Ledley's Talking Points: Cupsets, Points Proven and Farewells
7 Talking Points
Nottingham Forest gave Arsene Wenger his first FA Cup first round defeat since taking over Arsenal in 1996. Forest sealed the win with a late penalty, in which Arsenal players were convinced that Kieran Dowell had accidentally struck the ball twice. But rather than making excuses, Wenger admitted: “I just think we were not good enough anywhere – not up front, in the middle or at the back – and we paid for it.”
Coventry caused the upset of the day on Saturday, beating Stoke 2-1 at the Ricoh Arena and ending Mark Hughes’ reign as Potters manager in the process. Defeat to the league Two side was the final nail in the coffin for Hughes, as Stoke had also suffered five defeats in seven games in the Premier League, sinking to the relegation zone.
Newport County were also in on the magic of the Cup, coming from behind to beat Leeds United 2-1 after an 89th-minute header from Shawn McCoulsky. The two clubs were separated by 53 places in the Football League, which is the exact same margin between Coventry and Stoke.
Burnley gave Man City a scare in their first round FA Cup clash, leading Pep’s men 1-0 until the 56th minute at the Etihad. Sergio Aguero pulled it level with a quickly taken free-kick and then put City in the lead just two minutes later. In the end it finished 4-1 and looked like a very convincing victory, stretched their domestic unbeaten run to 26 games this season.
Wolves couldn’t break the deadlock against Swansea in an entertaining goalless draw at the Molineux, but they did show that they’re already a team capable of competing in the Premier League. Despite playing two-thirds of the game with 10-men, Wolves were the better side, and Will Norris extended his run of not having conceded a goal for the club, which now stands at 480 minutes of football.
Jesse Lingard scored his eighth goal in ten games to inject some life into Man United’s clash with Derby, with a brilliant strike in the 84th-minute that gave Scott Carson no chance. Lingard has proved himself to come up with the goods when United need it most, and his recent string of performances show just how far he has come since his loan spells to Derby, Brighton, Birmingham and Leicester, as recent as 2015.
Coutinho is set to join Barcelona after a £142m deal was agreed with Liverpool on Saturday. The Brazilian magician has dazzled in the Premier League over the last four seasons and has left quite a hole in the Liverpool squad. The Reds have received a lot of money for the Brazilian, and how they spend it could be key to how their season pans out. Meanwhile, Barcelona are already 9 points clear at the top of La Liga, and 16 points ahead of Real Madrid.
The Legends scored 74 points this week, placing them 13th in the weekly table in a tough week. Ledley managed 16 points while Crouchy and Shaun Wright-Phillips followed on 15 apiece.
Top 6 selected teams to win
Raith (won 2-1)
Macclesfield Town (0-0)
Plymouth (won 3-0)
Dover (lost 1-2)
Top 6 Selected Draws
Charlton 1-0 Oldham
Oxford 1-0 Blackpool
Forest G 1-0 Port Vale
Bromley 1-0 Fylde
Ebbsfleet 0-1 Chester
Gateshead 0-2 Sutton Utd
Accrington Stanley (4-0)
You can make your selections for matchweek 24 now!