FA Cup wrap: Sunderland stun Arsenal, Chelsea draw
Sunderland capped off a miserable week for Arsenal by knocking them out of the FA Cup, while Chelsea were held to a draw by Birmingham.
After Arsenal’s demoralising 4-0 defeat to AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday, their 2-0 loss at the Stadium of Light means Arsene Wenger’s side appear destined for another season without a trophy.
Kieran Richardson scored the opening goal in the 40th minute after a Sebastian Larsson free kick was not completely cleared by visiting defenders.
Arsenal had the majority of possession for the match but Martin O’Neill’s side were happy to sit back and attack on the counter.
The home side did that to perfection in the 77th minute when Stephane Sessegnon sped through the centre of the pitch before passing to Larsson.
The Swede’s shot rebounded off the post and then Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for an own goal as the Arsenal winger sprinted back to help in defence.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Birmingham at Stamford Bridge, increasing the pressure on boss Andre Villas-Boas.
David Murphy gave the Championship side the lead in the fifth-round tie, firing home after some indecisive defending from the hosts.
The Premier League side were punished after 20 minutes as Keith Fahey’s corner from the left was flicked on and as Chelsea’s defence dithered, Murphy ghosted in unmarked at the far post and slammed the ball home from six yards.
Colin Doyle then saved a Juan Mata spot-kick just minutes later after Ramires was clumsily cut down by Wade Elliott.
After replacing a misfiring Fernando Torres with Didier Drogba, Chelsea netted an equaliser just past the hour mark when Daniel Sturridge headed home from Branislav Ivanovic’s cross.
Chelsea dominated possession for the rest of the half, but failed to beat Doyle again, setting up a replay at St Andrews next month.
Elsewhere, Everton booked their spot in the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Championship side Blackpool at Goodison Park.
Royston Drenthe was the star man, opening the scoring after just 49 seconds following a neat move involving Leighton Baines, Magaye Gueye and Marouane Fellaini.
Six minutes later the game was won as Drenthe turned provider for Denis Stracqualursi who poked home a corner from six yards.
Kevin Phillips missed a penalty for Blackpool in the final minute of the match.
Bolton also moved into the last eight, thanks to a 2-0 victory away at Millwall.
Like Everton they struck early, with Arsenal loanee Ryo Myaichi opening the scoring after just four minutes.
The visitors were dominating proceedings at the New Den and made it count on the scoreboard just before the hour mark with David N’Gog finding the back of the net to send Bolton into the next round.
Leicester City were the only Championship side to win on Saturday, upsetting Norwich 2-1 at Carrow Road.
The sides were level at the break after Wesley Hoolahan cancelled out Sean St Ledger’s fifth-minute opener for Leicester.
David Nugent settled the match in the 71st minute, the former Portsmouth striker beating Jed Steer to seal the win for Leicester.