FA Cup Fifth Round, Sunday Plus Liverpool vs Swansea: Open Thread

There are four matches on today involving Premier League teams. Chelsea, Wigan and Manchester City will be hoping that they fair better than Arsenal and Everton today in the FA Cup. Plus, there’s one Premier League match to be played between Liverpool and Swansea, where both teams are chasing a Europa League spot.

Chelsea against Brentford kicks off today’s action in the FA Cup with an early kick-off (7am ET). The Blues will want to wallop The Bees after the draw in west London a few weeks ago. Don’t be surprised if this one is a high scoring game in Chelsea’s favor.

Next up is Manchester City against Leeds United at the Etihad where Roberto Mancini is under immense pressure to get a result after his side slipped out of the Premier League title race last week when they lost against Southampton.

Before the final match of the day between Huddersfield and Wigan in the FA Cup, there’s a Premier League match between Liverpool and Swansea. Both teams will be desperate for a win for different reasons. Swansea will want a win to give them confidence heading into next week’s Capital One Cup Final against Bradford. Liverpool will want a win to leapfrog over Swansea into 7th place and a spot closer to qualifying for the Europa League come the end of the season.

Before, during or after today’s matches, post your rants, raves, questions or observations in the comments section below.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

65 thoughts on “FA Cup Fifth Round, Sunday Plus Liverpool vs Swansea: Open Thread”

    1. I looked into it. But the cheapest plane ticket was $1,000 round-trip. Even as a massive Swansea fan, that’s a lot of dosh to go over on a weekend. If the plane ticket would have been cheaper, I would have gone.

      The Gaffer

      1. Get yourself a St George’s Cross to take on a European tour in the Europa League then 😉

        Years of using the Welsh Fa when it suits coming back to haunt them I think.

  1. A silly but honest question for our UK readers — is Budweiser becoming semi-popular in the UK?

    They’re obviously spending a lot of money to promote the beer in the UK with their sponsorship of the FA Cup. But is it catching on with beer drinkers or not?

    The Gaffer

    1. I was shocked a couple of years ago to see the number of guys in a Scottish pub with Bud bottles in their hands. Thank goodness the pub had plenty of real ale on tap. :-)

    2. You’ve been able to buy it for years. It’s only available on draught in the odd establishment, if it’s available in pubs it’s bottled.

      I can’t say it does anything for me, although I enjoy Michelob which is a rare sight over here.

      There’s a big revival in ‘craft’ beers (as you lot call them), along with Cider. Guy and I have had a few discussions about it.

      1. Micro brews are pretty big here right now. Especially where I’m from. There’s about 10 micro breweries in the city and another 20-30 more in the region. I will say that most of them are very good as well.

          1. I’ve been inspired to have a go at homebrewing in the garage this summer. Last time I was about 14/15 and passed it around my mates at school!

  2. Well that had to be the softest penalty decision I’ve seen in as long as I can remember.

    Looks like Leeds United are already out of it.

    The Gaffer

  3. I know there’s a bad element in there too (a minority), but it’d be great to see Leeds United back in the Premier League. They have a massive fanbase and a great away following.

    The Gaffer

    1. An incredibly arrogant bunch in my experience. A friend of mine has family from up there and when it comes to football even he describes them as ‘knobheads’.

    2. I’d rather see Forrest, they have just as good a following but minus the morons, plus their ground is more pleasant to visit than eland road.

      1. Dust
        thanks for the shout out for Forest but losing to Bristol City and drawing at home to Bolton the EPL is a million miles away.like i said i just hope before i die they get back.

        1. next season you’ll get promoted… i really think you will, i’ll definitely be rooting for you over the other pretenders.

          I was a massive fan of Clough and wanted desperately to manage Spurs… with who we had back then…it would have been quite the site!

    3. It’s bad enough Cardiff are coming up, real nightmare scenario would be Millwall, Leeds & Cardiff…. Just would not be good for the league.

      1. I’m dreading Cardiff, we have huge history with them coming up from League 1 and trying to get promoted around the same time. All very amusing if you’re a Stoke fan. They’re a delusional bunch, believing they have the potential to be the British Barcelona.


        This’ll give you some idea why that rivalry is there. It’s one of my greatest regrets that I did not go to that match. The Stoke fans were locked in for around an hour afterwards as Cardiff fans were trying to get at them.

  4. Four regular starters for Swansea not playing today — Michu, Ashley Williams, Angel Rangel, Wayne Routledge and Ki Sung-Yueng.

    Laudrup is resting players ahead of the League Cup Final.

    The Gaffer

    1. What’s Laudrup worrying about 😉

      Sorry to say Gaffer but Swansea will be the big boy everyone wants to see get beat next weekend. Can’t see it myself.

      Who’s televising it over there? Ought to get Lee Trundle on as a pundit.

      1. For the first time in a very long time, Swansea won’t be the underdogs next weekend. I’ll write up my thoughts about the match later this week. It’s supposed to be on Al Jazeera here (aka beIN SPORT).

        The Gaffer

  5. 7 changes to the team for Swansea and Suarez still diving all over the place… Unbelievable really… Sturidge too now… It’s jut embarrassing……

    I thought the 1st 25 mins Swansea held their own considering they are missing so many starters but then some poor defensive play allowed more pressure.

    I still fancy Swansea to get something out of this.

    I think resting the players for Bradford is a little much but oh well.

      1. I’d rather rest the players for next week’s final. No one will remember the day when Swansea beat Liverpool at Anfield in years from now, but they’ll remember the League Cup Final. Plus, Swansea already beat Liverpool at Anfield this season, in the earlier rounds of the League Cup.

        The Gaffer

    1. It’s an excellent opportunity to see what the other Swansea players are made of — people like Kyle Bartley, Dwight Tiendali, Roland Lamah and Kemy Agustien.

      I feel sorry for the Swansea supporters though who bought their tickets and drove up to Liverpool.

      Still, this is our first thrashing received of the season. It had to come sooner or later.

      The Gaffer

      1. Winning is a habit.. a 5-0 thumping even with 7 changes isn’t good going into a cup final.

        To treat the premier league like that especially when other teams positions are effected by fixtures like this is not right.

        If LFC end up 1 spot higher because of 2 goals, it’s gonna be because of fixtures like this. I think it’s unhealthy, perhaps Laudrup was waiting for a “suitcase” from another team for him to put out his best 11?

        I’m really disappointed with this from Laudrup.

        Gives Liverpool a false league position, why even turn up? Wy not just gift wrap the 3 points for Brendan, with some handmade paper and a bow? To just give up 3 points like that with the fate of other teams riding on it is not cool, I’m sure all the teams around LFC don’t appreciate it. If you throw a cup game like Farcenal did yesterday it doesn’t effect anyone really but a league game?

        Anyways… Disappointed to say the least.

        1. I tend to agree with much of what Dust has said there.

          I also think how shows how fragile teams of Swansea’s ilk (and I include my own in that) positions in the Premier League are. All it takes is a bad run, poor signings or injuries to expose the lack of strength in depth that lesser teams have.

        2. There is no such thing as a false league position. A team can only go out and play what’s in front of them. If there’s one thing in football that doesn’t lie, it’s the table.

    2. Seems every time you watch a LFC match you’re moaning about Suarez diving. Sorry, but he didn’t dive ONCE today. Not once. Webb wasn’t even inclined to give him the stonewall penalty leading to Gerrard’s goal despite clear contact. And he was taken down several times without so much as a look back from Webb. Sometimes he does go down to easily, but he’s no worse than any English player yet he gets all the ire. Bunch of whinging hypocrites.

      1. LOL what are you talking about… the scouser co-comentating even called him out for it…didn’t dive Howard Webb should have given Sturidge a yellow for his penalty box dive to but didn’t, not because it wasn’t a dive, but because refs use their interpretation / discretion on enforcing laws of the game…and remember he plays for man utd

        1. Saying “there’s nothing in it for me” is not the same as calling out a player for a dive. It just means he saw a 50/50 that involved fair contact. This is the thing with Suarez – much more often than not he fights through the contact, and 95% of the time when he goes down it’s because the contact is enough to take him down. It’s that other 5% that everyone gloms onto, despite the fact that nearly EVERY OTHER forward in the league does the exact same thing. Bale, RVP, Rooney are FAR worse than Suarez, but they don’t get nearly the same stick, so it makes one wonder. I’ll agree that Sturridge did make a meal of it on that one play towards the touch line, but on his other run through the box which eventually led to Coutinho’s miss he was clearly felled. What’s worse is that Webb did NOT indicate advantage – he just didn’t see it as a penalty at all, which is insane.

          1. “Saying “there’s nothing in it for me” is not the same as calling out a player for a dive.”


            “Bale, RVP, Rooney are FAR worse than Suarez, but they don’t get nearly the same stick, so it makes one wonder.”

            Sure they are LOL wow

        2. You still haven’t said where Suarez “dived” in this match. What a pathetic agenda you have, can’t even back up what you say with any examples.

  6. Given Brendan’s comments earlier this week he’ll be expecting to win the manager of the year trophy solely based on today’s performance.

  7. The bad luck for Fabio Borini continues. Dislocated shoulder.

    I know many Liverpool fans don’t believe me, but he’s a talented footballer. He’s had a ton of bad luck at Liverpool this season.

    The Gaffer

    1. Gaffer , Italians generally don’t travel well… I was hoping borini might break the mold but sadly we will have to wait until next year.
      The boy broke exactly the opposite leg and shoulder last year I think.

      1. He did really well at Swansea when he was there in 2011 with no injuries. He’s just been cursed at Liverpool.

        The Gaffer

  8. What a pathetic performance by Swansea.It’s not like they will be playing a tough opponent in the Capital One Cup final next weekend that they had to make so many changes. I gess Laudrup feels they have a better chance of getting into the Europa League by winning the cup rather than finish in the top 6.

    Liverpool did their job and will feel that they have some momentum to take into their midweek Europa League game against Zenit with a 2-0 deficit to erase. Will be tough as Zenit are a very talented side who beat the likes of AC Milan away in the Champions League.

    1. It reminds of the Liverpool victory over QPR before Christmas. There followed umpteen reporters saying Rogers had sorted them out and they’d kick on for the rest of the season. Then they got done 3-1 by Villa, who we all know are poor. It smacks of papering over the cracks. I’ll be interested to see how Brendan spins this one.

      1. Liverpool will be facing a far tougher opponent on Thursday. Zenit have quality players and a manager that knows how to be tactically astute. Something Liverpool lack.

        Liverpool will also be without Sturridge and Coutinho so they might struggle for goals and I think they will need to score more than 3 as Zenit will score at least one.

          1. Aaron… i can see that you are a passionate fan, from your defense of Liverpool ignoring realities… which is fine guess… even if not reasonable.

  9. Here’s the FA Cup quarter-final matchups:

    Oldham or Everton vs Wigan
    Manchester City vs Barnsley
    Manchester United or Reading vs Middlesbrough or Chelsea
    Milwall vs Blackburn

    Everton will relish a home game against Wigan as they should beat Oldham.

    Manhester City should get to the semi-final.

    It could be Fergie against Rafa if both United and Chelsea win their games. Let’s hope both get there as it will make for a terrific game. United at home so they will like their chances.

    Milwall against Blackburn will have a terrific atmosphere and at least one non-EPL team will be in the semis.

  10. The Gaffer
    Sorry to hear you will not be at Wembley never know when your Swans will make it back to a final.you have the rest of your life to make up that 1K.money comes and goes memories last forever.Bradford will have the emotional edge with their fan fighting cancer leading them out but in the end i think the Swans will win.

      1. Aye, but if I had to spend $1,000 for a plane ticket, I’d rather go when I had more time to stay there where I could watch several matches, stay with my family and meet up with friends.

        The Gaffer

        1. A Celtic fan I work with was in a similar situation. He went up to Glasgow last Tuesday without a ticket just to be around the atmosphere, knowing he had little chance of actually getting into the match.

          He was drinking in a pub up there and one of the old boys up there offered him his ticket for face value, wouldn’t take any more than that despite being offered it.

          They got beat 0-3 and he still came back saying it was one of the best days of his life.

    1. Let’s remember The Gaffer has a family, guys. Our son is grown and gone, but I can just imagine my wife’s reaction if I said I was taking off for the UK for a match ($1000 air+lodging+food+drink). Oh, and sweetie, make sure everything is OK on the blog site, right?

      Ha. Justifiable homicide right there. :-)

      1. Stoke’s dirt cheap Guy. £20 a night Travel Lodge. Oatcakes, bacon, sausage and cheese are all you need food wise. Just bring your own money for beer, £2.50 a pint for a decent selection of proper beers in Stoke.

        If you leave the missus to post on here just make sure she doesn’t rabbit on about Swansea.

        Get it sorted when the fixtures come out next year. You can be the guinea pig for my football tours.

        1. Ian
          sounds like i should book my tour to City Ground thru your travel agency sounds like an ideal weekend.Forest on a budget.

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