What would we do without the FA Cup? For one, these articles would be much more difficult to write and I’d have to think about who goes into them a lot more. Luckily, the magic of the FA Cup struck again, meaning, some of the winners and losers of this week write themselves.
1) LINCOLN CITY
Lincoln City became the first non-league side in over 100 years to reach the FA Cup Quarter-Finals after a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Turf Moor. Burnley have made Turf Moor a fortress recently, and just one week ago held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw. Therefore, Lincoln had an almighty task facing them, however, they matched Burnley and when their chance occurred, they took it. Sean Raggett diverted a header across goal into the Burnley net and sent the whole of Lincoln, as well as the whole country, into raptures. Lincoln were then drawn against Arsenal in the 6th Round and will enjoy a well-earned trip to The Emirates.
Rather surprisingly, Millwall made it a hat-trick of appearances on these lists as they made it a hat-trick of FA Cup victories against Premier League opposition, this time Premier League champions Leicester City. Despite playing all but seven minutes of the second-half with 10 men, Millwall overcame their opponents with a late Shaun Cummings goal. Millwall have beaten Bournemouth, Watford, and Leicester this season and face a daunting trip to White Hart Lane in the next round.
3) ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC
Four goals in two games this week has cemented the Swede’s position as the third winner this week. A hat-trick in the Europa League against familiar foes for Zlatan, Saint Etienne, was followed up with a winning goal in the FA Cup against Blackburn Rovers on Sunday. Ibrahimovic has now scored 24 goals in 36 games for Manchester United and has continued his legacy into the Premier League.
1) Birmingham City
After the surprise sacking of Gary Rowett, Gianfranco Zola was the man the Birmingham board turned to in an attempt to get the club into the promotion picture. However, 9 defeats in 14 games for Zola has meant Birmingham are beginning to look over their shoulder at the relegation places, rather than the play-off places. This weekend saw Birmingham defeated 4-1 at home to Queens Park Rangers, the heaviest defeat under Zola for Birmingham. This defeat sees Birmingham in 14th position and sporting the second worst goal-difference in the Championship, only ahead of bottom-side Rotherham.
2) ROTHERHAM UNITED
Talking about The Millers, they suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat at the hands of once relegation rivals Cardiff City on Saturday. Rotherham have been rooted to the foot of the table for the majority of the season and find themselves fifteen points behind Bristol City in 21st who themselves have 2 games in hand over Rotherham. Paul Warne has a very tough job in turning Rotherham’s fortunes around and this week’s defeat is a very bitter pill to swallow for the Rotherham faithful.
3) HENRI LANSBURY
How could I not include him? Ever since the 2nd December in Nottingham, the Geordies have waited for Mr Lansbury to make his eagerly anticipated appearance against Newcastle, and they were not disappointed. After his “antics” in the previous aforementioned match, Lansbury was welcomed with a chorus of boos that only let up in the 59th minute when the “pantomime villain” scored an own goal that was celebrated around the whole of St James Park. Aston Villa now find themselves in a relegation battle and despite there being no shame in getting beat by Newcastle this season, Henri Lansbury has certainly had a very bad week.