Leeds United suffered an FA Cup shock on Sunday as the Premier League side lost 3-0 to Crawley Town, for whom television star Mark Wright made his debut.

Marcelo Bielsa's men became only the second top-flight team to lose by at least three goals to a fourth-tier side in the competition since the English Football League added the bottom division in 1958.

The last side to suffer such a result was Oxford United, who lost by the same scoreline against Aldershot Town in January 1987.

Crawley, who are sixth in League Two, had lost their three previous FA Cup matches with Premier League teams, against Manchester United, Stoke City and Reading, while they had not reached this stage of the competition in eight years.

Nick Tsaroulla scored a fine opener 50 minutes into what was just his seventh appearance in senior football, and Ashley Nadesan doubled the lead three minutes later following an error by goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.

Jordan Tunnicliffe netted a deserved third for Crawley, for whom Wright, best known for his work in English reality TV series The Only Way Is Essex, made a late substitute appearance.

Leeds have now been knocked out of the cup at this stage for the past four seasons, their worst run since another four-campaign stretch from 2003-04 until 2006-07.

Manchester City eased into the fourth round of the FA Cup thanks to a Bernardo Silva-inspired 3-0 win at home to Birmingham City on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola made the somewhat surprising decision to name what was essentially his strongest possible XI, and their superior quality was telling from the start as they quickly raced into a 2-0 lead.

Silva opened the scoring with a gorgeous volley and swiftly doubled City's advantage to cap off a fine move in the 15th minute, before Phil Foden effectively killed off any hopes of a Birmingham comeback before the interval.

City were less deadly in the second period as they failed to add to their lead, but it mattered little as they had no difficulty seeing out a comfortable victory.

Aitor Karanka and Birmingham will have been braced for a difficult day after seeing the line-up chosen by Guardiola, though nothing could have prepared them for the hosts' start.

Silva displayed remarkable technique to make it 1-0 as he unleashed a stunning volley just inside the box to punish a poor clearance, picking out the top-left corner.

He soon got a second with a simple close-range finish, guiding home Kevin De Bruyne's cutback after the Belgian had been well spotted by Riyad Mahrez.

City found their stride again after something of a lull, and Foden increased the lead just past the half-hour mark, rifling into the bottom-right corner from 20 yards after being picked out by Mahrez.

The hosts withdrew De Bruyne, Joao Cancelo and Ruben Dias at half-time, with youngsters Felix Nmecha and Taylor Harwood-Bellis entering alongside John Stones.

City remained dominant and thought they had a fourth goal just past the hour, only for VAR to confirm Mahrez had strayed offside when latching on to Foden's pass.

Silva passed up the chance to complete his hat-trick as he dragged wide when the ball fell kindly for him, and that proved to be his final opportunity as City settled for a three-goal victory.

 

What does it mean? City emphatic but Guardiola learns little

It is fair to say, Guardiola may have surprised a few by naming such a strong starting XI and it seemingly yielded the desired result as City went into half-time 3-0 to the good.

Nevertheless, Guardiola will have learnt very little about that first-half performance given his line-up was full of first-team regulars and they were facing a side struggling in a Championship relegation battle.

A few of the kids were sent on in the second half and did their chances of further opportunities no harm, though the game had become little more than a training exercise by that point.

Foden runs Birmingham ragged

There were several City stars who produced classy displays, but Foden was arguably the most enjoyable to watch. His goal was a great strike, while he had already threatened beforehand with his other two shots. The England international also made three key passes – one of those was particularly clever, as he chested down a long ball to tee up Silva for an effort that hit the side-netting.

Gabriel Jesus frustrated

City's Brazilian striker was by no means poor here – with three shots and a couple of key passes, he was actually quite bright. But he will likely be frustrated by the fact he could not get his name on the scoreboard, particularly given one of his first-half opportunities was a one-one-one situation that he spurned.

What's next?

It is back to Premier League action on Wednesday for City, who host Brighton and Hove Albion. Birmingham continue their quest to get clear of the Championship's relegation zone three days later when they go to coach Karanka's former team Middlesbrough.

Chelsea eased into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 4-0 win over Morecambe on Sunday to end a three-match run without a victory.

Perhaps in a sign of the growing pressure on his position after a run of one win in seven games in all competitions, Frank Lampard named a very strong team for the visit of the League Two side to Stamford Bridge.

Mason Mount's fine strike on the midfielder's 22nd birthday opened the scoring before Timo Werner ended a goal drought of 827 minutes shortly before half-time.

Callum Hudson-Odoi got his side's third and only goalkeeper Mark Halstead denied the Blues further goals until Kai Havertz powered in a late header.

Morecambe almost snatched a shock lead with 11 minutes played, Kepa Arrizabalaga - on his 100th Chelsea appearance - doing well to stop Adam Phillips' drilled cross from going over the line.

Chelsea's breakthrough came with 18 minutes gone, Mount given time to pick his spot from 20 yards out, leaving goalkeeper Halstead with little chance.

Werner had missed an early header but could not pass up the chance to make it 2-0 just before half-time, the forward prodding into an empty net after Havertz headed back across goal.

Any lingering doubts about the result were removed four minutes after the restart, Hakim Ziyech's pass beating the offside trap and allowing Hudson-Odoi to power a shot through Halstead.

Havertz should have made it 4-0 only for Halstead to block at the near post and the keeper made a second fine stop to deny Christian Pulisic on the rebound, the keeper's best moment of a good display.

He could do nothing to prevent Haverz from finding the back of the net five minutes from time, though, the midfielder meeting Cesar Azpilicueta's deep cross with a thumping header.
 

What does it mean? Light relief for Lampard ahead of testing run

It would have been an almighty shock had Morecambe become the first team since Manchester United in 1997-98 to knock Chelsea out of the competition in the third round.

Lampard took no chances, fielding a formidable line-up against a fourth-tier side who had to isolate for 10 days after a coronavirus outbreak in late December.

The Blues sealed a comfortable win that will have lifted spirits ahead of a run of five league games that includes visits to Fulham, Leicester City and Tottenham.

Ziyech enjoys roaming role

His shooting was a little wayward but Ziyech was certainly precise with his passing, albeit against modest opposition who only returned to training this week.

He made more passes in the Morecambe half (56) and created more chances (four) than any other Chelsea player in his 67 minutes on the pitch.

Can Werner kick on?

It will have been a relief for Werner to score his first goal since November, but there was still a feeling of disconnect between the striker and his supporting cast and he only completed one more pass (14) than goalkeeper Kepa.

Lampard will have hoped to give the £47.5million man a confidence boost. Time will tell if it worked.

What's next?

Chelsea return to league duties at Fulham next Friday in a west London derby, with the game at Leicester to follow on January 19.

Sunday's FA Cup encounter between Marine and Tottenham is the kind of clash that really captures the imaginations of supporters, as non-league meets Premier League.

Ordinarily such an occasion would mean a potentially vital cash influx for the smaller side, with match tickets selling out quicker than ever and TV crews descending on a modest ground in their droves.

While it won't be quite the same this time given the coronavirus pandemic, it still promises to be a special day for Marine, who have sold over 5,000 virtual tickets.

Playing in the Northern Premier League Division One North West, the eighth tier of the English football pyramid, Liverpool-based Marine will host a Spurs team that is used to competing in the Champions League.

It represents a whole new kind of challenge for the non-league side, though it is also an opportunity for the unlikeliest of 'giant killings'.

Ahead of the match, we looked at the Opta data behind contests between non-league sides and the titans of the Premier League.

THE SIZE OF THE TASK

'The magic of the cup' is that on a given day, any team could potentially beat any other, and that's surely the attitude Marine will want to take into the weekend.

Though, obviously the reality is rather more stark.

Since the Premier League's inception in 1992, only twice have non-league sides defeated top-tier opposition.

The first was in 2013 in the fourth round, as Luton Town claimed a 1-0 win over Norwich City.

It ended a run of 27 years since top-tier opposition had lost to a non-league side, with Altrincham having eliminated Birmingham City in 1986.

The only other occasion since then occurred in 2017, as Burnley lost 1-0 to Lincoln City, who made it as far as the quarter-finals.

There is also a coincidental link to that Norwich defeat with Sunday's contest – Spurs star Harry Kane was in the Canaries' side that day during an unsuccessful loan period at the start of his career.

Those two wins for non-league teams have come from 52 matches, with 42 unsurprisingly ending in victories for the top-flight sides.

SPURS EYE A HATFUL?

It won't come as a shock to learn there have been plenty of one-sided scorelines between non-league and Premier League sides.

West Brom have claimed the biggest win, as they defeated Gateshead 7-0 at this stage of the competition in January 2015 – the Baggies clearly weren't complacent on that occasion.

Manchester United and Arsenal have beaten non-league opposition heavily as well, the Red Devils winning 5-0 against Burton Albion in a 2006 replay, and the Gunners crushed Lincoln by the same score a month after their surprise win over Burnley four years ago.

Spurs' most straightforward win against a non-league side came in 1993, as they eased past Marlow 5-1.

Throughout the club's history, Spurs have met such lowly opposition 26 times in the FA Cup, losing five times.

Could Marine do the unthinkable and make it six? Assuming he features, that would make Kane the first player to lose to non-league opposition on two different occasions with Premier League clubs.

Pep Guardiola does not view himself as a deal maker with regards to any transfer ambitions Manchester City might have towards Lionel Messi.

Messi sought to end a career-long association with Barca in the aftermath of their humiliating 8-2 Champions League quarter-final loss to Bayern Munich, with City then widely viewed as the frontrunners for his signature.

However, Barcelona disputed Messi's assertion that a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for free at the end of the 2019-20 campaign remained valid, and the Argentina superstar stayed at Camp Nou.

Speaking to La Sexta at the end of last month, Messi pledged not to decide his future until the end of this season, while also outlining his "dream" of living in the United States.

This makes a deal involving a reunion with his old mentor Guardiola, plus an option to switch to City's MLS affiliate New York City, look theoretically attractive.

But speaking ahead of Sunday's FA Cup third-round clash against Birmingham City, the former Barca and Bayern boss refused to fan any flames of a potential transfer inferno.

"He is a player for another club, I'm sorry. Always I try to answer your questions but I'm not… he is a player from Barcelona," Guardiola said.

"About the transfer market, you know my opinion, it's about Txiki [Begiristain, City's director of football]. I don't like to talk about players who are not here or players maybe extending their contract.

"Always I believe the best way to talk about this is behind the scenes because my comments will not solve or break some deal, especially the players who are not here.

"I respect a lot all the players who play in other teams."

Guardiola did express a surprise contract wish when it came to the future of another international in his thirties.

Former England goalkeeper Scott Carson has spent the past season and a half on loan at City from Derby County, serving as an experienced third-choice option.

He is yet to play a minute of senior football for Guardiola - something that will not change this weekend after a positive coronavirus test - but the manager insists Carson's influence upon Ederson, Zack Steffen and the squad as a whole has been invaluable.

"One keeper who is so important for us is Scott Carson," he said of the 35-year-old. "He is like our captain behind the scenes.

"He is not noticed because he is the third keeper, but in the locker room he is another captain.

"It is so important and hopefully he can stay longer with us in the next years."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described Scott McTominay as a "monster of a human being" after his goal sealed a 1-0 win over Watford in the FA Cup third round on Saturday. 

McTominay, captaining United at Old Trafford, headed home Alex Telles' corner in the fifth minute to secure United's 34th victory from their last 36 third-round ties. 

It was the Scotland international's fourth goal of the season in all competitions, one short of his best tally in a single campaign (five goals in 37 appearances last term).

"Scott has had a very good season," Solskjaer told BBC Sport. "He is being more and more dangerous, we know he can be a box-to-box midfielder.

"He should have scored a few more on set-plays before now because he is a monster of a human being. I am very happy he got the goal."

United did not have it all their own way against the Hornets, who attempted 18 shots in the match – the second-most they have had away from home this season. 

"The most important thing in the cup is that you go through so that will make everyone happy but the first 15-20 minutes I think were the highlights of our game," Solskjaer added. 

"I think we played some very good stuff, created chances and then we let them back into the game but we are through.

"I'm delighted we are through. I told them I didn't expect them to start like a house on fire. I expected them to grow into the game. The opposite happened more or less. We started brightly."

McTominay captained United for the first time and led by example, completing 45 of 56 attempted passes, creating one chance and making a joint team-high three clearances.

The 24-year-old told BT Sport: "When the manager told me it was a surreal moment. 

"I've been here since I had just turned five, so that's 18 or 19 years associated with the club and it is a huge honour. I love this club and it has been my whole life."

McTominay and goalkeeper Dean Henderson were the only two players to keep their places from the side that lost to Manchester City in the EFL Cup on Wednesday and the midfielder acknowledged a general lack of match fitness may have contributed to United's sluggish second-half display. 

"We started really well and then for the first half an hour we were really good, moved the ball really well and there was some good combination play," McTominay added.

"Then we couldn't find it after that as well. The second half I didn't think we played anywhere near our level.

"For the boys coming into the team it is difficult, they haven't played for a long time. The manager said 'get your rhythm' and he probably wasn't expecting the rhythm we got in the first 30 minutes. But then there were some tired minds, but credit to the boys."

Gabriel Martinelli is set to for a scan on the ankle injury sustained prior to Arsenal's FA Cup win over Newcastle United, with boss Mikel Arteta describing himself as "gutted" by the forward's latest setback.

The Brazilian was a late withdrawal from Arsenal's starting XI for the third-round tie at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, which the Gunners won 2-0 after extra-time, and replaced by Reiss Nelson.

Martinelli has only recently returned from a serious knee injury sustained in June and Arteta said the teenager was in tears when providing an update on his condition after the match.

"I am gutted. I was in my office before the game and one of the coaches came in and told me that Gabi had hurt himself, that he'd twisted his ankle," Arteta said.

"I went to the medical room and he was in tears. He was in a lot of pain and we're going to have to see how he is. It didn't look good. He was in pain so I imagine that we're not going to have good news with him.

"We really want to know what's going on. He's a character and he wants to play the next game. He doesn't care and can handle pain but I don't know. Hopefully there is nothing too serious but to start with, it didn't look too good."

Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were on target in the additional minutes but only after Bernd Leno had made a fine late stop from Andy Carroll to force extra time.

"We had to be patient," added Arteta, who has won all seven of the FA Cup ties he has overseen as Arsenal boss including last season's final triumph over Chelsea. 

"They are a team who are well-organised and make it hard for you. We had the chances I think, very big chances to score much earlier but when you don't do that, the game is open.

"If you don't do that in your box, you need your keeper in a key moment - like it happened after the corner kick on the counter - to save you.

"Bernd did it in a magnificent way and at the end we scored two and deserved to go through."

Frank Lampard accepts he is under pressure to turn around Chelsea's results and says he is not wanting any favours from owner Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea have lost four of their last six Premier League matches - as many defeats as they had in their previous 23 - with last week's 3-1 setback against Manchester City leaving them ninth.

The Blues have taken 26 points from their opening 17 league games of 2020-21, three points fewer than at the same stage last season. They have never finished higher than sixth after failing to amass more than 26 points at this stage of a campaign.

Amid reports that Abramovich is lining up candidates to replace Lampard if the barren run continues, the club's all-time leading goalscorer acknowledges he cannot rely on past success to keep him in the job.

"All I want to concentrate on is the job in hand. I can't control certain things - I certainly don't want to rely on anything in the past," Lampard said.

"All I can look at is what I see right now, and what I see right now is one month ago everything was rosy and now a month later - a very quick time - everyone is looking at it negatively.

"I have to be the one to look at it positively. I can't control outside of that. I felt huge support from this club coming back to manage them.

"My time as a player I felt huge support for 13 years. In the end I left because they wanted to move on to other things. I understand what football is. I understand the demands and expectations.

"I don't think I've earned the right for anything that takes me out of that equation. All I can do is be honest about how I see it. I understand there is work to be done here and I understand the position we're in.

"When you're young and have had a tough year, plus new players coming in this year that are expected to drop into the Premier League and produce at a young age, there is going to be challenges. That's all I've got to say. The rest is out of my hands."

Lampard won 11 major honours during his playing days at Chelsea, each of those trophies coming after Abramovich's takeover of the club in 2003.

"I have to sit here and say when the owner came into Chelsea all those years ago, it made my career," Lampard added.

"Maybe I would have gone on elsewhere, but fortunately I had an owner who came in and changed the face of the club. It changed my life. But that shouldn't give me any headstarts.

"I'm here and I think the job I done last year, to get us up to fourth with huge constraints, was a big positive for us. After that now I have to go again.

"I never thought it would be a straight line - I was aware of that coming into the season, particularly when I didn't have time to work with the players.

"I remember in my first year as a player here I was an average Premier League player, year two I got slightly better, year three better and so on.

"When I look at my players I see it like that. I can't jump out of that and dictate what others think - that's beyond me. I'm just here to coach the club as good as I can."

Chelsea can put their league struggles behind them on Sunday as they turn focus to the FA Cup and a third-round tie with Morecambe.

The Blues have progressed past this stage every season since 1997-98 but Lampard will not allow his players to take their fourth-tier opponents lightly in what will be the first ever meeting between the sides.

"I've been involved in games at Chelsea where we have struggled against certain opposition at times," Lampard said. "I know the feeling going into these games - we have to absolutely apply ourselves going into the game to get the right result.

"If we apply ourselves and our preparation is right then the execution is normally right because of the players we have.

"At the same time we need to realise lower-league teams will raise their game and see it as a huge occasion. They'll do anything they can to get a result.

"My players are very aware of that, and if they're not then I'll make sure they are. This is by no means going to be a comfortable afternoon."

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes a 24-hour dedication to football that includes early morning gym sessions is behind Ruben Dias' magnificent start to life at the Etihad Stadium.

Dias became City's record signing when he joined for £62million from Benfica in September, arriving in the immediate aftermath of a humbling 5-2 Premier League defeat against Leicester City.

Since then, the Portugal international has done plenty to justify his price tag, establishing a formidable partnership at centre-back alongside a rejuvenated John Stones.

Across 13 Premier League matches with Dias in the side, City have been beaten only once, conceding seven times at an average of 0.5 per game. In the two matches before his signing, City conceded six - largely as a result of the Leicester debacle, in which they gave away three penalties.

Dias leads the way among his team-mates in clearances (55) and headed clearances (27) this season. He is behind only Rodri (31) and Joao Cancelo (25) when it comes to interceptions, having made 20.

Spain holding midfielder Rodri has 50 aerials won to his name, with Dias next up on 37. City's new defensive lynchpin is also yet to make an error leading to a shot in the top flight.

Having burnished his growing reputation with fine displays in the wins at Chelsea and Manchester United over the past week, Dias is expected to sit out Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie against Championship strugglers Birmingham, but Guardiola insists he would have no problem turning out once again.

"Do you know when the player makes a big sign or an influence on the team? When he is able to play every three days. That is the best signing," he said.

"When you buy players, always you think they will help the squad but you never know what is going to happen. He is a guy who can play every three days and recover immediately.

"His ability is incredible. He understands the game, he wants to learn and all of us are impressed by how much he takes care of his body and his mind.

"The day after [the game] at 8:30 or 9:00 he is in the gym, he makes his routine perfectly. He lives 24 hours of his profession at 23 years old.

"I can assure you that we signed an incredible player for the next five, six or seven years and that is not easy to find."

City's improvement at the back has also been a collective endeavour.

Along with Stones putting form and fitness woes behind him, versatile full-back Joao Cancelo has blossomed in his second season under Guardiola, while Oleksandr Zinchenko recently returned to plug a gap at left-back amid a raft of COVID-19 cases among his team-mates.

The manager believes City's collective play was never too far away from the standards set of late, with the drive to cut out individual errors key.

"I have the feeling that always we concede few, few chances in the previous seasons," Guardiola said.

"It was more in actions that we didn't control individually, we made mistakes. For example, the three penalties against Leicester are mistakes we cannot make.

"We improved in those terms. The movements of the collective are the same as the last five years but the mistakes we have done against Leicester, conceding three penalties, we have not done it again."

A handling mistake by Ederson in October's 1-1 draw at Leeds United is the only error City have made leading directly to a goal in the Premier League this season, according to Opta. In 2019-20, they made seven across the course of the campaign and six when amassing 100 points as champions in 2017-18.

"A part of this, of course, is Ruben helps us a lot to lead the line and John doing what he is doing," Guardiola added. "When he has played, Nathan Ake has played good, Ayme [Aymeric Laporte] as well.

 "Joao has made a step forward - we knew his quality with the ball, but especially without.

"We have to continue. The margin between being solid and not being solid is so minimal. We have to be careful and continue to be consistent in the next month."

Pep Guardiola does not view himself as a deal maker with regards to any transfer ambitions Manchester City might have towards Lionel Messi.

Messi sought to end a career-long association with Barca in the aftermath of their humiliating 8-2 Champions League quarter-final loss to Bayern Munich, with City then widely viewed as the frontrunners for his signature.

However, Barcelona disputed Messi's assertion that a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for free at the end of the 2019-20 campaign remained valid, and the Argentina superstar stayed at Camp Nou.

Speaking to La Sexta at the end of last month, Messi pledged not to decide his future until the end of this season, while also outlining his "dream" of living in the United States.

This makes a deal involving a reunion with his old mentor Guardiola, plus an option to switch to City's MLS affiliate New York City, look theoretically attractive.

But speaking ahead of Sunday's FA Cup third-round clash against Birmingham City, the former Barca and Bayern boss refused to fan any flames of a potential transfer inferno.

"He is a player for another club, I'm sorry. Always I try to answer your questions but I'm not… he is a player from Barcelona," Guardiola said.

"About the transfer market, you know my opinion, it's about Txiki [Begiristain, City's director of football]. I don't like to talk about players who are not here or players maybe extending their contract.

"Always I believe the best way to talk about this is behind the scenes because my comments will not solve or break some deal, especially the players who are not here.

"I respect a lot all the players who play in other teams."

Guardiola did express a surprise contract wish when it came to the future of another international in his thirties.

Former England goalkeeper Scott Carson has spent the past season and a half on loan at City from Derby County, serving as an experienced third-choice option.

He is yet to play a minute of senior football for Guardiola - something that will not change this weekend after a positive coronavirus test - but the manager insists Carson's influence upon Ederson, Zack Steffen and the squad as a whole has been invaluable.

"One keeper who is so important for us is Scott Carson," he said of the 35-year-old. "He is like our captain behind the scenes.

"He is not noticed because he is the third keeper, but in the locker room he is another captain.

"It is so important and hopefully he can stay longer with us in the next years."

Scott McTominay scored the only goal of the game as Manchester United booked their spot in the FA Cup fourth round with a slender 1-0 win over Watford on Saturday. 

McTominay was one of only two survivors from the EFL Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday and the midfielder – captaining the Red Devils for the first time – headed his side in front after just five minutes.  

Eric Bailly and Juan Mata squandered good chances to extend United's lead before the interval, while Dean Henderson had to be alert to thwart Adam Masina.  

United rarely threatened a second during a dismal second half but they saw things out with the minimum of fuss to inflict a 10th straight defeat for the Hornets at Old Trafford.  

The hosts wasted little time stamping their authority on the tie, McTominay heading home his fourth goal of the season from Alex Telles' outswinging corner in the fifth minute.  

United goalkeeper Henderson was out quickly to deny Masina soon after, while Bailly flashed a header wide from another dangerous Telles ball into the penalty area.  

Mata fired straight at Daniel Bachmann following a superb flicked pass from Donny van de Beek as United ultimately failed to add to their advantage before half-time.  

Solskjaer brought on Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial with just over 20 minutes remaining in a desperate bid to inject some life into the home team’s stuttering attack.  

Rashford should have put the seal on the win, but his low effort after a fine run was too close to Bachmann.

 

A relieved Emile Smith Rowe felt Arsenal showed their newfound togetherness after needing extra time to see off Newcastle United in the FA Cup. 

The Gunners had to go the distance as they began their defence of the trophy, with in-form midfielder Smith Rowe finding the breakthrough in the 109th minute before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tucked home Kieran Tierney's cross from close range. 

It could have been a very different story for Smith Rowe, however, who was shown a red card for his challenge on Sean Longstaff during stoppage time after the initial 90 minutes, only for referee Chris Kavanagh to downgrade his decision to a booking after consulting the pitchside monitor. 

"I was really happy, a bit of a relief for me with the incident before - it definitely wasn't intentional - happy to get the goal and get through to the next round," the 20-year-old told BBC Sport. 

"We knew how tough it was going to be, they're a tough opponent. It was about breaking them down." 

Mikel Arteta's decision to bring Smith Rowe into his Premier League starting line-up sparked a three-game winning run, beginning with the 3-1 Boxing Day triumph against Chelsea. 

And, with the game deadlocked, Arteta turned to the bench and his increasingly influential playmaker. 

"From a young kid I have always wanted to play for this club, I am really happy," Smith Rowe added. 

"It shows how together we are, we have been working off the pitch to get closer as a group and it shows." 

Emile Smith Rowe was the hero for Arsenal as they beat Newcastle United 2-0 after extra time to reach the FA Cup fourth round.

The holders were poor for much of normal time, which looked to be coming to an end with Smith Rowe sent off for a foul on Sean Longstaff.

However, the VAR advised referee Chris Kavanagh to revisit that decision, which was overturned, allowing Smith Rowe to make the most of his reprieve by punishing a wasteful Newcastle side with a 109th-minute goal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's simple strike added a second and, while there is concern for Arsenal over Gabriel Martinelli, who suffered an ankle injury in the warm-up, Mikel Arteta's men will be thankful to have kept their defence alive following a below-par display.

Daniel James knows the pressure is on to seize any first-team opportunities he gets at Manchester United ahead of the FA Cup tie with Watford.

United host their Championship opponents in the third round on Saturday and James believes the competition retains a special place in the football calendar.

The Wales winger, who scored a famous FA Cup goal while he was at Swansea City against Brentford, is hoping to be involved at Old Trafford.

James impressed against Leeds United last month and was also in the team against Leicester City, but they were two of only five Premier League starts he has been handed this season.

Having featured in 33 Premier League games last season, he knows the competition for places at United is tougher this time around, with the club sitting level on points alongside champions Liverpool at the top of the table.

"I have been working hard in training every day and the manager knows I am ready when called upon," James said to United's website.

"I will just keep working hard in training and doing what I do.

"Being at this club, there is always going to be lots of competition and the forwards have been doing so well. 

"So it is about when I do get my opportunity, I have got to take mine. That is the way I have been looking at it. 

"I have not been playing as much so I have been able to do a lot more stuff in training, extra stuff, and I have to keep doing that and look at things I can improve and also work on the things I am good at.

"It [the FA Cup] means everything. Growing up, there have been some unbelievable games over the years.

"I was at Swansea when I watched Jesse Lingard's extra-time goal [for United in the final against Crystal Palace]. It is a special competition."

Asked about his memorable goal, the winger added: "It is a great memory and a special moment.

"There are not many times when the whole pitch is open. I just had to keep that composure and when it went in the back of the net, I knew it was a special goal."

Neco Williams hopes improving Liverpool's FA Cup record will be a motivating ambition that drives the team on to the final in this season's competition.

Liverpool beat Aston Villa 4-1 in the third round on Friday, though the hosts were forced to field a team comprised of youngsters as a result of a significant COVID-19 outbreak.

Jurgen Klopp's men ended their long wait for a Premier League title last season and tasted Champions League glory in 2019, though they have not won the FA Cup since 2006.

That is a run right-back Williams, who played the full 90 minutes at Villa Park, is eager to change.

"The FA Cup is not a cup we have done that well in, so I think this year we are looking forward to pushing on and to get to the final and hopefully win it," he told the club's website.

"It's always good to score goals and that just gives the lads who scored the confidence to go and do that in the next game, keep adding them goals to the charts.

"The more clinical they are, the more goals they are going to get. So it was good for the lads."

Williams, 19, sees increased opportunities to play as another advantage of an FA Cup run, while praising the efforts of Villa's battling youngsters.

He added: "I think the more rounds we go through the FA Cup then hopefully the more game-time I can get. 

"I think if I was a young lad or I hadn't yet made my debut, the first thing I would want to do is make an impression and to give everything that I have got. 

"And to be fair to their lads, they did what they were told to do and they gave us a good game."

James Milner played on the opposite side of the defence to Williams and felt improvements had been needed after the Reds went into half-time with the match level at 1-1.

Milner told BT Sport: "I think obviously we needed to do some things better. 

"We started pretty well with the counter-pressing and pressed on the ball, but then maybe didn't get it right – especially for the goal [we] let them out of a couple of situations in the corner where they shouldn't have got out. 

"They're good players, they're at Aston Villa for a reason. Every single time you're not quite there, you're going to get punished. They took the goal and we had to lift ourselves again."

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