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The Five Most Memorable Stats From A Historic Weekend Of FA Cup Action

The Five Most Memorable Stats From A Historic Weekend Of FA Cup Action
By Balls Team
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"Giant-killers" is the cliche of mass destruction this weekend after a surprising and entertaining weekend of FA Cup action. Poor old Liverpool were dumped out of their second Cup competition of the week. After an opening of such promise, their season is now in ashes. The Premier League is the only competition that retains their interest at this stage and they are ten points off Chelsea at the top of the table.

Leeds United, still giants in the grand scheme of things, were downed by National League club Sutton United earlier this afternoon. Oxford United schooled an under-strength Newcastle United in the Kassam Stadium. Not all the Championship promotion chasers lay down this weekend. Both Hudderfield and Fulham won handsomely, securing comfortable passage to the Fifth round.

After a weekend in which the little guy shone, here are the five most memorable stats from the 4th round of the FA Cup.

Non-League glory

The Fifth Round of the FA Cup, aka the last 16, will contain two non-League teams for the first time since the foundation of the Football League. 

Lincoln City beat Championship high flyers Brighton 3-1 yesterday and today fellow National Football League side Sutton United joined in them in the last 16 with a 1-0 win over Leeds United, another team hungry for promotion to the Premier League.

Whether all this means the romance is still alive or whether it means that high-ranking Championship teams have decided they've more important things to worry about remains to be seen.

Fellaini loves a Cup

Marouane Fellaini nodded home the 1st goal in Manchester United's 4-0 home win against Wigan Athletic. It is his 13th goal for the club in 111 appearances. Seven of those goals have come in 78 league appearances, meaning he scores in roughly one in every eleven PL games.

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The other six have come in 33 Cup competition games. A ratio of almost one in five.

That suggests an obvious solution going forward. They should rest him for the League. Let him concentrate solely on delivering for Man United in the Cup.

[Opta]

Blackburn's historically low attendance

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A historically low crowd were in Ewood Park to see Blackburn dispose of Blackpool 2-0. A joint boycott by two sets of supporters furious at their respective owners kept the attendance below 10,000.

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Blackburn supporters have been raging at the Rao family (aka, the owners of Venky's) for years now while the away Blackpool supporters have suffered under the belligerent and graceless stewardship of Karl Oyston. The club scaled the heights of the Premier League in 2011 and now find themselves in mid-table in League 2. Ironically, the club's nickname is progress.

With the Riverside Stand totally deserted, only 9,327 filed into the ground to watch the 4th round tie. The last time a similar sized crowd came through the turnstiles at Ewood Park was in November 1991.

Liverpool's Tier 2 blues

Some of you might be of an age to remember Bristol City's 1-0 victory at Anfield in the FA Cup Third Round in 1994. It was the game that finally convinced both Liverpool and Graeme Souness that a parting of the ways was needed.

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A disgruntled Souness quit shortly afterwards and match-winner Brian Tinnion said later he'd received many letters of thanks from Liverpool fans for helping to affect this change.

It's a different era but Liverpool's predilection for stumbling at home to lower league opposition in the Cup remains in place.

Somewhat strangely, Liverpool's last three home defeats in the FA Cup have all arrived against second tier opposition. Barnsley in 2008, Reading in 2010 and Wolves in 2017 have all been their conquerors.

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Schweinsteiger's barren 2016

Bastian Schweinsteiger scored for Manchester United in their handy demolition of Wigan. He was busy and impressive all afternoon, completing more passes than any other player on the pitch (103).

And, more memorably, he scored. He followed up his goal with a tennis-style celebration. Goal celebrations used to simple expressions of giddy joy. Now, they're used as a vehicle to make a grand statement. A response to the Ana Ivanovic business.

It is his second ever goal for the club. His first, which came against Watford in the Premier League, was a whopping 429 days ago on November 21, 2015.

[WhoScored.com]

Read more: 6 Agonising Times Teams Threw Away League Titles On The Final Day

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