Saturday 25 January 2014
Manchester City narrowly avoided an upset against lower-league opposition as they battled back from a two-goal deficit to earn a 4-2 victory over Watford with the help of a Sergio Aguero hat-trick, as eight Barclays Premier League clubs joined Arsenal in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Despite having won all of their home matches in the Barclays Premier League this season the form book appeared to have been discarded during the first half as the visitors from the Championship scored twice inside the opening half-hour through Fernando Forestieri and Troy Deeney.
However, Aguero gave Manchester City hope when he pulled a goal back on 59 minutes, and the Argentina international levelled the match 20 minutes later. With just four minutes to go Jonathan Bond was unable to keep out a low drive from Aleksandar Kolarov and last year's finalists' comeback was complete when Aguero completed his treble in the last minute.
Swansea City also came from behind as they exacted revenge for their League Cup defeat by Birmingham City earlier this season with a 2-1 triumph at St Andrew's. The Blues were in front when Lee Novak headed in Paul Caddis' cross on the quarter-hour mark but two goals in as many second-half minutes from the striker whose winner knocked out Manchester United in the last round, Wilfried Bony, booked the Swans place in the next round.
It was a smoother ride for Southampton who overcame Yeovil Town 2-0 at St Mary's as Guly Do Prado scored his first goal for the Saints in 44 matches with a penalty midway through the first half. Academy graduate Sam Gallagher, 18, made sure of the victory when he scored from a tight angle 20 minutes from time after a fine solo run.
Earlier in the day Liverpool also eased into the fifth round at the expense of Bournemouth thanks to a goal in either half from Victor Moses and Daniel Sturridge. Moses found the net in the 26th minute with a low strike from the edge of the area before Sturridge beat the advancing Lee Camp when played in by Luis Suarez on the hour mark.
Hull City won by the same scoreline at Roots Hall as Steve Bruce's charges overcame Southend United thanks to a second-half double from Matty Fryatt. Elsewhere, Cardiff City and Sunderland managed single-goal wins over Bolton Wanderers and Kidderminster Harriers respectively, thanks to winners by Fraizer Campbell, for the Welsh side, and Charalampos Mavrias for the Black Cats.
In the late kick-off Everton overcame League One side Stevenage Borough 4-0 with the help of a first-half-double by Steven Naismith. Johnny Heitinga scored with a header shortly after the interval before Magaye Gueye rounded off the scoring with six minutes left. However, the victory was marred by an injury to Bryan Oviedo that required the Costa Rica international to be carried off the field on a stretcher and taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg.
A similar incident happened at the DW Stadium where Crystal Palace became the only Premier League side to fall in the fourth round on Saturday, losing 2-1 to Wigan Athletic. The stretcher bearers were called upon take Palace's Jonathan Parr away for treatment following a collision with Callum McManaman in the first half. Aaron Wilbraham did manage to cancel out Ben Watson's opening goal on 69 minutes, but the holders struck again thanks to James McClean's left-footed strike.
On Sunday Fulham go to third-tier Sheffield United in the early encounter, while the only all Premier-League affair pits Chelsea against Stoke City at Stamford Bridge at 3.30pm.
The draw for the fifth round of the FA Cup will take place at 5.30pm on Sunday.
Friday 24 January
Arsenal (Podolski 2, Giroud, Cazorla) 4-0 Coventry City
Nottingham Forest 0-0 Preston North End
Saturday 25 January
Bournemouth 0-2 (Moses, Sturridge) Liverpool
Birmingham City 1-2 Swansea City (Bony 2)
Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Cardiff City (Wilbraham)
Huddersfield Town 0-1 Charlton Athletic
Manchester City (Aguero 3, Kolarov) 4-2 Watford
Port Vale 1-3 Brighton & Hove Albion
Rochdale 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday
Southampton (Do Prado, Gallagher) 2-0 Yeovil
Southend 0-2 Hull City (Fryatt 2)
Sunderland (Mavrias) 1-0 Kidderminster Harriers
Wigan Athletic 2-1 Crystal Palace (Wilbraham)
Stevenage Borough 0-4 Everton (Naismith 2, Heitinga, Gueye)
Sunday 26 January
1pm Sheffield United v Fulham
3.30pm Chelsea v Stoke City