The 2021/22 FA cup fourth round saw plenty of its usual drama. West Ham broke the hearts of Kidderminster fans, the holders Leicester were knocked out alongside Manchester United by championship opponents, while Boreham Wood remarkably sent Bournemouth crashing out of the cup.
On the other hand, it was more comfortable for the three favourites Manchester City (15/8), Chelsea (4/1) and Liverpool (4/1), who all progressed into the fifth round.
Man Utd Crash Out
Friday night started off the FA cup weekend in great fashion, a championship side going to Old Trafford and knocking out a Man Utd team whose chances of winning a trophy this season are looking less and less likely.
Despite Middlesbrough’s goal being controversial following a hand ball in the build-up, Man United only have their own missed chances to blame. Sancho hit the bar, Ronaldo uncharacteristically missed a penalty, and Fernandes somehow missed the target when he was presented with an open goal opportunity.
Middlesbrough fought well throughout the 120 minutes and knew they had a 50/50 chance when it came to penalties. They got their chance. Every penalty was despatched very well until Anthony Elanga blazed it over, giving Middlesbrough fans a night to remember.
West Ham Break The Hearts Of Sixth Tier Kidderminster
Kidderminster v West Ham nearly gave us the biggest upset the FA cup has ever seen. The National League North team took a shock lead through Alex Penny in the 19th minute, but even then, many expected West Ham, a team playing in European football, to fight back.
At half time the buzz around the stadium was electric, the fans dared to dream that the impossible was going to happen. As the game edged into the 80th minute, everyone outside of West Ham became a Kidderminster fan, praying that they would see out such a historic win.
It looked all but certain as the 90 minutes were up, until Declan Rice scored a devastating goal in 91st minute, breaking football fan’s heart’s everywhere. As the game went into extra-time, everyone had the feeling that Kidderminster would need to take it into penalties where they still had a realistic chance of victory.
As the 120th minute approached, and Kidderminster fans were stood in anticipation, dreaming of the chance to knock West Ham out of the cup on penalties. That was until Jarred Bowen, one of West Ham’s star men, absolutely shattered Kidderminster’s dreams with a goal in the 121st minute.
Holders Leicester Knocked Out By Impressive Forest
It was confirmed that we would have a new FA cup winner in 2022 after last years winners were beat convincingly. Brendan Rodger’s wasn’t afraid to show his bitter disappointment with his players following their 4-1 thrashing to Nottingham Forest (40/1), who also knocked out Arsenal in the third round.
In his post-match interview, he admitted he had concerns about Leicester’s ‘lack of hunger’ and said they ‘lacked stability at the back’, allowing Nottingham Forest to create multiple chances. This is reflected in the stats, as Forest managed 7 shots on target, compared to Leicester’s 2. After Forest scored 3 goals in 9 minutes, even the Forest fans themselves looked shocked.
Leicester fans were given a slight bit of hope when Iheanacho scored a fabulous goal from a tight angle. Ultimately, they showed no real fight to get back into the tie, and the Forest defender Djed Spence put the game to bed with another Forest goal. Nottingham Forest now face Huddersfield for a place in the quarter-finals, and unusually for them, they will go in as favourites.
Boreham Wood Stun Bournemouth
The biggest shock of the tie undoubtedly came in the final fixture when Boreham Wood (250/1) travelled to Bournemouth. The fifth placed national league side have had a tremendous cup run, but no one could have predicted an away win against a Bournemouth side pushing for automatic promotion to the Premier League.
However, this is what the FA cup is all about! In the 38th minute, Mark Ricketts fired Boreham into a deserved lead, setting himself and his side up for a huge clash against Everton (10/1) at Goodison park.
Favourites Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool Progress
Despite processing, the top three Premier League sides all had a moment causing their fans to panic. Plymouth took Chelsea all the way to extra time before Alonso scored late on to ensure a 2-1 win. Fulham took the lead at Man City, albeit an extremely brief one before Pep’s side went on to win 4-1.
Liverpool arguably got lucky with the score line at 0-0 when Ibrahima Konaté wasn’t punished for his challenge on Mark Harris in the box, nor was Kelleher for his last man tackle (again on Harris) who only saw a yellow card when many thought it should have been a straight red.
Liverpool eventually took the lead through Diogo Jota, followed by a Minamo goal making it 2-0 to the reds. Harvey Elliott was substituted on and ensured victory with a third goal for Liverpool after missing 147 days with a dislocated ankle. The game ended 3-1 after Cardiff scored a consolation goal, which gave their fans something to cheer for at the Anfield Road end.
Frank Lampard’s Everton Off To A Great Start
Everton fans finally had something to celebrate following their 4-1 win over Brentford. It’s too early to tell, but it would appear that Frank Lampard has already had a big influence over the team and improved their performance levels, similar to what Steven Gerrard has done over at Aston Villa.
They now face Boreham Wood in the fifth round, giving them a fantastic opportunity to reach the quarter-finals. Everton’s last trophy was an FA cup win all the way back in 1995, and the fans are crying out for more silverware.
Round-Up Of The Other Fourth Round Games
In the Premier league ties, Norwich (40/1) continued their momentum with a 1-0 win over Wolves and Harry Kane made sure that Tottenham (7/1) progressed with a 3-1 win over Brighton. Elsewhere, Crystal Palace (16/1), Peterborough (66/1) and Stoke (50/1) all eased into the fifth round with 2-0 victories.
Huddersfield (50/1) secured a promising fifth round tie against Nottingham Forest with a 1-0 win over Barnsley and Luton (50/1) managed a comprehensive 3-0 away win at Cambridge United, who now face Chelsea at home in the next round.
Finally, Southampton (20/1) made it tough for themselves, with Coventry taking them to extra-time before Walker-Peters eventually sent them through with a goal in the 112th minute.
FA Cup Fifth Round Draw
- Luton vs Chelsea
- Crystal Palace vs Stoke
- Peterborough vs Man City
- Liverpool vs Norwich
- Southampton vs West Ham
- Middlesbrough vs Tottenham
- Nottingham Forest vs Huddersfield
- Everton vs Boreham Wood
The FA Cup fifth round will be played in the week commencing Monday 28 February.