Manchester City, Chelsea, Wigan Rout Lower-League Teams in CupPeter-Joseph Hegarty
Manchester City, Chelsea and Wigan scored a total of 12 goals as Premier League teams swept aside lower-division opposition in English soccer’s F.A. Cup.
City had a 4-0 win against Leeds United and Wigan won 4-1 at Huddersfield in fifth-round games against second-tier clubs yesterday. Chelsea routed third-division Brentford 4-0 in a fourth-round replay.
City was up 2-0 within 15 minutes. Yaya Toure opened the scoring in the fifth minute after playing a return pass to Carlos Tevez, and Sergio Aguero converted a penalty kick after he was pulled back in the area. Tevez got City’s third from close range early in the second half before Aguero completed the scoring 16 minutes from the end.
City manager Roberto Mancini said the Cup victory may help lay the foundation for a recovery in the league. Defending champion City trails leader Manchester United by 12 points following a 3-1 loss at Southampton in its last game.
“In Italy we say that this game is a soup, a starter,” Mancini told reporters. “I hope it can help us to start to win in the Premier League.”
At Stamford Bridge, Branislav Ivanovic and Frank Lampard had first-half chances for defending Cup champion Chelsea, while Oscar hit a post for the Blues after the chance was set up by Juan Mata.
Marcello Trotta put the ball in the net for Brentford only for referee Neil Swarbrick to call back play for a foul by Chelsea. Visiting players protested that he should have played the advantage rule.
Mata got the breakthrough for Chelsea in the 54th minute, slamming a left-foot shot in from just outside the penalty area.
In the 68th minute, Oscar flicked the ball into the net from close range after Ivanovic’s cut-back from the by-line. Three minutes later, Lampard made it 3-0 and captain John Terry, returning after a knee injury, headed the fourth goal in the 81st minute.
“We couldn’t score in the first half, which would have been even better for us, but I am pleased to score four goals and create chances,” said Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez.
Chelsea would face record 11-time Cup champion Manchester United in the quarterfinals if both clubs win their fifth-round matches. United hosts Reading tonight and Chelsea faces Middlesbrough on Feb. 27.
Callum McManaman’s wing play for Wigan was a constant problem for Huddersfield. He opened the scoring for the visiting team in the 31st minute after cutting in from the left. Arouna Kone made it 2-0 after 40 minutes.
James McArthur added to the visitors’ tally in the 56th minute before Lee Novak got a goal back for Huddersfield. Kone closed the scoring with a right-foot shot just before the end.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez said he told McManaman he wouldn’t be playing to prevent him from getting too excited before the match.
“Callum is such a talented young man, he loves the game and loves playing football and when he started to guess that he was going to be starting he was getting too hyped up,” Martinez said.
Two days ago, second-tier Blackburn upset Arsenal 1-0 in the fifth round. Millwall won 3-0 at non-league Luton, Barnsley won 3-1 at MK Dons and third-division Oldham drew 2-2 with Everton.
SIXTH-ROUND DRAW (Matches to be played on the weekend of March 9-10.) Oldham/Everton vs Wigan Manchester City vs Barnsley Manchester United/Reading vs Middlesbrough/Chelsea Millwall vs Blackburn