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06 December 2023

English football in FA Cup shock: City, Chelsea knocked out by lower league teams

Bradford City's English striker Jon Stead (L) vies for the ball with Chelsea's English defender Gary Cahill (C) during the FA Cup fourth round football match between Chelsea and Bradford City at Stamford Bridge in London on January 24, 2015. Bradford City won the match 4-2. (AFP)


Gary Lineker was as surprised as anyone as Premier League big guns Chelsea and Manchester City were both knocked out of the FA Cup to lower league opposition on Saturday afternoon.

League One Bradford served up one of the biggest shocks in FA Cup history as they hit back from two goals down to beat Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge.

And on an extraordinary day in the world's oldest knockout competition, Manchester City were also left reeling by a 2-0 defeat at home to Championship Middlesbrough.

Match of the Day presenter Lineker posted on Twitter following the results of those games: "Just checked out the FA Cup scores. Think I've misread them. Will check again."

Before he added: "Un- believable. The FA Cup is alive and kicking!

"Huge congratulations to Bradford City and Middlesbrough. Truly stunning performances!"

Former Boro winger Andy Halliday was the Bantams hero as he fired home from outside the box to give Phil Parkinson's men a stunning lead with eight minutes left in west London.

And when substitute Mark Yeates fired home deep into seven minutes of injury time, one of the most miraculous results in the history of the competition was complete.

Halliday was lost for words following the famous victory and told talkSPORT: ''We are speechless. Two nil down against arguably the best team in Europe and to come back like we did - you will struggle to see a better performance at Stamford Bridge this season."

He added on Twitter: "Am I gonna wake up soon ? Words don't come close, best feeling i've ever had! Football is crazy."

Aitor Karanka's Boro fashioned a result of similar magnitude as goals from Patrick Bamford and Kike sunk Manuel Pellegrini's stars.

Bamford shared his delight on Twitter as he wrote: "Words can't even describe! What a team. great moment for the fans who travelled as well!!!! #UTB #boro"

Earlier on Saturday nine-man Swansea were the third top-flight casualties against lower level opposition as they crashed out 3-1 at Blackburn in the lunchtime kick-off.

Rovers defender Shane Duffy was pleased to be part of the Blackburn side to make it to Monday night's draw and posted on Twitter: "Football is a mad game .. Delighted to get the win and into the next round , who do we all want? Looking forward to the draw."

Late goals from Leonardo Ulloa and Jeffrey Schlupp saw Leicester hit back from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 at White Hart Lane and Foxes boss Nigel Pearson wrote on Twitter: "Great #FACup tie and delighted to win it. We had pace and an attacking formation against a very good side. Great team display."

Tottenham goalkeeper Michel Vorm could not hide his disappointment at exiting the competition and believes Spurs can only blame themselves, as he tweeted: "We have to blame ourselves. We had good chances and we were 1-0 up."

Crystal Palace won 3-2 at Southampton and on-loan striker Yaya Sanogo took to Twitter to say: "What a game, and what a team. City, Chelsea and Southampton are out. There is something to do in the #FACup."

On Saturday evening, Liverpool were held to a goalless draw at home to Championship Bolton and face a replay, as do Manchester United, who were held by the same scoreline away to Cambridge United on Friday night.

Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan joined in the banter on Twitter as he wrote: "The #FACup is fantastic ... Today proved once again that you just never know.. And also why I what a #FAcup style comp for Cricket."