Chelsea's Demba Ba celebrates after scoring a goal during their FA Cup soccer match against Southampton at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton. Photo by Reuters
Chelsea striker Demba Ba made an instant impact with two
goals on his debut as the FA Cup holders romped to an
emphatic 5-1 victory at Southampton in the third round.
The Senegal international, signed from Newcastle United on
Friday (local time), scored the London side's equaliser and
their fourth before Frank Lampard's late penalty took the
midfielder to joint second on Chelsea's all-time scoring list
with 193 goals.
While Ba began in style, the doom and gloom continued at his
old club Newcastle who lost 2-0 at Championship (second tier)
Brighton & Hove Albion - one of several upsets on the day
when England's lower-ranked clubs take aim at the big boys.
Goals from Andrea Orlandi and Will Hoskins earned Brighton,
runners-up to Manchester United 30 years ago, a repeat of
their fourth round victory over Premier League Newcastle last
season, condemning Alan Pardew's side to an 11th defeat in 14
Cardiff City, runaway leaders atop the Championship, were the
biggest victims, losing 2-1 at minor league Macclesfield Town
while former FA Cup runners-up Luton Town, now outside the
Football League, beat visiting Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0.
Several clubs struggling in the Premier League flirted with
defeats against lower league opposition before earning
Fulham were held 1-1 at home by second division Blackpool,
Wigan Athletic needed a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with
third tier Bournemouth and Sunderland recovered for a 2-2
scoreline at Bolton Wanderers who lost their top flight
status last season.
Premier League Reading had to come from a goal down after one
minute to beat third tier Crawley Town 3-1 away.
South coast seventh-tier minnows Hastings United, the
lowliest survivors of the 758 clubs who began the 132nd
edition of the world's oldest knockout Cup competition in
August, had their fairytale cut short in a 4-1 defeat at
Chelsea's Ba needed only 35 minutes to start justifying the
£7 million fee British media reported that Chelsea paid for
his services when he crashed the ball into the net from a
position virtually on the goal-line after Juan Mata's chip.
Jay Rodriquez had given Southampton an early lead but once Ba
levelled they were no match for Rafa Benitez's side. Victor
Moses made it 2-1 just before halftime and Branislav Ivanovic
put Chelsea in control with Ba and Lampard adding some gloss.
Chelsea, bidding for a fifth FA Cup triumph in seven seasons,
continued their unbeaten sequence in the FA Cup third round
which now stretches back to 1999, while their last defeat in
the competition, other than in a penalty shootout against
Everton in 2011, was five years ago against Barnsley.
Manchester City's Mario Balotelli was a late substitute in
their 3-0 home win over Gianfranco Zola's Watford, a day
after the controversial Italian striker was splashed across
British newspapers grappling with manager Roberto Mancini.
Goals from Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry and Marcos Lopez eased
the English champions into the fourth round.
Tottenham Hotspur's fine form continued with Clint Dempsey
scoring twice in a comfortable 3-0 home win over third tier
Coventry City, the side they lost to in the 1987 FA Cup
While hardly in the same league as some of the great FA Cup
exits down the years, Macclesfield took the prize for the
day's biggest upset, bridging a gap of 82 rungs on the
English football ladder to stun Cardiff.
Cardiff, who lead the Championship by seven points, were
ahead with five minutes remaining before Matthew Barnes-Homer
equalised and then held his nerve to clinch victory from the
Minor league Mansfield Town have a chance to cause another
uspet when they host Liverpool on Sunday.