FA Cup magic is in the air! What a weekend for the underdogs. Coming into the weekend, we thought the result of the weekend would be Cambridge getting a 0-0 draw at home against United. However, this was just the appetizer to what would be an amazing weekend of upsets and shocking results. Saturday started with Swansea City traveling up to Blackburn Rovers. Rovers came up with a 3-1 victory to start the run of defeats for Premier League teams. The next shocking result was Middlesbrough 2 Manchester City 0. The home team had just arrived from Dubai and struggled to find their form. They fell behind 1-0 in the 53rd minute and then gave up a 93rd minute goal to clinch their exit from the cup. That was not the end of the upsets as Leicester City went to White Hart Lane and beat Spurs 2-1. Crystal Palace won 3-2 at Southampton. Bolton went to Liverpool and Fulham went to Sunderland and both got a replay. All of these were great results for the lower league sides, but none of them would compare to what took place in Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea took an early 2-0 win and the game looked to be over and done with. How many would Chelsea score was the question? Their opposition was Bradford City AFC. They play in the third tier of English football. Bradford seemed to get a tiny life line when they scored in the 41st minute. At halftime the score was 2-1 Chelsea, and it didn’t really look like it would turn into the shock of the century. Then in the 75th minute, Morais scored a massive goal giving Bradford a 2-2 draw. A replay would be an amazing result for Bradford. However, they were not done there. Bradford would go on to score 2 more goals and win 4-2. Only 4 teams have scored 4 goals against a team coached by Mourinho. Coming into 2015, that number was 2 teams (Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund). Tottenham started the year with 5 goals against Chelsea and then Bradford scored 4 on Saturday. Bradford’s starting lineup was worth 7,500 pounds, where as Chelsea’s cost 101 million pounds. This is probably the biggest upset of my lifetime. This was one of the best weekends in terms of giant killing I have ever seen. Currently, there are only 10 teams left in the draw for the 5th round. 4th place Manchester United are the highest ranked team left, but they must still win their replay with Cambridge United to advance. Sunderland, Liverpool, and Stoke all still need to win to qualify for the 5th round. Is the FA Cup magic back?
In Ligue 1, Lyon continued to win as they beat Metz 2-0. They have now won 7 matches in a row in the league. PSG also came away as big winners as they beat St. Etienne, thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal. This sends them level on points with Marseille and 4 points behind Lyon. Bottom club Caen got a massive result on the road to win 4-1 at Rennes. Those 3 points sent them from 20th to 18th and puts them 1 point away from safety.
Juventus is now officially pulling away from Roma. The gap is now 7 points following Juventus’ 2-0 win over Chievo and Roma drawing 1-1 at Fiorentina. If you get a chance, watch Paul Pogba’s goal and his moves. He is quickly becoming one of the best midfielders in the world. Lazio got a big win over Milan to send them into 3rd place. Napoli plays today and can jump back into third place with a victory. Sampdoria drew 1-1 and are level with Lazio on points.
In Spain, Real Madrid needed a late penalty to beat Cordoba 2-1. Ronaldo lost his mind during the game and punched and kicked out at a player. He saw a red for this and may miss the next 3 matches for Real Madrid. Barcelona scored 6 goals against Elche. The second best goal of the weekend was Neymar’s second. It was a magical pass from Messi and then a brilliant volley from Neymar into the top corner. Atletico Madrid also won this past weekend to keep pace with the other two. Valencia came up with a big victory at home beating Sevilla 3-1. This sends them into the top 4 and the last Champions League spot.
Check out @SoccerfAtPond for vines of the Pogba and Neymar goals.
This week we see the second legs of the Copa del Rey and the League Cup Semi-finals. The best match in the Copa del Rey will be Barcelona at Atleti on Wednesday. Barcelona take a 1-0 lead to the Calderon. On Thursday, Sevilla will look to overcome a 3-1 defeat at home against Espanyol. Villarreal take a 1-0 lead to Getafe and it all to play for in Bilbao when Malaga and Athletic Club face off. On Tuesday, Chelsea will host Liverpool with a spot in the final on the line. The two teams drew 1-1 at Anfield. How will Chelsea respond to what happened at the weekend? On Wednesday, Sheffield United will host Tottenham and look to overcome their 1-0 defeat at White Hart Lane.