Arsenal were dumped out of the FA Cup by an inspired Nottingham Forest on a day of major shocks in the competition a day after Mark Hughes was sacked by Stoke City.
West Ham and Leicester survived testing ties against lower-league opponents while Manchester City came from behind to crush fellow Premier League side Burnley 4-1.
And Virgil van Dijk made an instant impact for Liverpool following his mega-money move from Southampton.
Here are some of the major talking points from the third round of the FA Cup.
Romance not dead
The FA Cup weekend was a throwback to the time when the third round used to be a red letter day in the English football calendar, giving the game’s minnows a chance to give the big boys a bloody nose. In the biggest shock, Nottingham Forest ejected holders Arsenal from the competition on Sunday, while former winners Leeds United were sent packing by a feisty Newport County, who play their football in the fourth tier of the English game. Stoke City crashed out to Coventry City the previous day. The increasing dominance of the Premier League and the high-profile Champions League have pushed the FA Cup down clubs’ list of priorities but there are flickers of life in the world’s most famous domestic cup competition.
Hughes runs out of time
Mark Hughes ran out of time at Stoke City — becoming the seventh Premier League manager to be sacked this season after his side’s ignominious FA Cup defeat to League Two Coventry. Hughes, 54, was in charge at Stoke for exactly 200 games, following managerial spells with QPR, Fulham, Manchester City, Blackburn and Wales. Speaking after the defeat, Hughes suggested that going out of the Cup could help the club, who are in the relegation zone. “The fact we’ve gone out, even if it’s a little bit raw at the moment, might help us,” Hughes said. “At the moment we don’t want to discuss Premier League games, but maybe when we wake up on Monday the reality clearly has to be our league form.” But it was not to be.
Van Dijk fits the bill for Liverpool
Virgil van Dijk’s debut for Jurgen Klopp’s side could not have gone much better. The most expensive defender in history, who joined from Southampton this month for £75 million ($102 million, 85 million euros) added presence at the back and powered home a late winner from a corner against Everton for a 2-1 win. Liverpool, buoyed by their impressive array of attackers, have been on a good run in recent weeks but questions about their defence have never completely disappeared. Klopp will be hoping that the Dutch defender can help his side end their long trophy drought, which dates back to 2012.
Mourinho v Conte
The war of words between Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho shows no sign of abating. Conte dubbed his Stamford Bridge predecessor “a little man” following his team’s goalless draw against Norwich. Responding to Mourinho talking about Conte in relation to a past match-fixing scandal in Italy, the former Juventus boss said: “We all know him very well. But it’s always the same. This is his way. It’s not a surprise for me. I think when you try to hurt a person, especially if you know very well the truth of what happens, the court proved my innocence, when you do this it means you are a little man.” – Agence France-Presse