City, Arsenal Earn Revenge and 5 Other Things We Learned from FA Cup 5th Round
The field in the FA Cup dwindled a bit more this weekend as six teams clinched their spots in the quarterfinal round.
Two more spots in the final eight will be awarded when Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic make up their postponed Saturday match, and on Monday when Brighton and Hove Albion host Hull City.
In the six matches played across England and Wales on Saturday and Sunday, two top-flight sides avenged recent losses, while some lower-league sides kept the cup dream alive.
Here are the six things we learned from fifth-round play in the FA Cup.
Revenge Is a Dish Best Served in a Cup Tie
Less than two weeks ago, Chelsea went into the Etihad Stadium and defeated Manchester City. Meanwhile, just eight days prior, Liverpool thrashed Arsenal at Anfield.
Both winning sides from the two recent league matches were handed a bit of revenge this weekend, as City and Arsenal advanced to the final eight.
City, who were held scoreless back on February 3 by Chelsea, defeated the Blues, 2-0. The Gunners gave up just one goal instead of five on their way to the quarterfinal round, where a clash with Everton awaits them.
With both City and Arsenal winning over their respective title rivals, it gives both sides a nice momentum boost headed into the rest of the season, although their fixture lists just got a bit more crowded.
Ben Watson Has Quite the Flair for the Dramatic
Wigan's Ben Watson became the hero of the 2013 FA Cup Final when he scored the match-winning goal at Wembley for the Latics.
This year, Watson is at it again, as he scored the final goal in Wigan's 2-1 road victory over Cardiff City on Saturday to keep the holders alive for one more round.
The goal was the third in the last four FA Cup games for Watson, who could easily become a cup hero once again if Wigan continue their run further into the competition.
Lower-League Sides Have Plenty of Hope to Reach Wembley
Wigan are not the only lower-league side left in the competition, as League One side Sheffield United and at least one more Championship club will enter the final eight.
Sheffield United defeated Nottingham Forest at home, 3-1, on Sunday and will face the winner of the match between Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic, both of whom reside in the Championship.
Brighton and Hove Albion also have a chance to make the final eight if they take down Hull City on Monday at home.
If Brighton pulls out a victory, there will be as many lower-league sides as top-flight teams in the final eight, which is a storyline that will give us plenty to talk about.
Howard Webb Is Not a Popular Guy in London or Liverpool
Howard Webb, who is considered by some as England's best referee, was in charge of the Arsenal-Liverpool clash on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium, but he did not gain any fans when he blew the final whistle.
Webb was criticized for not calling a penalty in favor of Liverpool late in the second half as the visitors searched for an equalizer. He may not have made the call because of Luis Suarez's reputation.
Webb could have also easily sent off Steven Gerrard for a second yellow for a risky tackle in his own end, but he decided against doing that as well.
Overall, it was not a good day for Webb, but that will not stop the FA from putting him on another big match as soon as possible.
Mourinho's Mind Games Came at the Wrong Time
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho made the headlines this week for his comments about Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger being a "specialist in failure."
While Mourinho was talking about the English Premier League title race, it didn't help that his team was knocked out of the FA Cup on Saturday and Wenger's men progressed to the final eight a day later.
After analyzing both teams this weekend, it is clear that Chelsea were the specialist in failure. They lacked an attacking impetus against Manchester City, and the Gunners played an exciting match with Liverpool.
Whether or not this comment will come back to haunt Mourinho again remains to be seen.
Everton Continue to Fly Under the Radar
With two massive clashes between top-flight teams this weekend, no one cared to mention what Everton were up to in the FA Cup.
Roberto Martinez, who led Wigan to the FA Cup last season, guided his Everton side to a 3-1 victory over Swansea City in the other all-EPL showdown this weekend at Goodison Park.
With all of the attention being directed toward the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal for their victories this weekend, it is worth remembering that the Toffees have a decent chance of winning the competition as well.
However, the Toffees will be under the radar no more when the quarterfinal round begins, because they have to travel to the Emirates Stadium for what should be the marquee clash of the final eight.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
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