The FA Cup dreams of top Premier League sides turned sour, as teams including Chelsea and Manchester City were dumped out of the biggest cup competition in British football. A day of dramatic “giant-killing” shocks in the fourth round of the tournament saw Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Swansea City, and Southampton all lose, while Liverpool and Manchester United face replayed matches.
At the time of writing, Arsenal and West Ham United have yet to play.
Early rounds of the FA Cup are often billed as “David against Goliath” match-ups, when sides from lower leagues have the chance to beat rich opponents from the Premier League, and progress to the next round of the tournament.
Premier League leaders and favorites to win the title, Chelsea, were drawn a home match against League One side Bradford City, competing two leagues below. Ahead of the match, Chelsea’s charismatic Portuguese manager, Jose Mourinho, addressed a press conference.
“The other day a coach of a big team was knocked out of the cup and he was saying, ‘Good, very good. This is perfect for us. Now we can focus on the other competitions.’ If I lose against Bradford, I don’t say that. I say it’s a disgrace.
“This is the way you are, the way you think. I prefer it very difficult and congested and lots of matches and risk of losing everything – there is a risk there – but I can’t choose matches. I can’t choose competitions. I can’t. I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to face my players, how to face my fans, by saying, ‘This is not a competition we want to win.’ We want to win. We want to win. When we lose, we lose. But we want to win.”
Chelsea lost. After holding a 2-0 lead, they lost the FA Cup fourth Round 2-4 to League One side Bradford City.
After the match, Mourinho spoke to the BBC.
“It’s a disgrace for a big team to lose to a small team from a lower league. Me and the players must feel ashamed.”
Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live.
“The lads are absolutely bouncing in that dressing room and what they’ve done today will be remembered for a very long time – not just in Bradford but all around the country. Playing the league leaders and one of the best teams in Europe and scoring four goals… That’s going to take some beating.”
Manchester City also played FA Cup host to a lower league side in Middlesbrough of the Championship, one tier below the Premier League. They lost 0-2 to the promotion-chasing side from the north-east.
Other Cup matches saw Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Southampton all lose, as the Premier League contingent of teams remaining in the tournament dwindled to an surprisingly low number.
With FA Cup nightmares cleansed from their respective systems, Chelsea will host Manchester City in a top of the table Premier League match next weekend.