This weekend’s FA Cup fourth round games are not going against the grain after the majority of Premier League teams made it through on Saturday with only Fulham being taken to a replay. The only topflight side to fall so far has been Arsenal and the Gunners lost narrowly to Manchester City so that was hardly a giant killing. Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City, Leeds United, and Southampton all made it through with Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Liverpool and Wrexham vs. Sheffield United to come on Sunday.
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Antonio Conte’s men were down as one of the big teams to watch as they faced a tricky trip to Preston North End in one of Saturday’s later games. It was the case for 50 minutes or so as Tottenham failed to break down their hosts until Heung Min Son opened the scoring after he was served by Japhet Tanganga. The South Korea international was at the double 20 minutes later from an Ivan Perisic assist, and there was even time for a debut goal for Arnaut Danjuma three minutes from the end with Dejan Kulusevski teeing him up.
United blitz Reading
There looked like there could be a shock on the cards when Reading went in goalless at half time against the Red Devils at Old Trafford. Paul Ince’s men had VAR to thank for not being behind by a goal, but that parity did not last long as United needed 10 second half minutes to take the lead and another 11 to put the game to bed. Casemiro scored an improbable three-minute double laid on by compatriots Antony and then Fred before Andy Carroll saw red for a second booking and Fred got himself a goal from a Bruno Fernandes assist. Amadou Mbengue pulled one back from the bench for the Royals, but it was too little too late to provide the day with an upset.
One of the trickier ties this weekend did not produce a clear winner was is not hugely surprising after Premier League outfit Fulham were held by Championship side Sunderland. This one was a battle of two reputable clubs and the fact that the Cottagers rotated enabled a fairly strong Black Cats side to take the tie back to the Stadium of Light. Jack Clarke gave the visitors an early lead before Tom Cairney equalized on the hour so these two will meet again to decide who advances.
Leicester scrape by
The Foxes left it late to edge past Walsall at Poundland Bescot Stadium with a 1-0 win thanks to Kelechi Iheanacho’s strike midway through the second half. Youri Tielemans had failed to open the scoring from the penalty spot three minutes into the second 45 and the 2021 winners looked like they might be headed for a replay until the Nigeria international struck.
Southampton hold on
Another tricky tie was navigated at St. Mary’s Stadium where the Saints needed an unlikely Romain Perraud double to see off Blackpool. The Frenchman opened the scoring after 22 minutes and doubled his tally just after the hour when he was teed up by compatriot Sekou Mara. However, Charlie Patino halved the deficit five minutes later as Nathan Jones’ men were made to sweat their safe passage into the next round. Funnily enough, Perraud does not score many but his first Southampton goal also came in the FA Cup which is clearly a competition he enjoys.
After holding a narrow lead for almost 70 minutes, the Premier League side left it late to pull away from Accrington Stanley at Wham Stadium. Jack Harrison gave Leeds the lead after 23 minutes when he was cued up by Patrick Bamford but then it was goalless until the 66th minute when Bamford notched his second assist this time for Junior Firpo. Two was quickly three as Luis Sinisterra was teed up by Harrison and even Leslie Adekoya strike could not wobble Jesse Marsch’s side as they advanced.
FA Cup scoreboard
Manchester City 1, Arsenal 0
Walsall 0, Leicester 1
Accrington 1, Leeds 3
Blackburn 2, Birmingham 2
Bristol City 3, West Brom 0
Fulham 1, Sunderland 1
Ipswch 0, Burnley 0
Luton 2, Grimsby 2
Sheffield Wednesday 1, Fleetwood 1
Southampton 2, Blackpool 1
Preston 0, Tottenham 3
Manchester United 3, Reading 1
Brighton vs. Liverpool 8:30 a.m. ET
Stoke vs. Stevenage 9 a.m. ET
Wrexham vs. Sheffield United 11:30 a.m. ET