While some may choose to believe that the magic of the cup has evaporated in recent years, we still believe there’s a real admiration of the FA Cup in all of its glory across the country.
Whether or not the teams regularly involved in the competition agree is a different matter altogether, but we do feel as if they’ve managed to turn a corner in recent years.
As reported by BBC and The Guardian we saw two more high profile English clubs make their way into the fifth round of the FA Cup this week as Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool both booked their place in the last 16.
High drama in the cup
Tottenham’s task was always going to be a little bit trickier as they went toe to toe with Southampton, a team that they’d failed to beat twice within a matter of weeks prior to this game.
While they did manage to take the lead early on they were pegged back in a big way in the second half with the Saints coming on really strongly. They pushed Spurs back and really made them pay for their lethargic approach to the game, taking a 2-1 lead in the process.
The visitors were unable to hold onto the lead, though, with Tottenham getting a second wind that allowed them to edge into a 3-2 lead which they eventually held onto. Son Heung-min scored the winner from the penalty spot, sending Spurs into the fifth round for a date with Norwich City.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho was clearly pleased with the result.
“My team performance was in the limits. It was in the limits for me with players available and not available. It was in the limits for them because two days ago (sic) they played such an incredible match.
“We suffered. We played against a very good team, we played against a team that was the best team on the pitch but we deserved to win because we were in our limits. They had their best players, they had one more day rest, they were fresh.
Making an impact
“I think I did very well because I had to manage a team with so many difficulties. I changed from the back five to the back four in the moment when I could. Then Dele Alli became the link.
“The players [played with their] souls, and heart and gave absolutely everything. Four matches over two rounds, really hard for the boys. They deserve this happiness.”
Liverpool, on the other hand, received a lot of criticism from fans all over the world for fielding their under-23s team – with manager Jurgen Klopp not even being present for the game.
Alas, even with that monkey on their back, they were able to beat Shrewsbury with the kids and reach the fifth round. The lower league side seemed to take the lead against the run of play before VAR disallowed the goal, with the Reds taking the lead and the victory courtesy of a bizarre own goal late in the day.
They’ll move on to face Chelsea in the biggest tie of the fifth round by far.