January 23rd, FA Cup 4th round, when Manchester United was not able to overcome “modest” Cambridge United F.C., everyone considered that result to be a sensation, but in fact a true sensation had to happen next day. Here is the story of an epidemic failure of English Premier League “Titans” in the oldest soccer tournament on Earth.
When Friday night football fans were abundantly “watering” Louis van Gaal and his “Manchester United” for uncertain game and dismal performance on Abbey Stadium, whose owners are a representative of the Football League Two, few could have imagined in their wildest fantasies that replay, which was earned by “Red Devils”, was a great result. Next day, the FA Cup has presented one of the darkest days in its history for the representatives of the elite division, because in six matches, where teams from the Premier League met with representatives of the so called “swamp”, only one of them managed to win. Two comforted replay, and three others went overboard of the oldest tournament in the world. And also “Spurs” fly away from FA Cup by Leicester can be easily added to Saturday’s sensation, as “Filbert Foxes” managed by Nigel Pearson just returned to the UK’s top tournament this season after 10 years spent in Championship and League One.
Of note, the most shocking was the defeat of Chelsea and Manchester City. That is not due to the fact of having the most of their top players in a starting eleven, and not because they played at Stamford Bridge and Etihad, and finally not due the fact that EPL “Titans” lost to teams from the League One and Championship, respectively. The most shocking fact was that neither “The Special One” nor “The Engineer” did not intend to give it away. As we can judge not just from the starting lineups but also by the substitutes. Look who came out to rectify the situation! Fabregas, Willian and Hazard for “The Blues”; Lampard, Fernandinho and Dzeko for “Citizens” to help Kun Aguero and David Silva, those were in a starting eleven. Both “Bantams” from Bradford City and “Smoggies” were just unyielding and uncompromising in an FA Cup style, in English!
One could write off all on a silly goal, defensive mistake of “Citizens” led by Caballero, another could say “The Blues” got relaxed after having a comfortable score. Of course, all this took place, but the main reason of sensations in the FA Cup is the tournament itself, which does not get tired to prove its peculiarity, its “Magic”. The great thing about the FA Cup and the amazing results, which this unique tournament presents every year, is the fact that not necessarily explains the failures of EPL “Giants” in thousands of letters. Rather it is better to say like Mourinho did at the postgame press conference: “What happened? Happened football. Which is beautiful”! And I can add only one thing – football in the FA Cup twice as beautiful. Probably because it is authentic, from the motherland of the game. And “The Special One” himself, being well versed in spirit and traditions of English football, did not undergo hysteria after the match and did not make excuses. A big shame – yes, unpleasant – yes, but the Portuguese coach has found the strength and honor to go into the locker room of the humble “Bradford” and congratulate them on their outstanding play.