6 Biggest Stars of FA Cup 3rd-Round Weekend

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 6, 2013

6 Biggest Stars of FA Cup 3rd-Round Weekend

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    The FA Cup third round is drawing to a close, and after 20 games, we've seen some customary "cupsets."

    Rather than do a Team of the Week (due to the severe amount of matches played), we bring you the six biggest stars of the weekend.

    Who joins two-goal Demba Ba and James Collins on the list? Read on and enjoy the slideshow!

Matthew Barnes-Homer

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    What a day for Macclesfield, who reached the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in their 143-year history.

    Matthew Barnes-Homer was the man to make the difference in a genuine "cupset," as the Silkmen squeezed past Cardiff City, 2-1, at Moss Rose.

    Two goals in three minutes for the forward, including one from the penalty spot, saw his name take centre-stage.

Robbie Simpson

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    Alex McLeish has picked up with Nottingham Forest exactly where he left off at Aston Villa—struggling to win games.

    Robbie Simpson was his tormentor this weekend, as the League One side took down their opponents on away turf.

    The Latics scored three goals on a relatively easy day's work, and Billy Sharp's 90th-minute consolation strike made the scoreline look closer than the game really was.

James Collins

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    West Ham were right up for this competition and took Manchester United all the way.

    Two goals from centre-back James Collins saw them earn a third-round replay, as Collins stayed up after two corners to head home.

    Both goals were wonderful and helped the Hammers dig themselves out of a one-goal deficit courtesy of Tom Cleverley. Questions need to be asked about the Red Devils' consistent failures to clear their lines effectively.

Alex Lawless

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    The final nail in Stale Solbakken's coffin was a humiliating loss to non-league Luton Town.

    Wolves have been in poor form for several months, and a trip to Kenilworth Road must have had the alarm bells ringing ever since the draw was made.

    On a tight pitch in a gritty game, it was Alex Lawless's superb volley from 18 yards that brought smiles to the faces of Hatters' supporters.

Joe Cole

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    What a homecoming for Joe Cole.

    The former Liverpool winger, exiled from the Anfield club on a free transfer, made his second debut at Upton Park and provided two sweet assists for James Collins.

    Both crosses were exactly the same, as Manchester United made the mistake of giving the playmaker time and space to shift the ball to his right foot and swing the ball in for some pretty big targets.

    Cole has been a shadow of a player for far too long now; let's hope Sam Allardyce gives him the love he needs.

Demba Ba

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    A debut for such a big club can never be easy, so Demba Ba's cool, collected game at St. Mary's Stadium was the sign of a confident striker.

    His first goal was a bit of a steal, but his touch was necessary to ensure his side drew level at a critical point in the game. His second was a lovely finish, and throughout, he appeared to be getting into positions Fernando Torres really should have been in.

    His post-match interview was full of humility, with the Senegalese hit man ensuring us that he knows Torres is the main man, but he's here to help in any way possible.