Nottingham Forest and Coventry City star in FA Cup giant-killings
Nottingham Forest and Coventry City were the headline-makers on a weekend of FA Cup shocks up and down the country.
The Midlands duo upset the odds to knockout Premier League opposition and secure their place in the fourth round draw.
They form the basis of our look at the weekend’s big FA Cup stories…
Forest youngsters outgun Arsenal
Until yesterday, Arsene Wenger had never experienced an FA Cup third round defeat as Arsenal boss.
But goals from Eric Lichaj, Ben Brereton and Kieran Dowell brought that run to an end in scintillating fashion at the City Ground.
In truth, the hosts – with an average age of just over 24 – were excellent value for the win.
Joe Worrall, Matty Cash, Zach Clough and Brereton form the basis of an exciting side which could make a serious challenge for Championship promotion in the future.
If Forest can stabilise in the dugout and off the pitch, they could achieve big things.
For Arsenal, another embarrassing defeat only serves to ramp up the pressure on Wenger.
The veteran boss did not show the home side enough respect with his starting line-up and ended up paying the price in full.
Lingard key to United’s success
Jesse Lingard was the star of the show once again on Friday night as Manchester United eased past Derby County.
The winger scored the opener and put in an excellent second-half display to further enhance his burgeoning reputation.
That goal takes his tally to 11 for the season and eight in his last 10 games.
More impressively, the Red Devils have yet to lose a game in which Lingard has scored.
If the 25-year-old Warrington-born star can keep up that kind of form, he could play his way into starting contention for England, as well as Man United.
Coventry back on the map
Coventry City have had it hard in recent years.
The Sky Blues have suffered the ignominy of relegation to League Two, the plight of moving to Northampton for a season and the tribulations of continued mismanagement at the highest-level.
So Saturday’s giant-killing of Stoke City should provide a degree of relief to the Ricoh Arena faithful.
Their victory – so wonderfully secured by Jack Grimmer’s strike – also brought an end to Mark Hughes’ time as Potters manager.
In the future, this game could prove to be the turning point in the recent histories of both respective clubs.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication.