By Simon Gray
The FA Cup Fifth Round is here and over the years, even though we are in the latter stages of the competition, shocks still happen in England’s most magical competition. Here are five shocks from the Fifth Round over the past five seasons.
Norwich City 1-2 Leicester City
Premier League side Norwich City were on the wrong end of an FA Cup shock when Championship side Leicester City came to town.
Leicester took the lead after just five minutes through Sean St. Ledger as he out jumped Steve Morison to head home at the near post.
Norwich then levelled in the 23rd minute after Wes Hoolahan tapped in the rebound of his own penalty when Kasper Schmeichel had saved his first attempt.
Both sides pushed for a winner but had to wait until the 71st minute when Jermaine Beckford and David Nugent linked up well before the latter finished passed John Ruddy to seal a quarterfinal spot for Leicester.
The win for Leicester set up an away tie at another Premier League side in the form of Chelsea and would come unstuck this time, losing 5-2 at Stamford Bridge.
Since the tie at Carrow Road, the two teams are have swapped leagues, with Norwich chasing a Championship play off place and Leicester, having won the Premier League last season, are fighting off relegation this year.
In the FA Cup this season, Norwich lost to Premier League Southampton in a Third Round replay, Leicester are still in the competition and face a tough trip to League One Millwall, who have already knocked out Premier League sides Bournemouth and Watford to reach the Fifth Round.
Arsenal 0-1 Blackburn Rovers
Championship side Blackburn Rovers stunned Arsenal at the Emirates stadium thanks to Colin Kazim-Richards’ goal in the 72nd minute after Martin Olsson saw his effort parried by Wojciech Szczesny.
Arsenal could have led the match as chances went begging either side of half time and once the Blackburn goal went in, Arsenal would desperately try to equalise but all the chances they created would come to nothing.
Blackburn would go onto face Championship rivals Millwall at Ewood Park but lost 1-0 thanks to Danny Shittu’s goal.
Since then, Arsenal have won consecutive FA Cup’s but have not managed to lift the Premier League. This year, Blackburn are fighting a relegation battle in the Championship but do face FA Cup holders Manchester United in the Fifth Round. Arsenal travel to non-league Sutton United hoping to avoid a giant killing.
Sheffield United 3-1 Nottingham Forest
League One Sheffield United continued their shock FA Cup run as they beat Championship side Nottingham Forest at Bramall Lane.
Sheffield United had already knocked out Aston Villa and Fulham to reach round five but fell behind in the 28th minute thanks to a Jamie Paterson header.
Conor Coady levelled with less than 25 minutes left but the 25,000 fans had to wait until stoppage time for the real drama.
Sheffield United striker Chris Porter gave them the lead in stoppage time after he tucked in a penalty and then two minutes later, Porter would seal a quarterfinal tie tapping in Jamie Murphy’s cross.
The Blades would go onto beat Charlton in the quarters before losing to Hull City 5-3 at Wembley in the semi finals.
This year, Sheffield United look destined to return to the Championship after six consecutive seasons in League One. Nottingham Forest look set to spend another season in the Championship after an inconsistent campaign has meant another mid-table finish.
In the FA Cup, Sheffield United went out to League One Bolton in round two with Nottingham Forest going out to Championship rivals Wigan in the Third Round.
Bradford 2-0 Sunderland
League One Bradford City defeated another Premier League side in the Fifth Round. They beat Sunderland 2-0 at Valley Parade the round after stunning Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Bradford took the lead in the third minute when Billy Clarke’s shot deflected in off of the shin of John O’Shea, who knew nothing about it.
Chances were few and far between in this tie with the Bradford City pitch playing a major part in the match but just after the hour mark, James Hanson capitalised on a mistake from Adam Johnson to set up Jon Stead to score against his old club.
The win meant that Bradford were through to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1976.
Bradford went on to lose in a quarterfinal replay to Reading. After drawing the first match 0-0 at Valley Parade, Reading went onto win the replay 3-0 at the Madejski Stadium.
Since the tie, Bradford have gone on to lose in the League One play offs but are chasing promotion once again this year. Sunderland have managed to avert relegation from the Premier League but are again locked in a battle to avoid the drop this season.
In the FA Cup this season, Bradford lost in the First Round to League Two Accrington Stanley at Valley Parade. Sunderland lost in a Third Round replay to Premier League rivals Burnley at Turf Moor.
Reading 3-1 West Brom
Championship side Reading came from behind to reach the FA Cup quarterfinals, beating Premier League West Brom at the Madejski Stadium.
After a goalless first half, West Brom took the lead when Darren Fletcher drilled a low shot beyond Ali Al-Habsi in the Reading goal.
Reading levelled five minutes later thanks to Paul McShane’s header. They then took the lead after Michael Hector headed past Ben Foster with just under 20 minutes to go.
Darren Fletcher then missed a golden chance to level the tie but his shot was straight at Al-Habsi when it looked easier to score.
Lucas Piazon would seal the tie for Reading in stoppage time, rifling a shot past Foster and the Royals would go onto face Crystal Palace in the Sixth Round, eventually losing 2-0.
This year Reading, under Jaap Stam, are chasing promotion back into the Premier League but lost to Manchester United 4-0 in the Third Round of the FA Cup. West Brom are eighth in the Premier League but also lost in the Third Round this year with Derby County coming away from the Hawthorns 2-1 winners.