English FA Cup Roundup, Feb. 19
Chelsea’s hopes of a third straight FA Cup title were dashed after losing to Everton on penalties in a fourth-round replay Saturday, while Manchester United required Wes Brown’s header to edge past non-league side Crawley 1-0 in a last-16 match.
Captain Phil Neville converted the winning spot kick for Everton at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea left back Ashley Cole skied his attempt over the bar with the score at 3-3 in the shootout.
The match finished 1-1 after extra time, with Leighton Baines’ free kick with a minute remaining canceling out Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard’s close-range strike in the 104th.
Everton will take on second-tier team Reading in the fifth round on March 1.
"We’ve been practicing (penalties) all week," Neville said. "The manager just told us to hit them as hard as possible.
"Out of the two ties with Chelsea, I think we just deserved to go through."
Crawley is 93 places below United in the league ladder but took the 11-time champions all the way at Old Trafford, almost nicking a shock draw when substitute Richard Brodie headed against the crossbar in the final seconds.
United, which played a second-string team but brought on star striker Wayne Rooney for the second half, was hanging on in the last 10 minutes and had Brown to thank for his 28th-minute glancing header from Darron Gibson’s textbook cross.
In the two other fifth-round matches, Premier League sides Birmingham and Stoke eased to 3-0 home victories over Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton, who both play in England’s third tier.
Arsenal travels to London minnow Leyton Orient for a last-16 match on Sunday, when Manchester City hosts third-tier side Notts County in a fourth-round replay.
The latest defeat for Chelsea, which has won three of the last four FA Cups, piles the pressure on manager Carlo Ancelotti. His side has dropped to fifth place in the Premier League after an alarming dip in form and could struggle to qualify for the Champions League.
"Every time the team doesn’t get the result, obviously the manager is under pressure," Ancelotti said. "I have fantastic support from the club, from my players. Together we have to move on.
"We deserved to win," said Ancelotti. "Obviously, penalties are a lottery and sometimes you can win and sometimes you can lose."
Chelsea came closer to scoring in regulation time when Lampard’s free kick was glanced by Everton defender Phil Jagielka onto his own post in the first half.
Lampard timed his run into the area to perfection for his goal, reacting to Didier Drogba’s miscontrol from Nicolas Anelka’s cross to drill home from 10 yards.
The game was sent to penalties, though, when Baines curled in a sublime free kick from 20 yards.
Baines was the first player to miss in the shootout as Chelsea took a 2-0 lead but Anelka had an effort saved by Tim Howard and Cole shot over, allowing Neville to be the match-winner.
Chelsea was trying to become the first side to win three straight FA Cups since Blackburn achieved the feat between 1884-86.
Crawley was looking to become the first non-league team to make the quarterfinals of the FA Cup but came up just short, ending its giantkilling run that had been the story of the famous competition this season.
"We’re a bit disappointed," captain Pablo Mills said. "But the lads put a great shift in. If we were going to go out, we did it at the best place."
United, which is top of the Premier League and also still in the Champions League, hardly threatened Crawley’s goal in the second half although Mexico striker Javier Hernandez did waste a good chance before the break.
Nigeria striker Obafemi Martins scored his first goal for Birmingham since his transfer-window move from Russian side Rubin Kazan in its comfortable win at St. Andrew’s.
Jean Beausejour also netted in the first half, with David Murphy adding the third after the break.
Stoke joined Birmingham in the last eight, with John Carew, Jon Walters and Ryan Shawcross scoring in first-half goals in an easy win over Brighton.