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FA Cup Fourth Round – Team of the Week

The FA Cup reached the fourth round this weekend and saw some big names eliminated from the competition.

Manchester City beat Arsenal in a clash between the Premier League’s top two at the Etihad, while Liverpool endured another disappointment on the south coast after a late defeat at Brighton.

Elsewhere Manchester United, Tottenham and Leeds all eased into the next round, while non-league Wrexham will take Sheffield United to a replay after a thriller at the Racecourse Ground.

Following the FA Cup’s fourth round action, we’ve compiled our Team of the Week from the fixture’s star performers.

Goalkeeper: Anthony Patterson – Sunderland

Sunderland held Fulham at Craven Cottage to earn a replay against Premier League opponents, with Antony Patterson outstanding in goal for the visitors.

Patterson made some superb stops in a man-of-the-match performance in west London, denying Aleksandar Mitrovic, Bobby Decordova-Reid and a late effort from Willian.

Sunderland had several chances to win the game of their own, but needed Patterson to ensure the Championship side did not suffer what would have been an unfair defeat. He made ten saves, with eight coming from inside the penalty box.

Right-back: Tariq Lamptey – Brighton

Tariq Lamptey was a live-wire during Brighton’s 2-1 win over Liverpool, with the right-back the standout performer during the first half for the Seagulls.

Lamptey provided an assist, won three tackles and provided five crosses in the first half alone, with the 22-year-old all-action and energy down the flank for Roberto De Zerbi’s side.

The Ghana international has made just one league start for the Seagulls this season, but this was a performance in which Lamptey looked back to his best. He could prove to be a more than useful option in De Zerbi’s front-footed approach.

Centre-back: George Edmundson – Ipswich Town

Ipswich held Burnley to a goalless draw in a match-up between two teams pushing for promotion from their respective divisions.

Burnley are racing towards a Premier League return and have won eight consecutive games in the second tier, but found themselves frustrated at League One Ipswich. George Edmundson was central to a resolute performance from Ipswich, with the centre-back positionally excellent and combative to deal with the threat of Jay Rodriguez.

The 25-year-old will hope to earn a more regular role in Kieran McKenna’s plans after helping his side to consecutive clean sheets.

Centre-back: Nathan Ake – Manchester City

Nathan Ake was Manchester City’s match-winner at both ends of the pitch on Friday evening, as Pep Guardiola’s side beat Arsenal 1-0 in a huge showdown at the Etihad.

The top two in the Premier League had not met so far this season, but City took a psychological advantage – and place in the FA Cup’s fifth round – after Ake’s winner.

The Dutch international remains an under-rated part of this City side and is enjoying an excellent season. In addition to his well-taken goal, Ake won five duels, made six ball recoveries and helped shutdown the threat of Bukayo Saka down the Arsenal right. His comfortability on the ball and ability to adapt to different defensive roles is crucial to City’s shape in and out of possession.

Left-back: Romain Perraud – Southampton

Southampton progressed into the fifth round after a 2-1 win over Blackpool at St Mary’s this weekend.

Romain Perraud was the match-winner for the Saints, as the left-back struck two goals for Nathan Jones’ side. After seeing an early effort saved, Perraud gave Blackpool goalkeeper Chris Maxwell no chance with a powerful first-half free-kick to open the scoring.

He became the first player other than James Ward-Prowse to score a free-kick for Southampton since 2018, and later became the first defender to score a brace for the Saints in more than a decade after firing in a second following a neat one-two with Sekou Mara.

Midfield: Casemiro – Manchester United

Casemiro produced another performance of midfield class as Manchester United beat Reading to reach the fifth round.

United dominated the first half but struggled to find a breakthrough against the Championship side, until Casemiro powered forward and lifted in a finish to open the scoring. The Brazilian scored a brilliant second from distance and was efficient in his defensive work, putting in a number of crucial challenges in the centre of the park.

The 30-year-old is undisputedly the main man at Old Trafford right now and has revelled in a new role after being unleashed from his shackles.

All action in Erik ten Hag’s engine room, he has three goals and four assists since returning from the World Cup. He has been much more than just a midfield anchor.

Midfield: Alex Scott – Bristol City

Alex Scott’s list of admirers is sure to have grown a little longer after a brilliant performance from the Bristol City teenager this weekend.

Scott is understood to be on the radar of several top-flight clubs and enhanced his growing reputation during this weekend’s 3-0 win over West Brom. The 19-year-old dictated the tempo of the game and scored a long-awaited first goal of the season to send Bristol City into the fifth round.

Antoine Semenyo’s exit to Bournemouth means the sale of Scott appears unlikely before Tuesday’s deadline unless an exceptional offer arrives, but expect Premier League clubs to return in their numbers this summer. The midfielder’s class and ability to consistently dictate games at his age makes him one to watch.

Right-wing: Jack Harrison – Leeds

Jack Harrison demonstrated his creative class as Leeds beat Accrington 3-1 to reach the fifth round for the first time since 2015/16.

The winger has been subject of interest from Premier League rivals Leicester after entering the final 18 months of his deal at Leeds and the transfer speculation is only likely to increase following a fine performance this weekend.

Harrison scored a stunner from distance to open the scoring, before picking out Luis Sinisterra for Leeds’ third of the afternoon.


Left-wing: Karou Mitoma – Brighton

Brighton dumped out holders Liverpool after a late win at the Amex Stadium, as Roberto De Zerbi’s side came from behind to add to the problems at Anfield.

Kaoru Mitoma scored the decisive goal with a wonderful moment of improvisation and technique, which followed a performance that saw the Japan winger torment the visitors.

Direct and dangerous, he gave Trent Alexander-Arnold a torrid time on the south coast, completing six take-ons and leaving a trail of defenders in his wake.

Mitoma’s winner against Liverpool means he has either scored or assisted in five of his last six appearances for Brighton. What a player. What a find.

Forward: Son Heung-min – Tottenham

Form is temporary, class is permanent. Son Heung-min proved a cut above as Spurs swept aside Preston to reach the fifth round this weekend.

Son has had a difficult campaign after his Golden Boot-winning season in 2021/22, but showed flashes of his best at Deepdale to send Spurs through. He opened the scoring with a special strike as his dipping effort from distance flew past Freddie Woodman.

Woodman was then powerless to stop Son’s second, as a sharp turn and finish put Antonio Conte’s side in control against their Championship opponents. Arnaut Danjuma’s debut goal made it three, as Spurs kept alive hopes of a first trophy since 2008. The north Londoners will hope this win and performance can kick-start the season of their South Korean star.

Forward: Sam Bell – Bristol City

Bristol City fans might have feared the worst when the sale of Antoine Semenyo was confirmed earlier this month, but in Sam Bell the club have another academy asset with rich potential.

After his third round heroics at Swansea, Bell repeated the trick to send Bristol City into the fifth round. He combined well with Nahki Wells and scored twice as Nigel Pearson’s side thrashed West Brom to ease through.

Bell’s brace was of the highest quality as he arrived onto a loose ball to bend home an opener, before scoring a superb second as the 20-year-old collected George Tanner’s pass and lifted a fine finish over the onrushing goalkeeper.

Read – Masters: Six of the greatest free-kick takers of all time

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