Each of the FA Cup games on Wednesday had drama to round out the FA Cup fifth round. But the biggest stories were FA Cup giantkillers Grimsby and Sheffield Utd, who both advanced to reach the quarterfinal after knocking out Premier League clubs.
First, starting at Old Trafford, West Ham got a second-half lead against Manchester United courtesy of a great finish from Saïd Benrahma. However, despite trailing with 12 minutes to go, Manchester United scored three times. An own goal leveled the game. Then, teenager Alejandro Garnacho had a gem of his own to give United the lead at the stroke of 90 minutes. Finally, Fred added the insurance goal with one of the last kicks of the game.
A night of FA Cup giant killing
Burnley, Sheffield and Grimsby Town all managed one-goal wins in their ties. The most dramatic, at least in terms of timing, was Burnley’s goal in the 90th minute to knock out 10-man Fleetwood Town. Still, the biggest upset in the cup in this round is Grimsby Town going to St. Mary’s Stadium to beat Southampton. A major achievement, even if Southampton is bottom of the top flight.
Southampton was not the only top flight team to bow out. Sheffield United, who barely escaped Wrexham in the previous round, defeated Tottenham at Bramall Lane.
After the conclusion of the 5th Round on Wednesday night, the FA Cup quarterfinal draw immediately took place.
With Manchester United, Manchester City, Brighton and Fulham highlighting the top teams in the last eight, they are not the storyline.
In fact, those are the only four teams from the Premier League remaining in the tournament. Sheffield United, Burnley and Blackburn all hail from the Championship. Finally, League Two outfit Grimsby continues its magical run into the sixth round after defeating Premier League side Southampton on Wednesday.
The draw for the quarterfinals between those eight teams is as follows.
Manchester City vs. Burnley
Manchester United vs. Fulham
Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Grimsby Town
Sheffield United vs. Blackburn
Storylines for FA Cup quarterfinals
The City-Burnley contest has storylines of its own. Vincent Kompany returns to the Etihad for the first time as a manager. He takes Championship-leading Brighton to Manchester City to face his former boss, Pep Guardiola.
Manchester United is at home to a Premier League side in the FA Cup for the third time in this season’s FA Cup. In fact, United has not been on the road in this edition of the tournament.
The fact that there are two Premier League sides playing one another means there is a guaranteed team from outside the Premier League going to Wembley for the semifinals. Sheffield United and Blackburn are two teams towards the top of the Championship that look to take up that mantle.
Grimsby Town, the underdog story of the tournament so far, has a tall task at Brighton. However, Grimsby has been the visiting team before in the tournament, including when it defeated Southampton on Wednesday.
These games are set to take place March 18 and 19.
Photo: IMAGO / PA Images
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