Order restored in FA Cup as big teams avoid upsets
LONDON (AP) — After one of the most astonishing days in the FA Cup’s 144-year history, order was restored in the famous English competition as a trio of Premier League sides won Sunday to stem the flow of upsets in the fourth round.
Arsenal, West Ham and Aston Villa all beat lower-league opposition to avoid the fate that befell Chelsea, Manchester City and a slew of other top-flight teams who were eliminated on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Juventus its grip on first place in the Italian and Paris Saint-Germain won to stay within four points of French leader Lyon.
Here is a look at the best of the action in Europe’s top leagues:
Chelsea and Man City were among five teams in the Premier League’s top nine to be ousted from the FA Cup on Saturday. The underdogs couldn’t continue the shocks a day later, though.
Arsenal beat second-tier Brighton 3-2 Sunday after being set on its way by early goals from Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil. Tomas Rosicky was the other scorer for Arsenal, which is looking to retain the trophy and — as the fifth-place team in the top flight — is the highest-ranked side guaranteed a spot in the last 16.
Senegal striker Diafra Sakho came off the bench and scored an 81st-minute header to earn West Ham a 1-0 victory at Bristol City, which is second in English football’s third tier.
Villa had the toughest assignment against second-tier leader Bournemouth but came through with a 2-1 home win. New signing Carles Gil — with his first goal since moving from Valencia — and Andreas Weimann scored for the Premier League side.
The FA Cup was thrown wide open after Saturday’s remarkable events, when Premier League leader Chelsea squandered a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 to third-tier Bradford and English champion Man City was beaten 2-0 by second-tier Middlesbrough. The fourth-round surprises began Friday, with Manchester United held to a 0-0 draw by fourth-tier Cambridge.
The draw for the fifth round is on Monday.
Paul Pogba showed why he is a target of top European teams as he orchestrated a 2-0 win for Juventus against Chievo Verona, sending the defending champion seven points clear of Roma in Serie A.
Pogba scored a stunning opener on the hour mark and was instrumental in his team’s second, netted by Stephan Lichtsteiner.
Roma drew for the third straight game as it was held 1-1 at Fiorentina.
Former Bayern Munich former Mario Gomez put Fiorentina ahead in the first half and former forward Adem Ljajic leveled early in the second half against his former team.
There will be further debate about goal-line technology after Palermo had a goal ruled out in a 1-1 draw at Sampdoria, with the home side’s new signing Samuel Eto’o in attendance.
A stoppage-time goal gave Torino a 1-0 win at Inter Milan, its first since 1988, while a late strike also saw Cesena beat Parma 2-1 in a relegation battle. Hellas Verona beat Atalanta 1-0, with Javier Saviola scoring his first Serie A goal.
Malaga fought back for a 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league, four days before the two meet for a spot in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey.
Abel Resino also debuted as Granada’s new manager in a 2-2 draw at Deportivo La Coruna, as the league’s bottom side recorded a 16th round without a victory.
Bilbao midfielder Mikel San Jose headed in Markel Susaeta’s corner kick at the near post in the 70th minute, only for winter reinforcement Javi Guerra to tap home Miguel Torres’ low cross eight minutes later.
Bilbao’s winless run in the league reached seven rounds as it stayed in 13th place. Malaga remained in seventh after four rounds without a victory.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored for the first time in five league games, blasting home a penalty in Paris Saint-Germain’s scrappy 1-0 win at Saint-Etienne.
The win kept PSG four points behind leader Lyon, which beat 10-man Metz 2-0 with top striker Alexandre Lacazette scoring and getting injured.
PSG moved up to second place, level on points and on goal difference with bitter rival Marseille.
Ibrahimovic’s 60th-minute spot-kick was awarded after midfielder Jeremy Clement was adjudged to have handled the ball.
Earlier, Lacazette scored his league-leading 21st goal — and his 13th goal in the past nine games — to fire Lyon ahead in the 31st.
Two minutes later, he hurt his right hamstring stretching for a high ball, and is expected to miss next Sunday’s trip to fifth-place Monaco — with Lyon hosting PSG the weekend after.
Midfielder Corentin Tolisso added Lyon’s other goal in the 84th.