Saturday, 26 January 2013

FA Cup 4th Round LIVE Coverage:

Hello and welcome to my latest blog post, as the EPL takes a break for one week and the FA Cup takes centre-stage once again.

There are 12 matches being played today in the 4th Round, including Manchester City vs Stoke, Brighton vs Arsenal and Manchester United vs Fulham. 

Stoke City vs Manchester City - LIVE:

It is goal-less at The Britannia Stadium, as Stoke host Manchester City in an all EPL 4th Round tie in the early afternoon match.

City are without defensive midfielder Yaya Toure who is currently in South Africa playing in the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast, and even though it is 0-0 at half-time, they have been playing well but just need a goal to show for it. 

Transfer News Bulletin:

Newcastle United have completed the signing of Toulouse defensive midfielder Moussa Sissoko on an undisclosed fee rumoured to be around £2.5million pounds. 

Promising: Moussa Sissoko has completed his move to the EPL, and has signed for Newcastle. 

West Brom have turned down a transfer request from Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie, who QPR are interested in signing. 

LIVE Commentary:

13:49: Manchester City players are returning to the pitch now, getting ready for the second half at Stoke. 

13:50: The second half has just started at The Britannia, where it is 0-0 at the moment but it does not look as though it will stay like that for long...

46: Early controversy in this second half, as Manchester City defensive midfielder Javi Garcia goes into a challenge with his studs up and slides in dangerously.

No card given by referee Howard Webb, even though it was a dangerous tackle and Vincent Kompany was sent off for something similar against Arsenal and Manchester United... 
53: Stoke full-back Ryan Shotton has been given a yellow card after colliding with Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez and tackling him strongly
Unlucky by the youngster, he was stuck in but not really worth of a yellow card.  

55: Physical first ten minutes of the second half, with City pressing for the opening goal despite Stoke holding firm. Lots of tackles and fouls though. 

57: A loose ball inside the Stoke 16-yard box falls to Manchester City full-back Kolarov, but he mis-kicks the ball and it goes well wide, and over the bar into the stands.

Should really be shooting ON target... especially as it is 0-0.

59: A quick Manchester City counter attack sees Spanish playmaker David Silva release a lovely through ball to Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko who runs down the wing looking for a City player in the box. 

He sees the run of full-back Kolarov and plays the ball into the box, but Kolarov's attempt is wide of the goal as he fails to connect with the ball properly. 

60: Stoke supporters making a lot of noise now... they feel that their side should be given a lot more free-kicks.

62: Manchester City SUB:
Aleksandar Kolarov OFF
Sergio Aguero ON

Aguero is being played for the last 30 minutes after recovering from a hamstring injury that he suffered against Stoke on New Year's Day. 
Manager Roberto Mancini wants to win this match today, and is desperate not to play a replay, so another striker could be the difference. 

4-2-4 formation being adopted now, with Silva, Aguero, Tevez and Dzeko all in attacking positions. 

66: Stoke City SUB:
Michael Kightly OFF
Cameron Jerome ON

70: Stoke look more lively with Jerome on the pitch, but it is still 0-0 with 20 minutes to play.. 

Stoke City SUB:
Kenwyne Jones OFF
Andy Wilkinson OFF
Peter Crouch ON
Dean Whitehead ON

Double substitution for Tony Pulis, with Crouch moving ahead of Jerome in a 4-5-1 formation as they look to see out the rest of the match with at LEAST a replay.

74: Edin Dzeko cuts inside from the wing, before having a curled shot towards goal... JUST WIDE!!
Close by the Bosnian, and the shot just moved past the post. Corner as it took a deflection along the way.. 

75: Manchester City midfielder James Milner whips a lofted ball deep into the 16-yard box... Dzeko's header towards goal is cleared by Shawcross to safety. 
The danger is averted. For now. 

76: City continue to put pressure on Stoke, with a nice through ball by Silva finds Aguero who unleashes a swerving drive on the edge of the area. 
The ball takes a deflection off Stoke defensive midfielder Dean Whitehead, and it swerves into the side netting for a City corner. 

77: The corner is about to be taken, before Howard Webb stops play after a small shirt-pulling tussle between Dzeko and Shawcross inside the box.

He warns both of them to stop, before Silva's cross into the box is cleared away to safety and Stoke counter attack quickly. The attack is broken down by James Milner who commits a foul. 

83: Cameras show Manchester City's young defensive midfielder  Jack Rodwell is recieving instructions from assistant coach David Platt as he is getting ready to come on for Tevez.

84: GOAL! The deadlock has been broken after 84 minutes of open play! 

Argentinian full-back Pablo Zabaleta finishes off a wonderful piece of attacking play by City with an outside-of-the-boot shot past Thomas Sorensen into the net.

Great goal: Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta scores the opener in the 84th minute.
Rather late than never: Zabaleta celebrates his goal against Stoke City with James Milner. 

85: Manchester City SUB:
Carlos Tevez OFF

Jack Rodwell ON

86: FACT: If it stays like this, City will be unbeaten against Stoke in their last 8 matches (all competitions).  

90: The fourth official has signalled for 5 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at The Britannia Stadium. 

90+2: City are trying to kill time now, with the 1-0 lead. Silva and Milner exchanging quick passes several passes despite the Stoke boos, because they know that they are 3 minutes away from departing the competition. 

90+4: Manchester City still running down the clock, with Aguero holding the ball near the corner flag and goalkeeper Pantilimon taking his time with the goal-kick.

90+5: The referee Howard Webb has blown his whistle to end the match at The Britannia Stadium.

Full-back Pablo Zabaleta's 85th minute strike has ensured Manchester City's progression into the 5th Round of the FA Cup, and the draw will be tomorrow at 6pm.

They have become the 2nd team to qualify for the Last 16, along with Millwall who beat Aston Villa 2-1 at home yesterday night.

FA Cup 4th Round 3pm Matches (EPL teams only): 

Brighton vs Arsenal:

Brighton: Ankergren, Calderon, El-Abd, Bridge, Greer, David Lopez, Bridcutt, Hammond, Barnes, Ulloa, Buckley. 

Subs: Kuszczak, Orlandi, Mackail-Smith, Vicente, Dicker, Painter, LuaLua. 

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Andre Santos, Koscielny, Diaby, Rosicky, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud, Podolski.

Subs: Mannone, Sagna, Wilshere, Walcott, Cazorla, Arshavin, Gibbs.

Interesting Arsenal side here... Ramsey, Diaby and Rosicky play in a three-man midfield, while Oxlade-Chamberlain partners Giroud and Podolski in attack.
4-3-3 formation being used with Walcott, Wilshere and Cazorla all on the bench being rested by Arsene Wenger for their match in midweek, against Liverpool.

The Gunners will be hoping that they do not suffer from the same fate as Newcastle did in the 3rd Round, as this is probably their only chance of silverware this season.

Reading vs Sheffield United: 

Reading: Federici, Kelly, Mariappa, Morrison, Shorey, McCleary, Leigertwood, Karacan, Robson-Kanu, Hunt, Le Fondre.

Subs: Taylor, Pearce, McAnuff, Kebe, Church, Guthrie, Cummings.

Sheffield United: Long, Westlake, Higginbotham, Maguire, McMahon, Blackman, McDonald, Doyle, Murphy, Porter, Kitson.

Subs: Coyne, Flynn, Collins, Cresswell, Ironside, Whitehouse, De Girolamo.

Macclesfield vs Wigan Athletic:

Macclesfield: Anyon, Jackson, Nathaniel Brown, Audel, Braham-Barrett, Mackreth, Murtagh, Wedgbury, Kissock, Fairhurst, Barnes-Homer. 

Subs: Andrew Mills, Morgan-Smith, Winn, Diagne, Henry, McDonald, Martin.

Wigan: Robles, Stam, Figueroa, Golobart, Mustoe, Espinoza, Fyvie, Dicko, Gomez, McManaman, Henriquez.

Subs: Al Habsi, Jones, Maloney, McArthur, Lopez, Redmond, Campabadal.

Norwich City vs Luton:

Norwich: Rudd, Martin, Barnett, Ryan Bennett, Garrido, Elliott Bennett, Johnson, Howson, Surman, Jackson, Kane.
Subs: Bunn, Whittaker, Turner, Holt, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Tettey.

Luton: Tyler, Henry, Kovacs, Rowe-Turner, Taylor, Lawless, Mendy, Smith, Howells, Shaw, Gray.
Subs: Brill, Rendell, Fleetwood, Watkins, O'Donnell, Dance, Robinson.

QPR v MK Dons:

QPR: Green, Da Silva, Ben Haim, Ferdinand, Traore, Mackie, Faurlin, Granero, Park, Bothroyd, Campbell. 

Subs: Murphy, Derry, Hill, Onuoha, Ephraim, Zamora, M'bia.

Milton Keynes Dons: Martin, Otsemobor, MacKenzie, Kay, Lewington, Williams, Potter, Chicksen, Smith, Bowditch, Lowe. 

Subs: Doumbe, Flanagan, Harley, Ali, Lines, Rasulo, Ismail.

Bolton vs Everton:

Bolton: Lonergan, Ricketts, Knight, Ream, Alonso, Spearing, Vela, Lee, Pratley, Eagles, Sordell.
Subs: Bogdan, Mears, Ngog, Kevin Davies, Afobe, Holden, Craig Davies.

Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Mirallas, Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic, Anichebe.

Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Oviedo, Naismith, Gueye, Vellios, Duffy.

15:00: The 3pm kick-off's have all started, along with Ivory Coast vs Tunisia in the African Cup Of Nations (that I will be keeping an eye on). 

Loftus Road,
QPR vs MK Dons:

First goal of the 3pm kick-off's comes at Loftus Road - and already there is a shock on the cards. 
MK Dons are leading 1-0 against the EPL strugglers thanks to an own goal from former Arsenal full-back Armand Traore. 

15:06 - GOAL UPDATE:

Macclesfield 0 Wigan 1
Striker Jordi Gomez has broken the deadlock in the 6th minute for the away side from the penalty spot. 

Early lead: Wigan striker Jordi Gomez scores from the penalty spot to give Wigan a 1-0 lead. 

15:07 - GOAL UPDATE:

Reading 1 Sheffield United 0 - Defender Noel Hunt's run past the Sheffield United defence has seen him awarded with a goal. 1-0.

Royal reward: Reading defender Noel Hunt celebrates his goal to break the deadlock.

The Amex Stadium,
Brighton vs Arsenal:

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has broken the deadlock with a great finish after cutting inside the defenders before unleashing a strike from just outside the box. 

Ahead - not for long: Striker Olivier Giroud curls a shot into the top corner to make it 1-0. 

The Reebok Stadium,
Bolton vs Everton:

The Toffees have given manager David Moyes a treat on his 500th match in charge, with South African midfielder Steven Pienaar scoring in the 20th minute away from home. 1-0.

Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring the opening goal. 

Royal Bafokeng Stadium,
Ivory Coast vs Tunisia:

Ivory Coast have broken the deadlock after 22 minutes of solid pressing. 

Arsenal forward Gervinho has scored his 2nd goal of the tournament with a fierce rebound after Anzhi striker Lacina Traore's shot was well saved by Tunisia goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia. 

The Reebok Stadium,
Bolton vs Everton:

Bolton have equalised at home against Everton, thanks to striker Marvin Sordell who scores his 7th FA Cup goal in 7 matches after a great pass by midfielder Darren Pratley.

Equaliser: Bolton striker Marvin Sordell scores to make it 1-1 in the 27th minute at The Reebok.
Promising young talent: Sordell celebrates his equaliser - 7th goal in 7 matches in the FA Cup.

The Amex Stadium,
Brighton vs Arsenal:

Arsenal's defensive problems are starting to show again... Ashley Barnes has equalised for the hosts with a header from David Lopez's corner. 

Back in it: Ashley Barnes celebrates his header to equalise against Arsenal in the 33rd minute.

Loftus Road,
QPR vs MK Dons:

The shock of the day is at Loftus Road... it is now 2-0 to MK Dons against the hosts, with Ryan Lowe doubling the LEAGUE ONE side's advantage! 

Shock lead: League 1 side MK Dons celebrate Ryan Lowe's goal at Loftus Road. 

15:42 - GOAL UPDATE:

Reading 2 Sheffield United 0

Mikele Leigertwood has doubled the lead for the hosts as they look to progress into the Last 16.



Brighton 1 Arsenal 1 
Bolton 1 Everton 1
QPR 0 MK Dons 2
Reading 2 Sheffield United 0
Norwich 0 Luton 0
Maccesfield Town 0 Wigan 1
AFCON: Ivory Coast 1 Tunisia 1

16:03: The second halves have all started now.. 

Loftus Road,
QPR vs MK Dons:

The shock of the FA Cup 4th Round has almost certainly been confirmed. After Brighton beat Newcastle in the 3rd Round, MK Dons are now comfortably 3-0 up away from home against QPR.

Ryan Harley has scored for the away side, and now QPR have to "concentrate on the league" after this almost certain defeat to League 1 opposition. 

The Madejski Stadium,
Reading vs Sheffield United:

Noel Hunt has scored his 2nd of the match to give Reading a comfortable 3-0 lead over Sheffield United at home. 

Qualified teams - Millwall, Manchester City, Reading, MK Dons, Wigan, Blackburn Rovers. 

16:13 - GOAL UPDATE:
This is incredible! 

Poor QPR defending sees Dean Bowditch score to make it 4-0, while Gareth McCleary makes it 4-0 to Reading against Sheffield United.

The Amex Stadium,
Brighton vs Arsenal:

French striker Olivier Giroud has scored his 2nd of the day to put The Gunners back in-front away from home against Brighton at The Amex, with a left-foot strike from the near post beating goalkeeper Casper Ankergren.

The Amex Stadium,
Brighton vs Arsenal:

Striker Jose Ulloa has equalised for Brighton in the 63rd minute, with a diving header which beat Szczesny and ended up in the back of the net! Back and forth match-up, and it is 2-2 now. 

Back and forth: Jose Ulloa gets Brighton back into the match - AGAIN to make it 2-2. 

The Amex Stadium,
Brighton vs Arsenal:

Arsene Wenger has put on two of his best players in midfielder Jack Wilshere and pacy forward Theo Walcott for the last 20 minutes of the match. Tomas Rosicky and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming off. 

The Amex Stadium,
Brighton vs Arsenal:

Arsenal are pressing Brighton for the 3rd goal, because they do not want to play a replay.

16:39 - GOAL UPDATE:
Norwich City 0 Luton 1

Non-league Luton are 10 minutes away from eliminating an EPL side and progressing into the Last 16 after Scott Rendell converted JJ O'Donnell's low cross into the net. 1-0 to the away side. 

Loftus Road,
QPR vs MK Dons:

QPR soften the blow slightly, with striker Jay Bothroyd converting a Bobby Zamora cross into the net. 4-1. 

The Amex Stadium,
Brighton vs Arsenal:

GOAL! Super sub Theo Walcott has given The Gunners the lead once again with 4 minutes to play. 
His deflected strike beat the goalkeeper and hit the back of the net.  

Super sub: Theo Walcott celebrates his 86th minute winner for Arsenal against Brighton. 

The Reebok Stadium,
Bolton vs Everton:

Defender Johnny Heitinga has given Everton a late goal to make it 2-1 to the away side...

16:50 - GOAL UPDATE:
Loanee full-back Fabio Da Silva has scored a consolation goal to make it 4-2 to MK Dons against QPR.


Royal Bafokeng Stadium,
Ivory Coast vs Tunisia:

Manchester City defensive midfielder Yaya Toure has doubled Ivory Coast's lead, and it is now 2-0 with a minute plus stoppage time remaining. 

Beat the defenders with blistering pace before unleashing a piledriver shot, giving the goalkeeper no chance of saving it. 


Royal Bafokeng Stadium,
Ivory Coast vs Tunisia:

Didier Ya Konan has rubbed salt into Tunisia's wounds, coming off the bench to score Ivory Coast's 3rd goal of the afternoon within seconds, with a smart, low finish from 18 yards out. 


Brighton 2 Arsenal 3
QPR 2 MK Dons 4
Bolton 1 Everton 2
Norwich City 0 Luton 1
Reading 4 Sheffield United 0
Maccesfield Town 0 Wigan Athletic 1

African Cup Of Nations - Ivory Coast 3 Tunisia 0

Qualified Teams for the Last 16:

Millwall, Manchester City, Everton, Arsenal, MK Dons, Luton, Reading, Blackburn Rovers, Barnsley, Middlesborough, Wigan.

Team Line-Ups:

Manchester United vs Fulham:

Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael Da Silva, Jones, Smalling, Evra, Nani, Anderson, Carrick, Giggs, Rooney, Hernandez.

Subs: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Valencia, Welbeck, van Persie, Scholes, Kagawa.

vam Persie, Welbeck and Kagawa among the subs on the United bench as the three attacking minded players are given a rest.
Rooney and Hernandez start in attack, with Giggs and Nani playing as the two wingers in a 4-4-2 formation for Sir Alex Ferguson. 
It is not a weak side by any stretch of the imagination for United as they look to progress to the Last 16. 

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Kacaniklic, Sidwell, Baird, Duff, Ruiz, Berbatov.

Subs: Etheridge, Senderos, Petric, Karagounis, Briggs, Rodallega, Dejagah.

Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov starts against his old club today in the all-EPL tie. He is partnered alongside Bryan Ruiz and Alex Kacaniklic while Sidwell, Baird and Duff sit behind them in defensive midfield.

I will be back tomorrow for the 3 other matches in the FA Cup 4th Round;

Brentford vs Chelsea - LIVE at 12:00pm
Leeds United vs Tottenham Hotspur - LIVE at 14:00pm
Oldham Athletic vs Liverpool - LIVE at 16:00pm

Thank you for reading my latest blog post, and I will speak to you all tomorrow afternoon..