Sixth-tier Maidstone, nicknamed the Stones, were already the lowest-ranked club left in the competition, and they have now reached the fourth round for the first time, beating Stevenage with a Sam Corne goal from the penalty spot.

Sunderland’s first clash with fierce rivals Newcastle since 2016 looked the pick of Saturday’s ties, but failed to deliver any fireworks as Howe’s side avoided a slip-up.

“It feels great to win,” Howe, whose side’s season has stalled of late, told ITV. “I never worried about the draw I always thought it was a great draw — as long as we won it.

“We handled the occasion well, were brave with the ball and were very composed. We didn’t let the crowd take over and we handled everything really well in the first half
two good opportunities as the visitors dominated by the time Dan Ballard turned Joelinton’s cross into his own goal in the 35th minute.

Sweden striker Isak then capitalised on a defensive error by Pierre Ekwah immediately after the break to put Newcastle in charge.

Sunderland did improve with Ekwah’s deflected shot being well saved by Martin Dubravka, but Isak’s late penalty after a foul on Anthony Gordon by Ballard sent the away fans crazy.

Villa and Middlesbrough appeared destined for a replay until Cash broke the deadlock in the 87th minute with a powerful shot from just outside the 18-yard box that deflected in off Emmanuel Latte Lath.

“A goal is a goal, so I am buzzing with it,” the defender told the BBC. “I have worked on it in training outside the box to finish, we have worked on having three around the edge and my instinct was to shoot.”

Villa, who are second in the crowded Premier League title race, have won the FA Cup seven times but not since 1957, and had not reached the fourth round since 2016.

At Stamford Bridge, Broja grazed the top of the bar before Thiago Silva, just off the bench, powered in a header from a Cole Palmer corner in the 66th minute as the Blues turned on the gas after a dull first half.

“The potential is amazing — we are talking about one of the young strikers here in England or in Europe with the most potential,” Mauricio Pochettino said of Broja.

The Chelsea manager reminded reporters that Broja had been out for nearly a year with injury.

“Our expectation is massive and we really, really need him,” Pochettino said.

Raheem Sterling curled in a free kick and five minutes from time Enzo Fernandez turned the ball into an empty net to complete the rout.

Two goals in quick succession by Sinclair Armstrong and Lyndon Dykes had Championship strugglers QPR in charge against in-form Bournemouth but the visitors found another gear in the second half with substitute Justin Kluivert firing the winner after Marcus Tavernier and Kieffer Moore had levelled it up.

Premier League bottom club Sheffield United were too good for fourth-tier Gillgham with William Osula and James McAtee both scoring twice in a 4-0 victory.

Joao Pedro scored twice for Brighton as they won 4-2 at Stoke City.

Championship leaders Leicester City, FA Cup winners in 2021, won 3-2 at Millwall while Ipswich Town, who are also targeting a Premier League return, won 3-1 at fourth-tier Wimbledon.

Coventry City thrashed Oxford United 6-2 to reach the fourth round for the first time in five years.

An own goal by Jakub Kiwior and a thumping late strike by Luis Diaz sealed a 2-0 victory for Liverpool at Arsenal in the weekend’s headline FA Cup third round tie as the hosts’ dismal form extended into the New Year on Sunday.

Arsenal wasted a sackful of chances in the first half and were made to pay as Liverpool captain Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free kick glanced off the head of Kiwior in the 80th minute.

Diaz then made sure of eight-time winners Liverpool’s place in the fourth round draw as he lashed home in stoppage time.

Earlier on Sunday holders Manchester City romped to a 5-0 victory over second-tier Huddersfield Town with Phil Foden scoring twice and Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne returning to action after a four-month injury layoff.

Arsenal have now lost three games in a row in all competitions and the wayward finishing that has seen them drop down to fourth in the Premier League was evident again as they squandered a flurry of first-half chances.

“The performance was there and the amount of chances too,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told reporters. “We just have to win the game, but we lost it and we are not capitalising. To win games we need to capitalise.”

Reiss Nelson latched on to a punt forward by Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale in the fourth minute but could only shoot into the side netting and captain Martin Odegaard then rattled the crossbar with a fierce drive after a mistake by Joe Gomez.

Kai Havertz could not capitalise on two good chances as Arsenal failed to punish a lacklustre Liverpool side who were without a host of players including Mohamed Salah who is on international duty and an ill Virgil van Dijk.

Arsenal continued to make chances in the second half with Bukayo Saka volleying clumsily over from Declan Rice’s cross.

Liverpool then woke up with Ramsdale saving from Diaz and Diogo Jota heading against the crossbar before the unfortunate Kiwior inadvertently glanced in Alexander-Arnold’s inswinging delivery from a free-kick.

Colombian winger Diaz then sent the 7,000 visiting fans wild as he slammed an unstoppable shot past Ramsdale.

“Everything was better in the second half,” Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp told reporters. “I’m really happy and proud we could win this game. Arsenal could have won it without a doubt. We finished it off and it spoke for the character of the boys.”


A strong Manchester City side suffered a setback when they lost defender Manuel Akanji to injury early on and Huddersfield were proving stubborn opponents until Foden fired them ahead and Julian Alvarez poked home a second before the interval.

De Bruyne entered the fray in the 57th minute and City added their third a minute later as Norwegian winger Oscar Bobb tried to pick out the Belgian at the far post, only to see his deflected cross loop into the net to make it 3-0.

Foden added his second with a precise shot and De Bruyne teed up fellow substitute Jeremy Doku to complete the rout.

“We are incredibly delighted to have him back, because Kevin helps to win games. It is so important to have him back after a long injury,” coach Pep Guardiola told the BBC.

Elsewhere Premier League sides struggled. Luton Town played out a scoreless draw at home against third-tier Bolton Wanderers while Nottingham Forest will also need a replay after a 2-2 draw at the City Ground against third-tier Blackpool.

West Ham United were held to a 1-1 draw at home to second-tier Bristol City.

Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds United had no such problems as striker Patrick Bamford netted a brilliant volley in a 3-0 hammering of Peterborough United, and West Bromwich Albion cruised to a 4-1 win at home to Aldershot Town.

Leave a Reply