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Rediff.com  » Sports » Man United humbled, Cup holders Chelsea cruise

Man United humbled, Cup holders Chelsea cruise

January 04, 2010 08:28 IST

Jermaine Beckford celebrates after scoringLeeds United sent Manchester United crashing to their most embarrassing FA Cup defeat for 26 years when they scored a shock 1-0 third-round victory at Old Trafford on Sunday.

A 19th-minute goal from in-form striker gave the League One (third division) leaders victory as Manchester United, who have won the Cup a record 11 times, went out at this stage for the first time since 1984.

Holders Chelsea made sure there was no slip-up at Stamford Bridge where they crushed Championship (second division) Watford 5-0 after streaking into a 3-0 lead in 22 minutes.

Arsenal, the second most successful club in the cup's history with 10 wins, left it late to beat West Ham United in a pulsating all-London tie at Upton Park.

Goals from Aaron Ramsey after 78 minutes and Eduardo five minutes later gave the visitors a 2-1 win after Alessandro Diamanti had put the Hammers ahead just before the break.

The biggest upset of the round, and the competition, for many years came at Old Trafford where Beckford's solitary strike was fashioned by a 50-metre punt from Johnny Howson.

The ball went over the champions' defence, allowing Beckford to get a touch and angle a shot wide of keeper Tomas Kuszczak.

It was the first time Alex Ferguson had suffered defeat in the third round, the stage at which the top clubs enter the FA Cup, since he became United manager in 1986.

United's first loss to lower league opposition since 1984 also gave Leeds a memorable victory at a ground where they regularly used to duel with United for national supremacy before their slide down the leagues.

BIG SHOCK

The 9,000 away fans went wild with delight at the end of a thrilling tie which produced the first big shock of the round after a series of predictable results on Saturday.

"I must admit I didn't expect that performance," Ferguson told MUTV. "If you don't start and the other team does, you're always up against it.

"Leeds had a far bigger appetite than us for the game. You need a bit of luck and they got it but they deserved it because they played really well."

Leeds manager Simon Grayson was full of praise for his team.

"It was a good long diagonal ball from Johnny Howson and nine times out of 10 Jermaine finishes them off and that's what he did," he told ITV.

"We gave ourselves an opportunity to go and win the game from there and with a bit of luck here and there we've hung on.

"I am sure they will be celebrating in Leeds for the next few days. The players will have tomorrow off then we will start preparing for the match against Wycombe."

Grayson's men thoroughly deserved their victory which would have been more comfortable if Beckford had scored after 78 minutes instead of dragging his shot just wide.

Robert Snodgrass smashed a 25-metre free kick against the United bar two minutes later before keeper Casper Ankergren parried a goalbound effort from Wayne Rooney in stoppage time.

Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov and Rooney went close for United but Leeds, who needed a replay to get past non-League Kettering Town in the last round, hung on for a memorable victory -- their first at Old Trafford since 1981.

NO UPSET

Chelsea cruised past Watford at Stamford Bridge where Daniel Sturridge, John Eustace (own goal) and Florent Malouda settled the outcome with early goals.

Frank Lampard and Sturridge scored in the second half to ensure Chelsea eliminated Watford for the second season running.

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said: "I am happy because it was important to start the New Year well.

"If you don't take the game in the right way it could be difficult but we were up 3-0 after 20 minutes and we played well for the full 90 minutes."

West Ham looked as if they would cause an upset against Arsenal after Diamanti gave them the lead with a left-foot shot that squeezed past keeper Lukasz Fabianski just before halftime.

But Arsenal hit back late in the game with goals from Ramsey and Eduardo, who scored a well-taken header, turning the game.

Source:
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