This Time Last Year…
January 29, 2016
This time last year the UK was preparing for another magical weekend of FA Cup football. Manchester United were visiting Cambridge, there was a Midlands derby in the form of Birmingham versus West Brom and Leicester’s visit to Tottenham was expected to be a real thriller.
For Chelsea and Manchester City it was expected to be another day at the office. Handed lesser opposition it was straight into the Fifth Round for them. Or so we thought…
Whilst the Premier League has been producing the unpredictable and unbelievable this season, nothing quite beat the two games at Stamford Bridge and the Etihad Stadium this time last year.
Chelsea vs Bradford City: The Jokes On Jose
Chelsea by no means fielded a weakened team on January 24 2015, whilst Jose Mourinho rested a few men the likes of Cech, Cahill, Ramires, Oscar, Drogba, and Remy all started and inside 25 minutes it looked like the Champions were going to walk all over the League One side. By 38 minutes, when Ramires made it 2-0, that became inevitable.
Then came one of the most memorable performances in history. John Stead pulled one back on 41 minutes before Morais, Halliday, and Yeates became heroes, pulling off perhaps the biggest shock in FA Cup history.
Jose Mourinho was gracious in defeat and Bradford went on to knockout Sunderland before losing in the Quarter Final to Reading in a replay.
Manchester City vs Middlesbrough: Aye Karanka, Boro Win At The Etihad
Up north in Manchester fellow title chasers were also on the receiving end of a shock thanks to on-loan Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford.
City had just returned from a five-day warm weather training camp in Abu Dhabi and many fans and pundits had expressed their concern about their match preparations. The second half saw the Blues fade and in the 53rd minute, Bamford managed to bundle the ball over the line. Middlesbrough had chance after chance to wrap the game up with Lee Tomlin hitting the post and countless blocks from Boyata and Kompany in the heart of the City defence.
The game was finally sealed for Boro in the third minute of stoppage time when Kike slotted home to set them up with a Fifth Round tie with Arsenal where they couldn’t quite replicate the glory of the Etihad.