FA Cup review

Oldham oust Reds, Leeds eliminate Spurs

January 27, 2013
By ESPN staff

On another day of FA Cup upsets, Oldham Athletic claimed a giantkilling by beating Liverpool, while Leeds had a taste of former glories as they knocked out Tottenham and Brentford earned a replay at Chelsea.

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Brendan Rodgers' hopes of domestic cup success in his first season at Liverpool came to an end as the Reds were beaten 3-2 by League One side Oldham in front of a packed crowd at Boundary Park.

A shock was on the cards as early as three minutes into the match, after Matt Smith got the run on Sebastian Coates to power a header past Brad Jones. Luis Suarez equalised 15 minutes late following a fine run and shot - but before half-time Oldham had retaken the lead, Smith again on hand to tap home after Jones had made a horrendous mistake in spilling a straightforward low cross.

Just three minutes after the break it was 3-1, as on-loan Manchester City youngster Reece Wabara rose highest in the box to plant a strong header into the net.

Reds midfielder Joe Allen then reduced the deficit to one with ten minutes remaining but, despite dominating possession and rampaging forward in the six minutes of additional time, the Premier League visitors were unable to get out of jail and force a replay – as Paul Dickov's men were left to celebrate a miraculous victory.

Leeds United added to a weekend of FA Cup upsets by beating Tottenham 2-1 to follow in the footsteps of Luton, Millwall and MK Dons in eliminating Premier League opposition in the fourth round.

Neil Warnock's side looked on for a shock from the 15th-minute when Luke Varney scored a goal from nothing. It had been all Spurs for the first quarter of an hour but a punt forward granted the 30-year-old space to take the ball on and knock it past Brad Friedel.

The hosts continued brightly in the second half and on 50 minutes El-Hadji Diouf released Ross McCormack with a chip over Spurs' high defensive line. The forward's pace was not enough to allow him a clear shot on goal so he turned inside and unleashed a bending shot around Friedel.

Clint Dempsey got one back for Spurs eight minutes later with a brave header into the far corner, but it was the Championship side who looked most likely of getting the next goal and a gilt-edged opportunity fell to McCormack, who was denied by Brad Friedel. In the 89th-minute young Spurs striker Jonathan Obika had a chance from close range to earn a draw but Lee Peltier covered across brilliantly to block the shot and drag his side safely into the next round.

FA Cup holders Chelsea managed to avoid the same fate as Spurs, but only just after twice fighting back from a goal down to draw 2-2 at Brentford and force a replay back at Stamford Bridge.

Oscar and Fernando Torres scored two excellent goals for Chelsea in reply to Marcello Trotta's opener and Harry Forrester's penalty.

The League One side outplayed the European champions in the first half with Trotta's effort coming just as it drew to a close. His volleyed goal stemmed from a parried save by Blues goalkeeper Ross Turnbull off a Forrester strike.

Wonderful penalty-box trickery from Oscar and a flick with the outside of his right boot levelled things up, only for a penalty to be awarded to Brentford when Tom Adeyemi went down as Turnbull advanced.

Forrester made no mistake from the spot, putting the Bees on course for a giant-killing, but Torres came to the rescue for the Premier League team with seven minutes. His reaction shot from the edge of the area curled into the top-right corner and saved his side's blushes.

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