FA Cup fourth round: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Walsall look to catch the eye against Leicester, Liverpool seek revenge at Brighton and intriguing games in Manchester

The Walsall manager, Michael Flynn, was very unhappy about the news that his side’s clash with Leicester would not be aired on a main UK channel. “I think it is a disgrace our game hasn’t been chosen, it is what the FA Cup is all about,” he said. His argument is more than a fair one when Manchester United v Reading will be available on Saturday night. League Two clubs such as Walsall heavily rely on TV money from cup runs to help with finances, more than the likes of United topping up their coffers. It is up to Flynn and his squad to prove TV bosses wrong by pulling off an upset inside a packed Bescot Stadium on Saturday. TV companies need to acknowledge what the FA Cup is about. Will Unwin

Walsall v Leicester, Saturday 12.30pm

Brighton v Liverpool, Sunday 1.30pm

Wrexham v Sheffield United, Sunday 4.30pm

Derby County v West Ham, Monday 7.45pm

Preston v Tottenham, Saturday 6pm

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Arsenal thrive on Guardiola gifts to threaten Manchester City’s hegemony | Jacob Steinberg

Mikel Arteta transformed his team by signing Jesus and Zinchenko and returns to the Etihad on a high in the FA Cup

What would the response have been if Liverpool had tried to sign a couple of Manchester City’s fringe players last summer? The smart money is on City refusing to sell. They surely would have regarded Liverpool as the likeliest threat to their hopes of retaining the Premier League title and seen no value in making it that easy for them to strengthen their squad.

But it was different when Arsenal came calling for Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Liverpool had pushed City to the limit, taking the title race to the final day. Arsenal had relinquished fourth place to Tottenham, finished 24 points below City and for all their youthful promise done little to suggest that they were ready to challenge at the top.

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Guardiola could ‘fight on the touchline’ with Arteta and not lose respect for him

  • Manchester City and Arsenal meet in FA Cup on Friday
  • Guardiola: ‘I have a huge respect as a person, as a manager’

Pep Guardiola believes he could “fight on the touchline” with Mikel Arteta when Manchester City host Arsenal in Friday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie but this would not alter his huge respect for his former assistant.

Arteta worked under Guardiola at City for three years until becoming the Arsenal manager in December 2019. He has drawn criticism this season for how animated he is on the touchline. Guardiola can also be histrionic and was asked whether he might calm his behaviour to avoid a potential flashpoint.

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When second-tier Brighton knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup

Brighton pulled off a huge shock in 1984 – despite the fact their former manager wanted them to ‘get well and truly stuffed’

By Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports Blog

Would lightning strike twice? In February 1983 Brighton had visited Anfield and pulled off the shock of the FA Cup by beating Liverpool 2-1 in the fifth round. A little under a year later the teams were drawn together again in the competition. There were noticeable differences for the sequel. Brighton were now the hosts, but many of the components of their run to the Cup final in 1983 were no longer at the club, including the manager, Jimmy Melia.

Brighton were relegated only a few weeks before they faced Manchester United in the FA Cup final, which they lost in a replay, and the pressure mounted on Melia. Chris Cattlin was drafted in as a coach during the summer – an appointment that Melia opposed – and, five months after he had led Brighton out at Wembley, the manager stepped down.

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Gnonto and Bamford double up as Leeds overwhelm Cardiff in FA Cup

As the thermometer plunged below freezing point, Jesse Marsch wore the look of a man revelling in the restorative warmth of a long-awaited summer sun. West Yorkshire may be in the midst of a bleak, and bitter, mid-winter but on a night when the outrageously gifted Wilfried Gnonto and a reassuringly sharp Patrick Bamford both scored twice, the Leeds United manager hitherto fragile job security suddenly seemed infinitely more robust.

Admittedly it was merely an FA Cup third round replay against second-tier opponents but, in tearing Cardiff apart, Gnonto and Bamford hinted at brighter days ahead for a team who travel to either Accrington Stanley or Boreham Wood in the fourth round.

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Wolves 0-1 Liverpool: FA Cup third round replay – as it happened

Wolves scrapped hard but couldn’t find an answer to Harvey Elliott’s fine early goal, as the holders set up a fourth-round tie at Brighton

5 min: The power cut that affected the floodlights has by all accounts wiped out the screens for the VAR. What a technological debacle this tie has been so far, when you also factor in the VAR chaos that arguably cost Wolves the win at Anfield.

3 min: Traore gets a chance to cross with the lights on this time. His ball is met by Jimenez, who heads harmlessly wide right. A fast start by the hosts.

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Jürgen Klopp insists he is ‘not too loyal’ towards struggling Liverpool players

  • Consecutive defeats leave Reds well outside top four
  • Klopp vows to stay and freshen up his squad in summer

Jürgen Klopp has denied being too loyal to underperforming players and insisted there will be changes at Liverpool this summer.

Liverpool are 10 points adrift of Champions League qualification after back-to-back Premier League defeats at Brighton and Brentford. They visit Wolves in an FA Cup replay on Tuesday, having been fortunate to avoid defeat in the third-round tie at Anfield.

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FA Cup third round: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Newcastle need to invest in squad depth, Bryan Gil is in derby contention and Coventry count cost of ‘embarrassing’ loss

Half a week is a long time in football. On Thursday, for 45 minutes, Chelsea were good enough to make Manchester City look pedestrian. On Sunday, they were so poor that City located their unstoppable mode, which had gone missing since mid-October. Chelsea are now out of both domestic cups, and in the Premier League, after scraping one win from their past eight games, they are closer to the bottom (13 points ahead of Southampton) than the top (19 behind Arsenal). Top four? They’re not even in the top four in London, with Brentford and Fulham lording it over them, never mind Arsenal and Spurs. The new owners may say the days of hire-and-fire are gone, but Graham Potter seems to be all tinkering and no rapport with his squad. If he loses at Craven Cottage on Thursday, will he still be there to face Palace on Sunday? Tim de Lisle

Match report: Manchester City 4-0 Chelsea

Match report: Cardiff 2-2 Leeds

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‘It isn’t good enough’: Graham Potter says Chelsea must do better – video

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter said 'clearly we're suffering as a football club' after a 4-0 loss to Manchester City saw them knocked out of the FA Cup. The Blues boss added that he could 'understand the supporters' frustration' but said 'we can't do anything apart from do our jobs better and work harder.' Chelsea are currently 10th in the Premier League table and are the lowest-scoring team in the top half with just 20 goals in 16 games

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FA Cup a grand old stage for Manchester City’s youth | Jonathan Wilson

Pep Guardiola has slowly eased academy products into the first team squad while Chelsea’s have been thrown in at deep end

To be the leading man in slightly smaller productions, or to be an understudy for the elite? It’s not the most significant consequence of the financial stratification of modern football but what the division of the game into superclubs and the rest has done is make that decision far more urgent for promising young players. Which is why, quite apart from anything else, the domestic cup competitions matter. It’s hardly the romance of old, the epic tales of knockout glory that thrilled previous eras, but the FA Cup offers a stage on which the next generation can test themselves.

But there are supporting casts and supporting casts. Manchester City, in the 15th year of the Abu Dhabi project, boosted not merely by the extent of the resources that have been invested but the intelligence with which that money has been spent, can look to their bench and call upon a World Cup winner who has started only three league games this season.

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Cardiff 2-2 Leeds: FA Cup third round – as it happened

Teenage substitute Sonny Perkins equalised for Leeds in stoppage time to complete the comeback and force a replay

9 min It’s raining hard, and that has something to do with the first yellow card of the afternoon. Tom Sang of Cardiff dives in for a water-sliding tackle on Summerville and wins the ball but gets a lot of the man too. Summerville stays down for a while, then walks gingerly off.

8 min Leeds are back on top, with Crysencio Summerville looking sharp. Apologies in advance for all the typos I will inflict on him today.

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FA Cup roundup: Semenyo rescues Bristol City, Derby ease past Barnsley

  • Swansea denied in draw at Ashton Gate
  • Derby continue fine form with comfortable win over Barnsley

Antoine Semenyo headed a second-half equaliser as Bristol City fought back to earn an FA Cup third-round replay with Swansea after a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate.

The visitors were gifted a 15th-minute lead when Rob Atkinson’s misplaced pass inside his own box was intercepted by Liam Cullen, who squared for Joël Piroe to shoot into an unguarded net.

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