There’s still magic left in The FA Cup

Today proved that there is still magic in The FA cup. National League leaders Lincoln City pulled off a giant killing against Premier League side Burnley. Lincoln’s win was all the more impressive when you take Burnley’s outstanding home form into account. Such form that will see them playing Premier League football next season. Lincoln City became the first non-league club to reach the last eight of the competition since Queens Park Rangers in 1914. Sean Raggett was Lincoln’s hero, heading past Tom Heaton in the 89th minute.

Lincoln weren’t the only side delivering an FA cup shock this weekend. League one side Millwall knocked Premier League champions Leicester City out of the competition. The result for Leicester heaps more pressure on Claudio Ranieri, the champions really need to start winning games to build up their confidence for the remaining fixtures in the Premier League. Millwall who were down to 10 men for much of the second half, scored in the 90th minute to go through to the last eight.

Oxford United who beat Newcastle United in the last round, almost pulled off another shock result again this time round. Eventually losing 3-2 to Premier League side Middlesbrough, Oxford were 2-0 down at one stage in the game but fought back before Middlesbrough broke Oxford hearts in the last few minutes.

Huddersfield Town produced a fantastic performance to hold Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side to a goalless draw. Huddersfield will now travel to the Etihad stadium hoping to cause another FA Cup upset.

Another giant killing could be on the cards on Monday night – one that could potentially trump the results seen today. Arsenal travel to Sutton, many will see this as an easy game for Arsenal, however as proved today anything is possible in The FA Cup. If Arsenal lose against Sutton, it could spell the end for Arsene Wenger after recent results.

For a long time now The FA Cup has seen the bigger teams fielding weakened sides – with many fearing that the competition had lost all it’s magic. A lot of sides have been accused of not taking the competition seriously. With the results we have seen in this season’s FA Cup, I expect teams to start fielding full strength sides once more. This competition is steeped in history, it should be taken seriously. The FA Cup is a huge competition and should be treated as such. The FA Cup gives lower sides a chance to have more media coverage, which brings in more finances to the clubs.

Today’s results have kept the magic of the competition alive and long may it continue. The FA Cup will always be one of my favourite competitions, it is always great to see smaller teams going up against clubs from the Premier League or Championship. We will wait and see if Monday night brings another historic victory for a non-league side.