FA Cup shocks: Liverpool, Spurs, Norwich and QPR bite the dust
What a weekend of FA Cup football – although Brendan Rodgers, AVB, Chris Hughton and Harry Redknapp may not be inclined to agree.
Take a bow non league Luton, League One giantkillers MK Dons and Oldham, and Championship side Leeds who all helped revive the magic of the cup.
None more so than Luton and I had the privilege of being at Carrow Road to witness the biggest cup upset of this and many previous years’ competitions.
The Hatters made light of the 85-place gap between the Blue Square club and Premier League Norwich to book their place in the Fifth Round.
And this was no fluke. Luton fully deserved their victory courtesy of Scott Rendell’s dramatic 80th minute strike.
As Norwich boss Chris Hughton conceded ‘Luton came with a game plan and made it very difficult for us’. Their goal was the result of a classic counter-attack and the 4,000 travelling fans went wild.
But, for me, the best moment came after 90-odd minutes of pulsating cup action when thousands of Norwich fans stayed behind to applaud their conquerors as the Luton players took a well-deserved lap of honour. Great gesture.
Whilst watching Norwich being put to the sword those of us in the press box could not believe the events unfolding at Loftus Road where MK Dons stormed into a 4-0 lead.
Okay, so Rangers pulled a couple of goals back – far too little, far too late – but this was a staggering result and such a lame performance by QPR...or ‘disgusting’ as s shell-shocked Harry Redknapp called it.
He gave fringe players the chance to prove they were worthy of playing for the football club and, again quoting the words of their irate boss, they ‘blew it’. Expect drastic changes sooner rather than later at the West London club.
After sensational Saturday came super Sunday with Oldham, Leeds and Brentford, to a slightly lesser extent, putting their names up in lights.
You would have thought Oldham’s victory over Liverpool would have eased the so-called pressure on manager Paul Dickov. Apparently not.
Latics’ chiefs, rather than heaping praise on the boss, were only prepared to say Dickov’s position was safe ‘for the time being’. Let’s hope we don’t have another Nigel Adkins’ situation at Boundary Park.
Meanwhile Leeds United boss Neil Warnock triumphed in his tactical battle with Andre Villas-Boas thanks to two expertly taken goals by Luke Varney and Ross McCormack. Spurs lacked their usual attacking ambition and invention, and paid the price.
Finally, a word for brave Brentford who went oh so close to piling even more pressure on Rafa Benitez. At least a draw means a lucrative replay at the Bridge.
All in all, a breathtaking weekend of FA Cup action. But who takes the honours for the best result, best performance of the weekend? Let us know.
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