It is time for the wonderful FA Cup, England's storied knockout tournament contested among almost every team in the country, where in theory a Sunday pub team could produce a run of stunning results and win the whole shebang. But if you look at the list of FA Cup winners from the last quarter century or so, you mostly see the big names you know: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool. Even relative minnows like Wigan and Portsmouth were in the Premier League when they won.
This year that might change. The Premier League took a break this weekend so that 32 teams across England's top four divisions—alas, none of the amateur teams advanced this far—could contest the fourth round of the FA Cup. There are still more matches to play, but so far it has been a bloodbath for the big boys.
Up above you can see Manchester City— with a weakened squad, sure, but still featuring world class players like Sergio Aguero, David Silva, and Pablo Zabaleta—getting beat 2-0 by Championship side Middlesbrough. On Friday José Mourinho said losing to League One Bradford would be "a disgrace." On Saturday Chelsea gave up four goals to Bradford in a 4-2 loss. Tottenham lost to Leicester, Southampton to Crystal Palace, and League Two Cambridge United held Manchester United to a draw yesterday to earn a replay.
Liverpool is playing Bolton as I type and Arsenal, West Ham, Aston Villa, and Stoke play in the next two days, so it's not like the Premier League is down and out just yet. But four of the top six teams in the Premier League lost today, and a fifth could only manage a draw yesterday.
That's the magic of the FA Cup.
[Fox Sports 1]