Wednesday 15 January 2014
Fulham booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup after completing a routine victory over Norwich City, while non-League Kidderminster Harriers earned the right to face Sunderland after a replay win of their own.
After a 1-1 draw in their first meeting at Carrow Road, Fulham eased into the next round with an assured performance against Norwich. The West Londoners almost fell behind when Robert Snodgrass struck the bar early on but they never looked back after Darren Bent finished off Pajtim Kasami's cross with 16 minutes played. Ashkan Dejagah's close-range effort doubled the hosts' lead four minutes before half-time and Steve Sidwell’s header midway through the second half set up a visit to Sheffield United.
The victory was a welcome morale boost for Fulham, whose 4-1 reverse at home to Sunderland at the weekend left them just a point above the relegation zone. The Cottagers face leaders Arsenal on Saturday, while Norwich, who are now without a win in eight matches in all competitions and just a point better off than Rene Meulensteen's charges, must pick themselves up ahead of their home match against Hull City on Saturday, when new loan signing Jonas Gutierrez is expected to make his debut.
Elsewhere, Conference Premier side Kidderminster Harriers pulled off a shock by beating League One outfit Peterborough United 3-2 at London Road. Andy Thorne's side, who had not managed an away victory in seven matches, came back from a goal down to win an open tie courtesy of Joe Lolley's winner and seal a trip to Sunderland in the fourth round of the competition.
Bournemouth will also be playing Premier League opposition in the next round after running out 4-1 winners against Burton Albion of League Two at Goldsands Stadium. Brett Pitman (two), Tommy Elphick and Ryan Fraser were on target for the Cherries to set up a glamour tie at home against Liverpool.
Swansea City will face Championship side Birmingham City again after the Blues saw off Bristol Rovers with a 3-0 triumph achieved with the help of goals by Paul Robinson and a Chris Burke brace. Lee Clark's side have already beaten the Swans this season in the Capital One Cup.
Meanwhile, Wigan Athletic will host Crystal Palace in the fourth round after securing a 3-1 away success against MK Dons. Manchester United's on-loan midfielder Nick Powell scored twice for the FA Cup holders, his second strike coming in the second minute of extra time before former West Bromwich Albion striker Marc-Antoine Fortune sealed the win.
Championship side Watford face an away tie with either Manchester City or Blackburn in the next round thanks to a 2-0 triumph over Bristol City and City manager Manuel Pellegrini is determined that it will be his side who welcome the Hornets to the Etihad Stadium later this month.
The Chilean is setting his sights on a clean sweep of honours, with City lying second in the Barclays Premier League, through to the UEFA Champions League knockout stage for the first time in their history and five goals to the good in the Capital One Cup semi-final.
After a 1-1 draw with Blackburn in the third FA Cup third round, Pellegrini is intent on staying alive in all four competitions. "It's difficult [to win all four] but we'll try," said December's Barclays Manager of the Month. "It's important to have the mentality."
"We know that during the season, with injuries and the amount of games you have to play, it is very difficult," added Pellegrini, whose side are one point behind Arsenal with 17 games remaining. "That's why nobody has done it before. But I think we must have the mentality to try to do it."
City's cause will be helped by the return from injury of Sergio Aguero, who is expected to feature at some point against Rovers after being sidelined by calf injury sustained against Arsenal on 14 December.
Birmingham City 3-0 Bristol Rovers
Bournemouth 4-1 Burton Albion
Charlton Athletic 2-2 Oxford United
Fulham (Bent, Dejagah, Sidwell) 3-0 Norwich
MK Dons 1-3 Wigan Athletic
Peterborough United 2-3 Kidderminster Harriera
Plymouth Argyle 2-3 Port Vale
Preston North End 3-2 Ipswich Town
Sheffield Wednesday 4-1 Macclesfield Town
Wednesday 15 January
Manchester City v Blackburn Rovers
Sunderland v Kidderminster Harriers
Bolton Wanderers v Cardiff City
Southampton v Yeovil
Huddersfield Town v Charlton Athletic or Oxford United
Port Vale v Brighton & Hove Albion
Nottingham Forest v Preston North End
Southend v Hull City
Rochdale v Sheffield Wednesday
Arsenal v Coventry City
Stevenage Borough v Everton
Wigan Athletic v Crystal Palace
Chelsea v Stoke City
Blackburn Rovers or Manchester City v Watford
Bournemouth v Liverpool
Birmingham City v Swansea City
Sheffield United v Fulham
Ties to be played on 25 and 26 January.