FA Cup 4th Round draw, 3rd round talking points and best goals as Rooney equals record

FA Cup

There will be plenty of words written and said about whether the FA Cup still retains its trademark magic – especially after Cardiff City played Fulham in front of sparse crowd of just over 5,000 people.

But despite some low crowds and weakened teams, there was plenty to enjoy about the FA Cup’s 3rd round weekend. What caught our eye in the smorgasbord of games?

Rooney equals Charlton’s record

It was going to happen eventually, and Wayne Rooney finally equaled Bobby Charlton’s Manchester United goalscoring record. A miss-hit off his knee against Championship side Reading is probably not the 249th goal he would have dreamed of, but as any striker would say: a goal is a goal. Rooney will be hoping his inevitable record breaking goal comes in more auspicious circumstances.

SEE ALSO: Manchester United: What is Jose Mourinho’s best team?

Olivier Giroud saves Arsenal (again)

Arsene Wenger has never lost in the FA Cup 3rd round, but he came perilously close against Preston North End at Deepdale. When the draw was made it looked like an easy tie for Arsenal against the Championship club, but the reality was very different.

Simon Grayson’s team went in 1-0 up at half time, having made Wenger’s team look very ordinary. In the second half, the Premier League team finally showed their class, and the Frenchman Olivier Giroud popped up with a vital last minute goal, just as he did against Bournemouth on Tuesday in the 3-3 draw. He has been scoring vital goals lately. Perhaps he is thriving without the pressure of having to be Arsenal’s main source of goals.

Were there any giantkillings?

The FA Cup’s storied reputation is based largely on famous giantkillings. It feels as though they happen less frequently than they used to, and in some years they don’t seem to happen at all. This year, we didn’t get many. Championship Wolves knocked out Premier League opposition in the shape of Stoke City, while Millwall of League One beat a much-changed Bournemouth team.

Do they count as true shocks, though? Lincoln City of the National League were the closest to an old-school shock, just four minutes away from beating Championship side Ipswich Town, before Tom Lawrence saved a replay. Based on that performance, there’s every chance they could cause a real upset.

In the modern FA Cup, giant-equalling has become the new giant killing. Joining Lincoln were Plymouth Argyle who defended their way to a 0-0 draw at Anfield against a weakened Liverpool, while Bolton Wanderers ruined Sam Allardyce’s homecoming with another goalless draw against Crystal Palace.

National League Sutton United got a creditable draw against AFC Wimbledon in a replay of the reformed Dons’ first ever game, while the lowest ranked side left in the competition, Stourbridge, were unlucky to go down to an Ade Akinfenwa winner against Wycombe.

What was on TV?

BBC and BT Sport outdid themselves by talking almost nonstop about the “magic of the cup” before proceeding to show us games involving Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

The managers, players and fans of the likes of Sutton United, Barrow and Stourbridge would have been rightly wondering where the television cameras were. Surely any of the games involving the minnows is more exciting than Manchester City waltzing past a disinterested West Ham?

Fans of those two clubs will get to see their sides go head-to-head on television again on the 1st of February – but when will fans of Stourbridge have that chance again?

Best goals

Wolves‘ Helder Costa scored a cracker against Stoke, and the celebration wasn’t bad either (about 25 seconds into this video).

Odhion Ighalo’s lack of goals this season have somewhat hamstrung Watford. But Watford’s win over Burton Albion suggests they might have a ready made replacement waiting in the wings. Jerome Sinclair signed in the summer from Liverpool, but the young striker has been peripheral so far. A wonderful solo goal in the cup, though, suggests he has the ability to make an impact for the Hornets (his goal is 33 seconds into the below video).

FA Cup 3rd Round results

West Ham United 0-5 Manchester City

Manchester United 4-0 Reading

Wycombe Wanderers 2-1 Stourbridge

Wigan Athletic 2-0 Nottingham Forest

West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Derby County

Watford 2-0 Burton Albion

Sutton United 0-0 AFC Wimbledon

Sunderland 0-0 Burnley

Stoke City 0-2 Wolves

Rotherham 2-3 Oxford United

QPR 1-2 Blackburn Rovers

Norwich City 2-2 Southampton

Millwall 3-0 Bournemouth

Ipswich Town 2-2 Lincoln City

Hull City 2-0 Swansea City

Huddersfield Town 4-0 Port Vale

Everton 1-2 Leicester City

Bristol City 0-0 Fleetwood Town

Brighton 2-0 MK Dons

Brentford 5-1 Eastleigh

Bolton 0-0 Crystal Palace

Blackpool 0-0 Barnsley

Birmingham City 1-1 Newcastle United

Barrow 0-2 Rochdale

Accrington Stanley 2-1 Luton Town

Preston North End 1-2 Arsenal

Cardiff 1-2 Fulham

Liverpool 0-0 Plymouth Argyle

Middlesbrough 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday

Chelsea 4-1 Peterborough

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Aston Villa

The FA Cup 4th Round Draw 2016/17

Tottenham vs. Wycombe

Derby County vs. Leicester City

Oxford United vs. Newcastle United/Birmingham City

AFC Wimbledon/Sutton United vs. Leeds United

Plymouth/Liverpool vs. Wolves

Southampton/Norwich City vs. Arsenal

Lincoln/Ipswich vs. Brighton

Chelsea vs. Brentford

Manchester United vs. Wigan Athletic

Millwall vs. Watford

Rochdale vs. Huddersfield Town

Burnley/Sunderland vs. Fleetwood/Bristol City

Blackburn vs. Barnsley/Blackpool

Fulham vs. Hull City

Middlesbrough vs. Accrington Stanley

Crystal Palace/Bolton vs. Manchester City

Something tells us Wycombe are happy with the draw…

What were your favourite moments of the FA Cup 3rd round? What tie from the fourth round caught your eye? Who’s name is on the cup? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @JustFootball and Facebook for more football news, features and analysis.

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