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FA Cup Player Power Rankings: Fabianski, Jovetic and Porter Star in 5th Round

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2014

FA Cup Player Power Rankings: Fabianski, Jovetic and Porter Star in 5th Round

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    Premier League action took a break in England this week as 16 hopeful teams looked to set out on the road to silverware in the FA Cup instead.

    One game was called off due to adverse weather, but the likes of Manchester City, Everton, Arsenal and Sunderland all reached the last eight after victories over the weekend.

    Here we've got the top performers from the fifth round for you.

Honourable Mentions

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Joleon Lescott returned to Manchester City's team and put in a good performance against Chelsea to deny them any kind of scoring opportunities.

    Ali Al-Habsi and his defence at Wigan survived a late onslaught from Premier League side Cardiff City to ensure the holders progressed to the last eight.

    Fabio Borini was one of Sunderland's several good performers as they beat Southampton 1-0.

    Luis Suarez went close several times for Liverpool and generally gave Arsenal a tough game as his side went down 2-1.

8. James Milner, Manchester City

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    James Milner often finds himself playing a substitute's role for Manchester City, but he was started for the FA Cup game against Chelsea and performed admirably.

    Operating initially down the right and later on the left flank in midfield, Milner combined his usual work-rate and tenacity with good technique and passing range to help open up the opposition.

    Chelsea were rarely allowed to venture forward in numbers, and Milner was a big part of City's plans.

7. Seamus Coleman, Everton

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    Paul Thomas/Getty Images

    Fans praising Leighton Baines as the best attacking full-back in the Premier League are behind the times; he's not even the best full-back at Everton these days.

    Seamus Coleman has enjoyed a remarkable season and continued that with another fine performance in the cup against Swansea City, raiding forward down the right flank and providing chances for his attacking team-mates.

6. Raheem Sterling, Liverpool

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Raheem Sterling has been one of the top performers for Liverpool in recent months and was arguably their best player in the 2-1 defeat at Arsenal.

    Sterling caused the defence no end of problems from his left-forward role, beating defenders for fun and almost creating two great scoring chances with his dribbling.

    Later he moved to right-back and showed his aggression, tenacity and teamwork while still being a threat from deep.

5. Stevan Jovetic, Manchester City

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Stevan Jovetic continued his rehabilitation with another start and a 60-minute performance worthy of applause.

    His off-the-ball running and link-up play was a constant feature of the first hour, while he also netted the all-important opening goal of the game with a fine turn of pace and early finish beyond Petr Cech.

    The best compliment to pay him is his all-round forward play did not see City miss Sergio Aguero.

4. Chris Porter, Sheffield United

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    It's not often that a substitute who comes on in the 87th minute will feature quite so highly in these rankings, but Chris Porter came on, scored twice, won the game and set up a potential quarterfinal derby clash for his team Sheffield United.

    Porter entered the fray at 1-1 late on, stepped up to take a last-minute penalty, which he tucked away, then immediately scored again in stoppage time from close range to seal United's progression.

    Sheffield United will play Sheffield Wednesday in the quarters if the latter can beat Charlton Athletic in their rearranged game.

3. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Arsenal had missed a pacey presence in their front line over the past couple of games, something which was remedied by the inclusion of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against Liverpool.

    The speedy midfielder played mainly from the right and was able to make penetrating runs deep into the opposition half behind the Reds defence, runs which were ultimately the difference between victory and defeat as he scored one and set up another for his team.

    His dribbling and direct play were really the only ways Arsenal threatened on the day, proving his huge worth to the team, especially in the absence of Theo Walcott.

2. Lukasz Fabianski, Arsenal

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Lukasz Fabianski was handed a rare start for the Gunners against Liverpool and showed he was the right man for the job with a stellar performance.

    He made several routine saves, catches and aerial claims, but also two very good saves, one with his feet right at the start of the second half. His distribution was good, and his all-round calmness and communication helped Arsenal's back line.

1. Steven Naismith, Everton

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    Paul Thomas/Getty Images

    Steven Naismith started the game on the bench for Everton, but his introduction changed the entire match for his team.

    They had previously been ambling along, drawing 1-1 with Swansea City, but the forward immediately began harassing and pressing far more than the man he replaced, Lacina Traore. Naismith got his rewards a few minutes later when he scored from a shoddy backpass in the Swansea defence.

    His runs and diligence continued to cause problems, and Naismith won a penalty later on for Everton to score and seal the win—an excellent all-round impact performance from the forward.

     

    Follow @karlmatchett 

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