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Saturday 26 January 2013

FA Cup: Hunt double ensures Reading progress

Royals overcome Sheffield United while Arsenal, Man City and Everton leave it late

  • Reading's Noel Hunt celebrates his first goal against Sheffield United

  • Javier Hernandez scored twice to help Manchester United defeat Fulham

  • Manchester City's Pablo Zabaleta displayed fine technique to seal victory at Stoke City

  • Theo Walcott scored the winner in Arsenal's hard-fought win over Brighton and Hove Albion

  • Johnny Heitinga's injury-time strike gave Everton victory over Bolton Wanderers

Reading boss Brian McDermott paid tribute to Noel Hunt after his two goals helped the Royals book their place in the FA Cup fifth with a 4-0 victory over Sheffield United.

Hunt opened the scoring with a header on six minutes before Mikele Leigertwood doubled Reading's advantage with a long-range strike just before the break.

Two goals in four second-half minutes sealed the win for Reading, Hunt converting Garath McCleary's cross on 50 minutes before McCleary scored with a left-footed strike soon after.

"We knew it was going to be tough today but I thought we did the job," McDermott told the club's official website.

"First half I was a bit agitated which is unusual for me, I didn't think we quite got to the tempo of the game and pass it quick enough. We were waiting for things to happen so we had a few words at half time and we were much more clinical. Second half we defended well, we didn't look like conceding a goal and scored a couple of nice ones ourselves.

"It was nice to see Noel get a couple of goals - and they were all good goals. Noel works really hard, we know he can score if we get crosses in for him. He was even taking a free kick away from Nicky Shorey late on for his hat-trick!"

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger paid tribute to Brighton and Hove Albion after the Championship side pushed the Gunners all the way in their 3-2 win at the Amex Stadium.

"We did our job but we needed to fight until the end"
Arsene Wenger

Striker Olivier Giroud twice put his side in front, only for the home side to respond through Ashley Barnes and debutant Leonardo Ulloa.

However, Arsenal made sure of their place in the last 16 thanks to a volley from Theo Walcott from the edge of the area.

"Brighton are a good team," said Wenger. "They made it very difficult for us. We had a little bit of a slow start. They were sharper than us in the first half. In the second half, we were much more in the game and created chances.

"Brighton play a game that is a very positive, technical game and they had a great spirit today. In the end, we’ve got that extra bit of quality that got us through. It’s a cup game - you need to go through and that’s what we did. We did our job but we needed to fight until the end."

Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez claimed a brace as his side recorded a 4-1 victory over Fulham at Old Trafford.

Ryan Giggs scored from the penalty spot after only three minutes but United had to wait until the second half before making the tie safe.

Wayne Rooney scored a fine goal five minutes after the break before Hernandez's double put the match beyond reach. Aaron Hughes headed home for Fulham but it was too little too late.

Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City also made it through thanks to Pablo Zabaleta's late winner at Stoke City.

Despite City having the better of the play and chances falling to David Silva and Carlos Tevez, the match looked to be heading for a replay until Zabaleta stepped up to steer home Sergio Aguero's cross with five minutes to go.

City, though, will be without skipper Vincent Kompany for the trip to Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday night as he had to leave the field in the first half with a calf injury.

Everton also needed a late goal to overcome Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium with Johnny Heitinga scoring the decisive goal in injury time.

Steven Pienaar opened the scoring after he deflected in Victor Anichebe's shot before Marvin Sordell equalised on 27 minutes. Heitinga, who came on for Nikica Jelavic with 10 minutes left, sealed the 2-1 win with a drilled shot following a goalmouth scramble.

Wigan Athletic reached the FA Cup fifth round for only the second time in their history as Jordi Gomez's penalty gave them a 1-0 victory over Macclesfield Town.

There was not such good news for Queens Park Rangers, Norwich City and Aston Villa, who all crashed out to lower league opposition.

Jay Bothroyd and Fabio scored late goals but it was not enough for QPR to overcome League One MK Dons, who won the Loftus Road contest 4-2.

Scott Rendell scored with 10 minutes left to give Luton Town a 1-0 victory over Norwich while on Friday night, Aston Villa lost 2-1 to Millwall.

In Sunday's matches, Chelsea travel to Brentford, Leeds United host Tottenham Hotspur while Oldham Athletic play Liverpool.

FA Cup fourth-round results/fixtures

25 January

Millwall 2-1 Aston Villa

26 January

Stoke City 0-1 Manchester City
Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Everton
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-3 Arsenal
Derby County 0-3 Blackburn Rovers
Huddersfield Town 1-1 Leicester City
Hull City 0-1 Barnsley
Macclesfield Town 0-1 Wigan Athletic
Middlesbrough 2-1 Aldershot Town
Norwich City
0-1 Luton Town
Queens Park Rangers 2-4 MK Dons
Reading 4-0 Sheffield United
Manchester United 4-1 Fulham

27 January

12pm Brentford v Chelsea
2pm Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur
4pm Oldham Athletic v Liverpool

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Key Points

  • 14 Barclays Premier League clubs involved in FA Cup fourth-round ties this weekend
  • Reading hit four to defeat Sheffield United; Man Utd, Arsenal and Wigan also through
  • Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool play on Sunday