Back to the magic of the FA Cup then – full of giant killings, upsets, shocks and more. Except, of course, the FA Cup 4th Round ended up with more Goliaths than Davids progressing, minimal shocks and the only upsets being the tears shed by Kidderminster as they were a mere 60 seconds (twice) from knocking out West Ham – because we all knew Middlesboro and Forest were going to win, right?
If we roll the clock back to Friday night, was that even much of a shock? Ralf Rangnick might be the godfather of the modern game but he might have been better not rocking up at Old Trafford and protecting that myth.
Have United really been any better than before Oleâ€™s sacking? Letâ€™s be honest, Solksjaer was just as likely to have lost to Middlesboro on penalties and if it was â€˜a lack of philosophyâ€™ that did for the Norweigan what about the fact that Ralf is already sacrificing his principles after a mere month or so?
Rangnick arrived at the club to deliver high-intensity, attacking, modern football – all the United faithful have been served up so far is more of the same. At least you were able to get a pie and a pint at halftime when Ole was at the wheel, eh?
As mentioned, Kidderminster Harriers were twice less than a minute away from knocking West Ham out for the cup.
6th division Kiddy were the moral victors against the Moysiahâ€™s high-flyers. Moyes went with a strong starting lineup but were well off the pace in the intimate environment of Aggborough. Declan Rice was thrown in and it was he who scored the first heartbreaker in the 92nd minute – a 45-minute cameo that had people likening Rice to Steven Gerrard. For me, Rice is the nearest thing to Bryan Robson – without the injuries – and unfortunately for the Hammersâ€™ fans they should enjoy him whilst they can.Â
With the penalty-taking order being decided, Jarrod Bowen tapped in at the far post to send West Ham through and Kiddy wondering what could have been – what could have been would have been an away tie at Southampton, incidentally.
Southampton nicked past Coventry after extra-time, Kyle Walker-Peters adding another goal to his growing collection.
FA Cup holders Leicester City crashed out away to relatively local rivals Nottingham Forest 4-1. Before the match, wise sages suggested that Brennan Johnson might cause England hopeful Luke Thomas a few issues, Keenan Davis might fancy it against the Leicester centre-halves, Djed Spence might show why Spurs were in for him in the window and Forest might fancy a goal from a corner.
Those wise sages were bang on and the odds on Steve Cooper replacing Brendan Rodgers at Leicester must have plummeted.
Chelsea were Tuchelless and pretty toothless in their 2-1 extra-time win over League One Plymouth. Argyle even missed a penalty in extra time that could have seen them take the European Champions all the way. But, Kepa – who only ever seems to get mentioned when there is a penalty involved – saved Ryan Hardieâ€™s â€˜effortâ€™ and avoided too many more red faces.
For a brief moment, Fulham dreamed big. They led Man City 1-0 thanks to a goal from the nearly-signed-for-Liverpool Fabio Carvalho. Unfortunately for Marco Silvaâ€™s team, they scored a bit too early leaving City at least 80 minutes to sort it out. Sort it out they did, running out 4-1 winners.
4-1 was also the score in Chelseaâ€™s Frank Lampardâ€™s first game in charge at Everton. Lamps had spoken of reintroducing his new squad to the ball in a 180 degree flip from Rafaâ€™s reign. Enjoy the ball they did as Richarlison continued his quirky little run of scoring in the first game of a new manager – we know it wonâ€™t last.
Liverpool werenâ€™t great against Cardiff, but they didnâ€™t really need to be. New signing Luis Diaz came off the bench to create their second and Harvey Elliott returned from his big injury to score the third – and for the perfect weekend, they will hope Sadio and Mo got through the AFCON Final in one piece.
Crystal Palace killed off Hartlepool within 25 minutes – hardly worth getting the afternoon off, was it Jeff?
Norwich will hope winning FA Cup matches will help them remember to do it more often in the Premier League. Their 1-0 win at Wolves was a bit of a surprise and their reward is getting a 5th Round tonking at Anfield.
Did Spurs have a good transfer window or a bad transfer window? Either way, they got on with it beating Brighton 3-1 – Harry Kane getting a brace. Is this the point Tottenham fans start to dream of actually winning something?
The 5th Round draw has thrown up some interesting ties with the teams who got the most impressive wins at the weekend rewarded with a chance of humiliating a Premier League big boy. Luton Town, of the Championship, will welcome a Chelsea team probably done in from the Club World Cup and thinking about the return of the Champions League. Peterborough, managed by Darren Ferguson, will be up against Man City and you can already guess the narrative for that one. Chris Wilder will wave Antonio Conte into the Riverside whilst Dean Smith will hope King Klopp picks the kids again. As for Forest? Well, theyâ€™ve knocked out Arsenal and Leicester so you just know they will lose to Huddersfield.
If you had forgotten there was a Premier League match on Saturday, you were luckier than those who remembered. Roy Hodgsonâ€™s return to management ended in a 0-0 draw at Burnley – a match whose scoreline categorically tells the story.