Manchester United, Chelsea suffer stunning FA Cup upsets

March 9th, 2008 - 4:32 pm ICT by admin  

DPA
London, March 9 (DPA) Manchester United and Chelsea have suffered stunning defeats in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup as they were bundled out of the competition by Portsmouth and Barnsley respectively. United were ousted 1-0 at home by Portsmouth, thanks to a Sulley Muntari penalty, but the biggest shock of all came late on Saturday when Barnsley followed up their win over Liverpool by beating Cup holders Chelsea by the same score.

United’s dreams of winning the treble were ended in dramatic fashion as Portsmouth completed a smash and grab raid at Old Trafford.

United could have been six or seven goals ahead but they were stunned when Muntari scored the winner from the penalty spot late in the second half after substitute goalkeeper Tomas Kuszczak was controversially sent off for a foul on Milan Baros.

“It’s fantastic,” Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp said.

“To come here today it was the worst draw of the lot. It was a great performance. We worked, we had a plan and we stuck with it.

With starting goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar having gone off the pitch at half-time through injury, Rio Ferdinand took the goalkeeper gloves but could not stop Muntari’s well-taken spot-kick.

Until that moment, United had been dominant and could and should have been ahead by at least one goal.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was also incensed that his side were not awarded a penalty in the first half when Ronaldo appeared to be bundled over by Distin, while United should also have scored when Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez contrived to miss when through two against one.

Portsmouth withstood four minutes of injury time to cling on and take their place in the semi-finals thanks to their first win at Old Trafford in 50 seasons.

If United’s defeat was a big surprise, Chelsea’s loss to Championship Barnsley was a monumental shock.

Chelsea enjoyed by far the more possession but Barnsley, who had beaten Liverpool in the previous round, could have been ahead in the first half when Istvan Ferenczi hit the post.

The visitors dominated the game in terms of territory but Kayode Odejayi won the game for Barnsley on 66 minutes, outjumping Carlo Cudicini to head into the empty net.

The goal was his first goal in 29 games and though Shaun Wright-Phillips and John Terry fired shots close late on, Barnsley, who defended superbly throughout, held on for a deserved victory.

“It’s unbelievable,” Odejayi said. “We’ve beaten Liverpool at Anfield, and now Chelsea, so why not (the Cup)?”
DPA

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