FA Cup action continued this weekend with some big teams and some big results as Premiership powerhouses Manchester City, Chelsea, and Arsenal all took to the pitch for the chance to further their chances at England’s oldest trophy.
Manchester City restored spirits with a 4-0 win over Leeds United after a rough go in recent weeks in the Premier League. Sergio Aguero scored twice, while Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez added the other two in a much-needed 5th round win for the Sky Blues. Unfortunately, captain and central defender Vincent Kompany missed yet another match for City, which didn’t hurt them this time, but could prove vital for the rest of the tournament and for the season. Kompany has been out for weeks, coincidentally, during the team’s rough patch of play. If City want any chance of continued success in the FA Cup, not to mention in the Premier League, Kompany needs to be on the pitch.
Over in London, Chelsea had similar success as they took down Brentford with a 4-0 score including goals from Juan Mata, Oscar, Frank Lampard, and John Terry. After a 2-2 draw against Brentford in their first meeting, Chelsea put to bed any thoughts of an FA Cup shocker with a 4th round replay beat down at Stamford Bridge. They escaped the match with no injuries and John Terry’s goal marked what could be a key return for The Blues for the remainder of the season.
With the wins, City and Chelsea will move on with serious momentum. However, while two EPL stalwarts moved on this weekend, one other saw a very different and surprising result.
Arsenal headed into their 5th round match against Blackburn Rovers as heavy favorites as the home team and on paper, the better team. Unfortunately, with an all-important Champions League match against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, manager Arsene Wenger was forced to sit a few key players in anticipation. Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, and Santi Cazorla all started on the bench for Arsenal, and their absence hurt the team. Kieran Gibbs remained sidelined with a thigh strain.
While Arsenal held a shot advantage of 26-5 over Blackburn, at the end of 90 minutes, the only statistic that mattered was in the favor of Blackburn with a 1-0 advantage in the goal column.
The loss for Arsenal was a disappointing one for the fans, but a win on Tuesday could change that in an instant.
With big names playing this weekend in the FA Cup, the possibility of injuries is always on the mind because of the effects they could have on the Premier League race itself. Fortunately, there were no major injuries sustained in FA Cup play.
Let’s take a look at some of the other injury situations from around the EPL:
Paul Scholes/Knee Injury/March 2nd
Darren Fletcher/Chronic Bowel Syndrome/Unknown
Kieran Gibbs/Thigh Strain/Unknown
Micah Richards/Knee/March 4th
T. Huddlestone/Knee/February 21st
Jermaine Defoe/Ankle/March 3rd
S. Ranieri/ACL/October 13th
Younes Kaboul/Knee/February 25th
Yoan Gouffran/Calf/February 24th
Danny Simpson/Broken Toe
Hatem Ben Arfa/Hamstring/February 24th
H. Vuckic/ACL/May 13th
Ryan Taylor/ACL/March 29th