Liverpool not at their best, Tottenham 4-3 Wycombe, Celtic breaking the record30th Jan 2017 |
Before the kick off in the weekend’s FA Cup round I did predict that we might see some surprises. However, I could not imagine that we would see as many and as big surprises as we ended up doing. It was a wild round to say the least.
Liverpool in a very bad form
Most people taught that Liverpool would take their second victory in 2017 when facing Wolverhampton at home. That would not turn out to be the case. Two goals by the away team before the break meant that the half time score was 0-2, and Liverpool had very big problems fighting back. They did manage to finally score a goal in the 86th minute, but it was much too late. Liverpool has now been knocked out of two cups in just a few days, and a 0-1 victory away to Plymouth still stands as the only victory of 2017. Wolverhampton is added to the list of teams that Liverpool has failed to defeat this year, a list that among others includes Swansea, Sunderland and Plymouth. This is not good enough, and Chelsea is waiting for them on Wednesday.
The smaller teams are winning
So Wolverhampton defeated Liverpool, and I thought that we might have been given our great surprise before the 1500-games had already started. How wrong was I! The most dramatic game was without a doubt Tottenham-Wycombe. Like Wolves, Wycombe was up 0-2 at half time. Unlike Liverpool, Tottenham managed to get back into the game with a 2-2 equalizer in the 65th minute. We all thought that Wycombe would go to the next round when they scored the 2-3 goal in the 84th minute, but a goal in the 89th and 97th (!) minute for Tottenham managed to save them from great embarrassment. But there were many more surprises to be given. The non-league clubs Lincoln and Sutton United were facing Brighton and Leeds respectively. A 3-1 win for Lincoln and a 2-0 win for Sutton United gives us two non-league clubs in the 5th round. Two clubs from League One, Oxford and Millwall (can you imagine two places with more different images?) managed to beat good resistance, as Newcastle and Watford respectively had to throw in the white towel.Full midweek round
No need to fear being bored this week, for there will be played a full round in the Premier League on Tuesday and Wednesday. The game that stands out the most is without a doubt Liverpool-Chelsea on Tuesday. Klopp’s men should be very motivated to make up for the bad impression they have left us in 2017, and it would be very good for the excitement in the Premier League if Chelsea were to lose this one. It will be a tough week for them, as the next team they will face is Arsenal on Saturday. If Liverpool defeats Chelsea and Arsenal defeats Watford on Tuesday, Arsene Wenger’s men will be just two points behind the first place if they win on Saturday. This scenario might give us a very close race for the title, as Tottenham is facing Sunderland on Tuesday and Middlesbrough in the weekend, while Manchester City is facing West Ham on Wednesday and Swansea on Sunday. In other words: There is great potential for surprise here.
A record broken in Scotland
Jock Stein is without a doubt the most legendary manager of Celtic, but his record of 26 domestic games unbeaten has now officially been broken. The great Lisbon Lions did this 50 years ago, but with a smashing 4-0 victory over Hearts on Sunday, Brendan Rogers’ team broke it. No doubt the Celtic fans celebrated both breaking a record and smashing Hearts at the same time!