City dumped, Chelsea held in day of FA Cup shocks (Roundup)January 4th, 2009 - 2:31 pm ICT by IANS
London, Jan 4 (DPA) The third round of the FA Cup, England’s foremost football cup competition, is famous for delivering shocks as teams from the lower leagues upset the big names of the Premier League. The 2009 competition proved no different Saturday as big-spending Manchester City were dumped out of the Cup in a 3-0 defeat at Eastlands by Nottingham Forest, a team struggling at the bottom of the Championship.
Perhaps just as surprisingly, Chelsea’s poor league form at Stamford Bridge spilled over into the Cup as they failed to finish off Southend in a 1-1 draw. The replay that follows in 10 days time will not be welcomed by Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari as his side look to maintain their challenge for the Premier League title.
Elsewhere, Stoke City were stunned 2-0 at League One side Hartlepool, while Bolton Wanderers were the third Premier League side to go out, beaten by fellow top-flight side Sunderland.
Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion were both held to draws by lowly opposition, but both Arsenal and Premier League leaders Liverpool eased through to the next round.
City’s defeat increases the pressure on City manager Mark Hughes who, despite unveiling new signing Wayne Bridge from Chelsea before kick-off, saw his inconsistent side humiliated by a Forest team buoyed by the appointment of new manager Billy Davies.
Nathan Tyson and Rob Earnshaw put Forest, struggling near the foot of the Championship, 2-0 up with two quick goals late in the first half. Joe Garner then sealed a famous win for Forest when he scored the third late in the second half.
Despite the heavy defeat, Hughes insisted after the game that he is the right man to turn City’s fortunes around and pleaded for patience.
“I know exactly what is needed here,” he said. “The work we do on a day-to-day basis makes players better. They have to be brave enough to perform in matches. Today some were guilty of not doing that.
“We know the areas of the squad we have to strengthen and we will try to do that. It is not going to happen in this window, or even two or three. We need more time,” Hughes added.
At Stamford Bridge, Salomon Kalou’s 31st-minute goal looked enough for the home side but Peter Clarke headed the equalizer in injury time to send the visiting fans wild.
Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari suggested that his team may be lacking confidence in front of goal.
“I need to teach my players more concentration when they arrive in front of goal,” Scolari said. “Maybe it is confidence when they arrive in front of goal, maybe pressure. They need to score more goals and get more confidence.”
Robin van Persie scored twice as Arsenal eased to a 3-1 win over Plymouth while Albert Riera and Fernando Torres scored for Liverpool to give the Premier League leaders a 2-0 victory over Championship side Preston at Deepdale.
Portsmouth were held to a goalless draw by Championship side Bristol City, while the Premier League’s bottom side West Brom could only draw 1-1 at home with Peterborough.
Hull City and Newcastle United will also replay at St James’s Park after a 0-0 draw, but Everton, Middlesbrough, Fulham and West Ham United all progressed to round four.
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