Emirates FA Cup: Heroes of the Fifth Round – who makes our list?
The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round provided us with plenty of excitement. National League minnows welcomed 12-time winners Arsenal to Gander Green Lane, while Lincoln City achieved the unthinkable against Premier League outfit Burnley.
But which names in particular stood out for us?
We’ve picked out three of the best performances from the latest round of scintillating cup action, and you won’t be surprised to see the first name on our list…
89 minutes had passed at Turf Moor without Lincoln City registering a single shot on target. Fortunately for the National League leaders, they managed to keep things tight at the back and kept themselves well in the tie by not conceding against Sean Dyche’s men.
And Sean Raggett played a huge part in keeping the game level, although he was also to thank for changing the scoreline late on.
The 23-year-old was in fine form and dealt with the likes of Andre Gray and Sam Vokes with relative ease.
Then came his moment of glory.
Burnley failed to clear a corner, and the former Dover Athletic man leapt above Michael Keane to nod the ball just over the line and send the visiting fans into dreamland.
That goal was his second in this season’s Emirates FA Cup (as many as Alexis Sanchez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sergio Aguero combined) and his sixth of the season in all competitions.
It’s likely plenty of EFL clubs will be keeping tabs in the coming months.
The 20-year-old midfielder showed class and composure beyond his years as his Huddersfield Town side managed a 0-0 draw against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
No Terriers player made more interceptions than the Denmark international (4) throughout the 90 minutes, while he regained possession for his side on no less than 10 occasions.
Granted, this was by no means City’s strongest possible starting XI, but Billing did face the likes of Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne and Leroy Sane.
He’s enjoyed a fine 2017 to date, and we’re expecting a number of Premier League sides to declare an interest in the former Esbjerg youth product this summer should David Wagner fail to win promotion to the top-flight.
The only player on our list no longer in the competition, the former Arsenal man was undoubtedly Sutton United’s best player on Monday night.
In fact, Deacon was voted man of the match, on a pitch including the likes of Granit Xhaka, Lucas Perez and Theo Walcott.
Having scored in every previous round of this year’s Emirates FA Cup, the 25-year-old almost continued that trend with a stunning effort last night which rattled the crossbar.
He was a constant threat in the air to both Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi, he held the ball up well and had the beating of Nacho Monreal and Gabriel out wide on several occasions.
With his side currently sitting in 16th place in the National League, Deacon will need to take his cup form into the business end of this campaign for United.
If he does that, it’s quite possible an EFL club will offer him another last crack at professional football.
We’ve had our say, but who makes your list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing