Oldham Athletic's Matt Smith (hidden) celebrates with teammates and supporters after scoring his side's second goal against Liverpool during their FA Cup match at Boundary Park in Oldham. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Third-tier Oldham Athletic have stunned seven-time FA Cup
winners Liverpool with a shock 3-2 fourth-round win and Leeds
United have caused another big upset by knocking out
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Elland Road.
Holders Chelsea were also heading for a surprise defeat at
third-tier Brentford until Fernando Torres hit a late
equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw.
Defeat for Liverpool and Spurs took the number of Premier
League casualties losing to lower division opponents in the
last 32 to five following defeats for Norwich City, Queens
Park Rangers and Aston Villa.
Oldham, languishing in 19th place in League One, were
irresistible in front of their own fans at Boundary Park,
going ahead with a Matt Smith header in the second minute.
Luis Suarez levelled but Smith's second and a third goal from
Reece Wabara made it 3-1 after 48 minutes.
Joe Allen's deflected volley with 10 minutes left gave
Liverpool hope but, despite relentless pressure, they could
not find another with Steven Gerrard rattling the crossbar
from long range.
Goals from Luke Varney and Ross McCormack put second-tier
Leeds, Cup winners in 1972, in control against Spurs with
Clint Dempsey's header not enough to save the Londoners.
Much-maligned Spanish striker Torres swept home on 83 minutes
to secure a replay for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Having missed out on one Wembley appearance after losing over
two legs to Swansea City in the Capital One (League) Cup
semi-finals, Chelsea twice needed to come from behind at
After becoming the first Champions League holders to exit at
the group stage and 11 points off top spot in the Premier
League, Chelsea's path to silverware this season rests with
the Europa League or with the FA Cup, a trophy they have
lifted in four of the last six seasons.
Trailing 2-1 when Harry Forrester slotted in from the penalty
spot with 17 minutes left, Torres, a pale shadow of the
striker that Chelsea paid a British transfer record fee of 50
million pounds ($79 million) for in 2011, kept the Cup
holders in the competition.
He took a pass from substitute Demba Ba and beat goalkeeper
Simon Moore with a precise finish.
"I was pleased with the reaction of the players, we were much
better in the second half," Chelsea interim manager Rafael
Benitez told reporters.
"We knew what Brentford were capable of and they did it well,
so credit to them, but we need to do our job in the replay."
Brentford, pushing for promotion to the second tier of
English football and managed by former Manchester City
striker Uwe Rosler, had harried their more illustrious London
rivals and denied them space for much of an enthralling game.
Sharper to the ball in the opening period, they led late in
the first half when Chelsea keeper Ross Turnbull, deputising
for Petr Cech who was rested with a niggle, could only parry
a shot into the path of Marcello Trotta and the on-loan
Italian striker lashed in.
Chelsea were vastly improved after the break and equalised on
55 minutes when a clearance fell to Oscar on the edge of the
box and with his back to goal, the Brazilian turned and found
space inside the area to prod a right foot shot home.
The Premier League side were on top at this stage but
Brentford did not buckle and appeared to be on their way to
one of the biggest ever shocks in the competition when
Turnbull sent Tom Adeyemi sprawling in the penalty area.
Forrester coolly slotted in the spot kick to give Brentford a
2-1 lead but Torres, inconsistent and forlorn for much of the
season, was to have the final word.