LAST weekend saw the return of the FA Cup as the fourth round of the world famous competition took place. Of course the major talking point will be the clash between Lancashire rivals Liverpool and Manchester United. The game had been over shadowed over the Suarez/Evra racism saga. I will not pretend to know the ins and outs of the situation but if he racially abused the United left back then he should receive a considerable ban. The disciplinary committee believed he had and he received a fairly hefty ban.
That is where this preposterous saga should have ended. However, it continued in the build up to the game and throughout the tie as both sets of fans cajoled each other and on many occasions used some obscene chants. This certainly did not help the situation and it will be a cup tie remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Liverpool stole it at the end of the game with a Kuyt goal after some good work from the much maligned Andy Carroll.
United never got out of third gear. Scholes and Giggs controlled in the middle of the park but United lacked that cutting edge up front. The absence of Rooney, Nani and Ashley Young was crucial.
De Gea once again was under the spotlight on Saturday. He looks very nervy from set pieces and crosses. Rarely does he look confident enough to come and claim the ball. He still looks incredibly frail and looks as if he needs to bulk up.
The whole Evra/Suarez saga should now be put to bed and both sides should get on with doing what they do best, winning football matches.
The FA Cup always throws up plenty of shocks and this weekend was no exception.
Brighton led by former FA Cup winner Gus Poyet seem to have made some serious strides both on and off the field. They were good value for their win over Newcastle, who look average without the tough tackling Tiote and the predatory instincts of Demba Ba.
Crawley Town continued their love affair with the FA Cup as they dumped out Hull City. Manchester United struggled to defeat them last season and they will relish a home tie against Stoke in the next round. Matt Tubbs has a bit of a reputation in the lower leagues as being a regular goalscorer. His goal was enough to seal a place in the next round.
There were fire works on the touchline as well as Crawley boss Steve Evans had a bust up with Nick Barmby. Evans is a controversial character but he has Crawley playing attacking football.
Arsenal staged an amazing comeback against Aston Villa yesterday as they came back from 2-0 to win 3-2. Van Persie slotted home two penalties and somehow Theo Walcott ended up with the equaliser as the ball crashed off his head into the net.
Finally congratulations to Stuart Dallas and Crusaders on their League Cup win at Ballymena. It was the first domestic cup final I had been at in a number of years. Crusaders were just to strong for a fairly timid Coleraine side. The pitch certainly didn’t help the Bannsiders as they struggled get the ball down and pass it. Coleraine in my opinion lost the tie as they were unable deal with the physicality of Coates, Morrow and Owens. It was a great occasion and it was great to see the ground packed to capacity. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have that sort of crowd at more games in the Irish League.