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Luton Knocks Norwich of Premier League Out of F.A. Cup

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Luton Town produced a F.A. Cup fourth-round upset when the club from English soccer’s fifth tier beat Norwich of the Premier League 1-0.

Scott Rendell scored the only goal at Norwich’s Carrow Road. Luton is in sixth place in the Football Conference Premier League, 85 places below Norwich in the English rankings.

“It’s a wonderful day for this football club,” Luton manager Paul Buckle said on the club’s website. “The players deserve all the plaudits because it was an unbelievable performance that will go down in history.”

Queens Park Rangers, sitting at the bottom of the Premier League, were also knocked out by a lower-level opponent, while fellow top flight rivals Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton had to rely on late goals to advance. Manchester United, the record 11-time F.A. Cup winner, beat Fulham 4-1.

Luton becomes the first non-league team to win an away game over a Premier League team and the seventh to reach the fifth round of England’s top club competition since World War Two, according to the F.A. website.

Norwich had an 11-6 advantage in shots, with a Leon Barnett header hitting the post in the first half and Luton goalkeeper Mark Tyler saving Grant Holt’s close-range shot in the second half.

Winning Goal

But Luton took the lead with 10 minutes remaining as JJ O’Donnell made a run down the left side and sent a cross to Rendell, who directed the ball into the top corner of the net.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, to score the winning goal in the F.A. Cup against a Premier League club,” Rendell said in a televised interview. “It’s fantastic to be part of history.”

Milton Keynes Dons, which plays in third-tier League One, scored twice in each half to win 4-2 at QPR.

The Dons took the lead on Armand Traore’s own goal in the fourth minute and Ryan Lowe doubled the advantage just before halftime. Ryan Harley and Darren Potter scored six minutes apart early in the second half made it 4-0 before QPR got two late consolation goals.

Pablo Zabaleta’s goal in the 85th minute gave Manchester City a 1-0 win over Stoke in a matchup of Premier League clubs, while Johnny Heitinga scored in the 90th minute as Everton won 2-1 at Bolton.

Theo Walcott’s goal with five minutes left gave Arsenal a 3-2 win at Reading. Olivier Giroud scored twice for the Gunners. Javier Hernandez scored two goals, with Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney adding one each, as Manchester United routed Fulham.

No Upset

Non-league Macclesfield was unable to upset Premier League opposition, falling 1-0 to Wigan on Jordi Gomez’s first-half penalty kick. Reading routed Sheffield United 4-0 as Noel Hunt scored twice, while Lukas Jutkiewicz netted in the 83rd and 90th minutes to give Middlesbrough a 2-1 home win over Aldershot.

In matchups of teams from the second-tier Championship, Chris Dagnall’s goal gave Barnsley a 1-0 win at Hull, Blackburn was a comfortable 3-0 winner at Derby, and Huddersfield and Leicester drew 1-1 to set up a replay.

Three Premier League clubs all play away games at lower-level teams tomorrow. Chelsea and Liverpool visit League One clubs Brentford and Oldham, respectively, while Tottenham goes to Leeds of the Championship.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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