The 4th round of the FA Cup happened and there’s a lot to discuss. Simple as that. So, after this round of fixtures, who are the winners and losers this week?
1) SUTTON UNITED
Sutton welcomed Leeds United to Gander Green Lane as the lowest ranked team left in the competition. Having watched on as numerous shocks occurred on Saturday, more on them later, Sutton walked away with a well-earned, hard-fought, one-nil victory. Despite the complaints at the camera quality, there were no complaints at Sutton going through to the fifth round as they were supported by huge numbers of people hoping for another underdog giant killing. Sutton’s reward for their victory is a visit from Premier League and European giants Arsenal. An overall excellent weekend for the National League club.
2) LINCOLN CITY
After their giant-killing exploits of Round 3, Lincoln welcomed Championship high-flyers, Brighton. Once again, the National League side matched and beat a Championship team, securing a 3-1 victory. Despite being one-nil down at half-time, they turned it around in the second half and secured their position in the 5th round draw, being pulled out of the hat to play Burnley in the next round.
Appearing on this list for the second time after their FA Cup exploits, Millwall beat another Premier League team in the shape of Watford. After going toe-to-toe with Watford for 85 minutes, Steve Morison stepped up and delivered the winner for Millwall. Even though they had another goal disallowed, Millwall defeated The Hornets and secured themselves yet another home tie against either Derby or Leicester.
Despite their torrid week last week, Liverpool fans had to endure another disappointing defeat as they were defeated 2-1 by Championship outfit Wolves. Despite Divock Origi pulling a goal back, Liverpool were outplayed by Wolves who, on the day, were very tactically astute and delivered a great performance and victory. Liverpool, after this result, have failed to win all but one match this year and have been knocked out of both the EFL Cup and FA Cup in one week.
2) ALEKSANDAR MITROVIC
As Newcastle travelled back from Oxford after being humiliated 3-0, one player can be singled out to have been Newcastle’s biggest loser, Aleksandar Mitrovic. The Serbian striker has had limited first-team appearances this season and when given the chance on Saturday, he faced huge criticism from travelling fans for not just missing a penalty when the score was 1-0, a very crucial time, but also for his failure to lead the line like an experienced striker against a League 1 team. Mitrovic wasted his chance to become Newcastle’s main-man and is a huge loser this week.
3) FA CUP TEAM SELECTIONS
Despite the high number of giant-killings and high scoring encounters, the FA Cup has been hampered by the events in Round 4. Teams such as Southampton, Newcastle and Liverpool have all been criticised for fielding severely weakened teams this weekend and thus bringing the FA Cup into disrepute. Certainly these teams being eliminated helps the cup going forward, however, the whole aura of the FA Cup has been damaged by the team selections this weekend. This, unfortunately, seems to be a trend which will continue and although there are numerous teams involved in Round 5 who have made Round 4 special, the team selections of some of the “bigger” teams have left a bad aftertaste in the mouth.