FA Cup Fifth Round Review

With every round that comes and goes now, the inevitable slides closer and closer into view. Manchester United vs Chelsea for the second year in row, boring the hell out of each other (as well as all of us) with a terrible, attritional FA Cup final at the strangely echo-ey new Wembley Stadium. Still, never mind, because yesterday’s Fifth Round was another cracker, with Liverpool biting the dust in frankly spectacular circumstances. After Dirk Kuyt put Liverpool in front, a string of spectacular saves kept Barnsley in the game and the creeping feeling started to envelop me that Liverpool’s confidence was brittle enough for this to all go wrong, and so it proved when Stephen Foster levelled the scores. Liverpool continued to dominate, but none of this is to say that Barnsley didn’t deserve the win – Brian Howard’s winner, in the third minute of injury time, came after the referee bottled giving Barnsley a last minute penalty kick after a clear trip in Howard. Liverpool’s season, then, is continuing to unravel. With Inter to follow this week in the Champions League, they might only have an uphill battle to hold onto their European place to look forward to. The other big surprise of the day took place at The Memorial Ground in Bristol, the pleasingly retro looking temporary home of Bristol Rovers, who beat Southampton 1-0 thanks to...

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