Four of today’s five FA Cup 5th round matches ended in draws, resulting in four replays to take place later. Only Chelsea moved on to the quarterfinals without needed a second try.
For starters, Fulham fell flat in Wales against Swansea City. Fulham managed just an own-goal from Swansea while the Swans’ Jason Scotland forced the retry on his 52nd minute goal at the Liberty Stadium. Interesting day for the Swansea player as he scored a goal in Wales with the last name Scotland while the shirt sponsor is at least jokingly in support of the Irish (see above). Fulham will need a much better match to advance past scrappy Swansea in the re-do.
At Ewood Park, Blackburn Rovers needed a last-gasped Christopher Samba goal to draw even with Coventry City and earn a retry for a spot in the quarterfinals. The 2-2 result came after Aron Gunnarsson and Michael Doyle scored in the 61st and 76th minutes respectively, giving the Sky Blues a glimmer of hope. Instead Blackburn forced the second match at the Ricoh Arena.
Greg Halford gave Sheffield United an early lead but Hull City drew even on 34 minutes with Kamil Zayatte’s goal, forcing the retry at the KC Stadium. The 1-1 draw sent yet another Premiership side into another match, though the Blades have done well in national tournaments thus far this season.
At Upton Park, Herita Ilunga cancelled out Stewart Downing’s first half goal for Middlesbrough giving West Ham United a 1-1 home draw, forcing yet another retry. Boro should be pleased with the result, despite Ilunga’s 83rd minute equalizer, as they’ll get the redo back at the Riverside.
Finally, Chelsea used a Nikolas Anelka second half treble to send the Blues to a 3-1 victory at Vicarage Road against Watford. The Hornets looked to pull the stunner when Tamas Priskin gave Watford a 1-0 lead in the 69th minute. But Anelka scored in bunches, as he often does, drilling three back-breakers in the final fifteen minutes. Chelsea move on to the quarterfinals and will wait as most of the rest of the FA Cup entrants will either play tomorrow or retry their efforts from today to determine the rest of the final eight.
Tomorrow’s matches include Aston Villa @ Everton and Manchester United @ Derby County.