side West Brom at The Hawthorns.
They took the lead through Grant Holt for their lead to be cancelled out by a Marc-Antoine Fortune goal. The game looked destined to go to a replay but up popped Simeon Jackson in the 85th minute to score the winner in a close contest.
Jermaine Beckford was Leicester City’s hero on the day as his brace gave them a 2-0 win over Swindon. They were dominant throughout and really deserved their place in the fifth round of the F.A. Cup.
Norwich 1 – 2 Leicester City
Can Arsenal win without Thierry?
Arsenal vs. Sunderland AFC
Arsenal came from behind to knock out high-flying Aston Villa in a thriller. Booes rang around the stadium as the Gunners came in at halftime with the score 2-0 to Villa, it looked like they were destined for their fourth defeat in a row in all competitions.
The hair dryer treatment from Wenger must have surely worked when—within 10 minutes—they found themselves leading the game 3-2. Two clear cut penalties were both converted by Captain Robin Van Persie and in between the two penalties Walcott’s fantastic run into the box ended up bobbling everywhere before deflecting off himself and into the net.
It was a great game for all spectators (except maybe Villa fans) and Arsenal fans will also be relieved at the returns of Bacary Sagna and Mikel Arteta.
Sunderland and Middlesbrough played out a stalemate at the Stadium of Light and would need to play out a replay to see who will face the Gunners in the fifth round.
It was a thrilling encounter between two even teams and the championship side held their own against Premier League outfit Sunderland. Robson opened the scoring for Middlesbrough, and they looked on the cards for a shock win. The returning Frazier Campbell had other ideas and leveled the two sides once more in the 59th minute.
The replay was a fiercely contested tie that went on into extra time before Sunderland prevailed with a goal from Sessegnon to give the Black Cats a well-deserved 2-1 victory.
Sunderland 0 – 1 Arsenal
Crawley Town fans hopeful of another cup upset
Crawley Town vs. Stoke City
Crawley Town caused the shock of the round as the League Two side overcame their championship rivals in a 1-0 victory.
The Red Devils were fancied the bow out of the cup, but they had other things in mind. This victory will live long in the memory for the fans. Matt Tubbs etched his name in history as his goal separated the two teams in front of a 14,000-plus KC Stadium crowd.
Last season's F.A. cup finalist who were narrowly beaten by current Premier League leaders Manchester City are on a steady path for another Wembley appearance. They played against a rather tame Derby County team, and Stoke found it a very easy path into the fifth round.
Goals from Cameron Jerome and Robert Huth were enough to give the Potters a 2-0 win.
Crawley Town 0 – 1 Stoke