The third round is the stage at which clubs from the Premier League and the Championship enter the FA Cup.
Holders Manchester City landed a home tie against fourth-tier Port Vale, while Manchester United will visit Wolves, the club that knocked them out of last season’s competition at the quarter-final stage.
Fylde, from the fifth level, will mark their first third-round appearance with a trip to Sheffield while fellow non-league side North Boston will host Newcastle if they beat Rochdale in a second-round replay.
Arsenal, FA Cup winners on a record 13 occasions, face a potentially testing encounter at home to Championship high-flyers Leeds.
Leicester, second in the Premier League, entertain Wigan, with Frank Lampard’s Chelsea welcoming Nottingham Forest to Stamford Bridge.
Manchester City’s treble winners have been hailed as English football’s greatest ever team after their FA Cup final demolition of Watford completed a historic campaign.
Pep Guardiola’s side became the first English club to win the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup in the same season thanks to their swaggering 6-0 success at Wembley on Saturday.
Equalling the record margin of victory for an FA Cup final was the perfect way to cap a remarkable year for City, who followed their record-breaking Premier League triumph in 2017-18 with an even more astonishing run this term.
They are the first English top-flight side to register 50 wins in all competitions in a single season.
Guardiola’s men also scored a record 169 goals in 61 games this season, beating their own previous best of 156.
City now rank high on the list of the greatest English teams of all-time.
Only a select few can claim to be on a par with City, an elite group that includes Arsenal’s 2004 ‘Invincibles’, Manchester United’s 1999 vintage, who won the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup, and the Liverpool team of 1984, who lifted the old First Division, the European Cup and the League Cup.
The world’s media were united in their praise for Guardiola’s men, who have won five of the last six domestic trophies.
BBC Sport’s Phil McNulty wrote: “The club once loftily dismissed as ‘noisy neighbours’ by then-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed they now exert a domestic dominance that speaks eloquently on their behalf with a crushing, brutal 6-0 dismissal of Watford.
“This may have been a victory lap completed with embarrassing ease, with early Watford body blows parried in comfort before a form of footballing torture ensued, but this was arguably the greatest day in City’s history as this treble was won ruthlessly, spectacularly.”
Eurosport labelled City as the country’s greatest ever, writing: “They may not have won the Champions League but the cold hard facts don’t lie: Manchester City are the best team to ever grace English football.”
The Guardian’s Barney Ronay summed up City’s majestic form over the last year.
“Manchester City’s historic FA Cup final win was almost swamped by the glowing list of statistics piling up around them – but nothing can disguise the scale of this achievement and the brilliance of Pep Guardiola’s team,” he wrote.
“Welcome to the new order. Domestic games: played 51, won 43. Domestic trophies: three out of three. Five-goal hauls 11. Defeats since Christmas: one.
“Scan the history books, fan back to the big city clubs of Victorian times, linger on the red-shirted eras of the last 50 years.
“English domestic football has never seen anything quite like this single-season hit from Manchester City. It turns out we really do all live in a sky blue world now.”
Manchester City completed the first ever domestic treble in English football in emphatic fashion by dispatching Watford 6-0 at Wembley to claim the FA Cup on Saturday.
Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick, while David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus also netted to cap a glorious campaign with the biggest margin of victory in a FA Cup final since 1903.
Watford’s wait to win their first ever major piece of silverware goes on, but after going behind they had little answer to Pep Guardiola’s relentless champions as the Catalan picked up the 27h trophy of his coaching career.
It could have been very different for the Hornets had Roberto Pereyra not missed the first big chance of the game after Watford pounced on one slack pass by Oleksandr Zinchenko to spring a counter-attack.
Gerard Deulofeu fed the Argentine, but City goalkeeper Ederson raced from his goal to make a fine save with his trailing leg.
Watford were also left angered as a handball shout for a penalty against Vincent Kompany was not looked upon favourably by referee Kevin Friend or the Video Assistant Referee.
And Javi Gracia’s men also played a big part in their own downfall for City’s first goal on 26 minutes from which Guardiola’s men never looked back.
The diminutive figures of David Silva and Sterling both won headers against taller defenders before the ball broke for the Spaniard to fire across Heurelho Gomes.
City control then turned into total dominance as a gloriously crafted second gave Watford a mountain to climb.
Bernardo Silva’s curling cross picked out Jesus at the back post and the Brazilian’s effort was heading in before Sterling snatched his 24th goal of the season by smashing the ball over the line.
Veteran goalkeeper Gomes was making what is expected to be his final game before he plans to become a pastor in retirement.
Watford were left praying for a miracle that never came, but the 38-year-old briefly kept his side in the game either side of half-time with saves from Riyad Mahrez and Jesus.
Deulofeu had been Watford’s star of a remarkable semi-final comeback from 2-0 down against Wolves and had the chance to spark the game back into life just before the hour mark, but scuffed his shot wide.
And again Watford’s profligacy was quickly punished.
City’s strength in depth was in evidence as Guardiola could afford the luxury of leaving Sergio Aguero on the bench for Jesus, as a reward for the Brazilian who started every FA Cup game this season, and introduce De Bruyne 10 minutes into the second half.
Jesus’ unselfishness allowed the Belgian to end an injury-ravaged season on a high by rounding Gomes to fire City’s third into an empty net.
And the roles were reversed for City to rub more salt into Watford wounds 22 minutes from time when De Bruyne’s pass released Jesus in behind to get the goal his performance deserved.
Sterling then added another landmark in the final 10 minutes by becoming the first player since 1953 to score a FA Cup final hat-trick as he converted Bernardo Silva’s low cross and then fired home at the second attempt three minutes from time.
City have now won all 11 meetings between these two sides since the club’s Abu Dhabi takeover a decade ago.
Questions will continue to be asked of the legitimacy of how City amassed such a great side with UEFA, FIFA and FA investigations pending into City’s conduct off the field.
But on it they cannot be questioned as one of the greatest England has ever produced and have the medals to prove it.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted completing a quadruple of trophies is still “almost impossible” for the English champions despite progressing to the FA Cup final with a 1-0 win over Brighton on Saturday.
Gabriel Jesus’s solitary early goal was enough as City failed to hit top gear against the Seagulls but still stretched an incredible run to 22 wins in 23 games.
Guardiola’s men will return to Wembley to face either Watford or Wolves on May 18 for what they hope will be the chance to clinch the first ever domestic treble in English football history.
City trail Liverpool by two points in the Premier League title race but have a game in hand and retained the League Cup in February.
But ahead of the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Tottenham on Tuesday, Guardiola insisted it will still require a “miracle” to claim all four trophies.
“I will announce you something. It is almost impossible to win the quadruple,” said Guardiola. “Surviving in this stage of the competitions is already a miracle.
“Still we are there. That’s why it’s incredible what these players have done.
“Every game we lose players but that is normal when you play a lot of games. We are going to try until the end of every game.”
Brighton were left to rue a controversial decision not to send off Kyle Walker just after the half-hour mark for a clash with Alireza Jahanbakhsh.
“I have seen it a few times and my opinion is it is a red card,” said Brighton boss Chris Hughton.
“We ask for players to be honest and with Alireza, if he goes down clutching his head it would have been a different outcome.”
With City staying in London until their trip to Tottenham’s new stadium in midweek, Sergio Aguero had travelled south on Friday but was not risked after a minor muscle injury.
– Another fast start –
Jesus stepped up in the Argentine’s absence by stooping to head home his 18th goal of the season, but the Brazilian’s opener owed much to a wonderfully inviting cross from Kevin De Bruyne.
That was the third time in as many games City had struck inside the first five minutes, but unlike in cruising past Fulham and Cardiff in the Premier League, they failed to put the game out of Brighton’s reach before the break.
“Do you believe we can play 60 games in a season and win 5-0 and have a good performance in every game?” Guardiola argued.
“I think when (former Manchester United manager) Sir Alex Ferguson won the treble, in that case, not all the games were fantastic and winning four or five-zero.
“Normally the semi-finals, final, are games like this. You can analyse how many chances we create, but people expect from how good we are that we have to score I don’t know how many goals.
“In this game, in this job, it doesn’t work in that way.”
The Seagulls grew into the game and were left furious when Walker escaped a red card that could easily have changed the course of the game.
The England international was unhappy that Jahanbakhsh stood on his trailing leg as the pair jostled at the back post and went head-to-head with the Iranian.
However, after a VAR review, the yellow card shown to Walker by Anthony Taylor was deemed sufficient.
Despite Brighton staying in the game, neither side created many chances and City goalkeeper Ederson was not even forced into a save until four minutes from time.
Jose Izquierdo stung the Brazilian’s palms from long range, but City held on to take another step closer to history.
Sergio Aguero kept alive Manchester City’s hopes of an unprecedented quadruple as they survived a major FA Cup scare in a thrilling fightback from two goals down to win 3-2 at Swansea in Saturday’s quarter-finals.
Aguero had watched from the substitutes’ bench as second-tier Swansea roared into a stunning first-half lead through goals from Matt Grimes and Bersant Celina.
But the Argentine emerged as City’s saviour on a rainy night in south Wales by setting up their first goal for Bernardo Silva, before completing the comeback with a last-gasp winner after Swansea keeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt scored an unlucky own goal from the Argentina striker’s penalty to draw City level.
Having already won the League Cup and advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals, Premier League leaders City remain in the hunt for a clean sweep of all four major trophies.
It was a fortunate escape for City on Saturday however, as replays showed Raheem Sterling was fortunate to win the penalty that led to the equaliser, while Aguero was marginally offside for the winner.
City boss Pep Guardiola had named a strong starting line-up and Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva both went close early on.
It only looked a matter of time before City took the lead but Swansea ensured it was anything but one-way traffic.
They showed they could give the visitors a run for their money with a neat passing game that pushed City on to the back foot.
Grimes put Swansea ahead from the penalty spot in the 20th minute after Fabian Delph carelessly fouled Connor Roberts after the City defence was wrong-footed by Mike van der Hoorn’s crossfield pass.
Grimes had not scored in his three-and-a-half years at the Liberty Stadium but took over penalty duties following Celina’s embarrassing spot-kick miss in a 3-0 midweek defeat at West Bromwich Albion.
The 23-year-old centre back made the most of Delph’s misjudgement by confidently driving the ball high into the roof of the City net.
– Disintegrated –
It went from bad to worse for City nine minutes later as Guardiola’s defence disintegrated following a nine-pass move involving seven Swansea players.
This time Swansea attacked with pace and purpose and, after fine play on the edge of City’s box by Nathan Dyer and Daniel James, space opened up for Celina to curl the ball delightfully beyond Ederson.
Guardiola looked flummoxed in the technical area as he mulled over finding a way back into the tie while Aymeric Laporte lost his head following referee Andre Marriner’s half-time whistle and was booked for shoving Swansea winger Wayne Routledge in the chest.
It was a dire situation that left City in danger of a repeat of last season’s embarrassing FA Cup exit at Wigan.
But Guardiola replaced Sane with Sterling in the 57th minute and Aguero came on for Riyad Mahrez six minutes later.
The moves paid dividends soon after as City hit back.
City’s pressure was rewarded in the 69th minute when Bernardo Silva hit a crip shot beyond Nordfeldt after he was teed up by Aguero to set up a thrilling finale.
The visitors drew level in the 78th minute when Cameron Carter-Vickers’ challenge on Sterling was deemed a penalty even though the defender appeared to touch the ball first.
Aguero restored parity in fortuitous circumstances when his spot-kick hit a post and went in via Nordfeldt’s back.
City laid siege to the Swansea goal in the final stages and Aguero had the final word with a stooping 88th-minute header that survived the hosts’ offside claims as VAR was not available.
City’s celebrations were marred by a pitch invader, but there was no disguising their relief after a dramatic revival.
Maurizio Sarri insists he expects to avoid being sacked as Chelsea manager if his troubled side can put together a sustained winning run.
Reports on Wednesday claimed Sarri will be axed if Chelsea are beaten in any of their next three matches after losing the backing of the club’s hierarchy.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is not renowned for his patience and Monday’s limp FA Cup fifth round defeat against Manchester United increased speculation that Sarri is on the brink of being dismissed.
Sarri faces a crucial seven days as Chelsea take a slender 2-1 advantage into Thursday’s Europa League last 32 second-leg against Malmo before facing Manchester City in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
Those games are followed by a crucial London derby against Tottenham in the Premier League next Wednesday, a match Chelsea can’t afford to lose as they sit outside the top four.
Acknowledging his perilous position can only be improved by a rapid reversal of fortunes, Sarri told reporters: “We need to win three, four matches in a row. It’s the only solution.
“I can understand very well the frustration of our fans. Because they are used to winning. Now we are in trouble, so I can understand very well.
“There isn’t another way. We can only have good performances and results.”
With Chelsea in the midst of a bad run, Sarri is fighting to save his job less than a season after arriving from Napoli.
The United loss followed hot on the heels of a humiliating 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City, which ranked as Chelsea’s heaviest defeat for 28 years, and an equally miserable 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth.
Angry Blues fans have taunted Sarri with chants demanding the 60-year-old’s sacking and calling for former Chelsea star Frank Lampard, now in charge of second-tier Derby, to be hired as his replacement.
‘It’s not easy’
But, insisting he still has a future at Stamford Bridge, Sarri says he has not spoken to Abramovich or influential director Marina Granovskaia this week.
“I have to think that I will be the manager of Chelsea for a long time, otherwise I cannot work,” Sarri said.
“I am not sure (if I will be here for a long time), but I have to think this. I have to work and I want to work with a long-range target.
“Of course in this moment it’s very difficult to think we’re able to win three, four matches in a row. As you know very well in football everything can change in one day.”
One of the main criticisms of Sarri has been his stubborn refusal to change his tactics despite clear evidence that the formula that worked with Napoli is failing at Chelsea.
Sarri has held several lengthy inquests with his players after Chelsea’s worst results and conducted another after the United defeat.
But reports claim many of his players have lost faith with his football philosophy, especially his decision to use his former Napoli midfielder Jorginho in the holding role instead of N’Golo Kante, who had thrived in that position in the past.
Sarri’s hopes of getting Chelsea back to the form that saw them start the season with an 18-match unbeaten run are being hampered by the team’s hectic schedule.
“We’re trying to solve our problems. It’s not very easy because we have no time,” he said.
“We’re trying to talk with the players, trying to avoid some mistakes by video. It’s not easy, because we have to play every three days, so on the pitch we have no time.”
The Italian still refuses to compromise on his 4-3-3 system and possession-based ‘Sarri-ball’ style, which was ridiculed by supporters on Monday.
“The system is a false problem. I know very well that when we lose I have to put a striker on the pitch. When we win I have to put a defender on the pitch. But I want to see football in another way,” he said.
Maurizio Sarri insists he isn’t worried about being sacked as Chelsea manager despite his troubled side’s lackluster FA Cup surrender against Manchester United.
Sarri faces a fight to save his job after FA Cup holders Chelsea crashed to a 2-0 fifth round defeat at Stamford Bridge on Monday.
Ander Herrera headed United into the lead from Paul Pogba’s cross in the 31st minute.
France star Pogba doubled United’s advantage on the stroke of half-time when he met Marcus Rashford’s cross with a diving header.
Sarri endured chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” and “you’re getting sacked in the morning” as furious Chelsea fans showed their frustration at the club’s fifth defeat in their last 10 games.
Chelsea’s stars, publicly criticised by their manager on several occasions this term, hardly looked to be battling to keep the Italian as they failed to muster a shot on target after the 11th minute.
Sarri’s fragile relationship with his players, combined with the mutinous atmosphere among supporters, increased the feeling that the former Napoli boss might not survive until the end of his first season with Chelsea.
Demanding Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has acted quickly in the past when managers have been perceived to have lost the support of the squad.
But Sarri is adamant he isn’t concerned about his perilous position and he claimed he is solely focused on salvaging his club’s turbulent season.
Asked if he was worried Abramovich might be ready to wield the axe, Sarri said: “It’s not my problem.
“I was only worried about my position when I was in League 2 in Italy, not now.
“I am worried about the results, not about the fans. Of course, I can understand the situation.
“I can understand our fans because the result wasn’t really good. We are out of the FA Cup.”
Following widespread reports that Sarri’s players are underwhelmed by his stubborn refusal to change his tactics, the 60-year-old did make the alarming admission that he wasn’t certain he still had their backing.
“Of course I’m not sure, but I think so. I think the situation with the players is very good in terms of our relationship but that’s not so important,” he said.
“What’s important is to play and get good results.”
Chelsea supporters called for their club’s former legend Frank Lampard, now in charge at Derby, to be hired and directed foul-mouthed abuse at Sarri, who suffered chants of “F*** Sarri-ball” in a scathing reference to his failing tactics.
“Not really very well, but sometimes yes. For everything there is the first time,” he said when quizzed on if he heard the taunts from his own fans.
Sarri believes his situation will be improved significantly if Chelsea can string together a winning run, starting with Thursday’s Europa League last 32-second leg against Malmo and the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday.
“It’s really very easy. If we are able to win three or four matches in a row, it will be easy. Of course, it’s difficult to win five matches in a row,” he said with a curious smirk that suggested he didn’t really believe his own outward optimism.
“We need of course more aggression, more determination in the situation inside our box and inside the opposing box.
“My job is to work with my players to try and improve in a few days because we conceded the second goal without determination or aggression.
“The difference was there. We played 78 balls in the opposing box and United only 16 balls our box. We are supposed to win.”
Having previously questioned whether his players understood his football philosophy, Sarri repeated that complaint.
“Not completely at the moment because, especially in a situation like the second half, we have to move the ball faster mentally and materially,” he said.
“We need more movements without the ball and less individual actions.”
Manchester City powered into the FA Cup quarter-finals as the Premier League leaders survived a battling display from Newport County to beat the fourth-tier minnows 4-1 on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s side didn’t have an easy ride in a full-blooded fifth-round tie against a team 82 places below them in League Two.
Troubled by the rutted Rodney Parade pitch, City were indebted to Ederson for a superb save to keep them level during a lacklustre first-half display.
City eventually hit their stride in the second half and Leroy Sane’s powerful finish put them ahead before Phil Foden doubled the lead.
Newport refused to surrender and Padraig Amond’s late goal could have set up a tense finale, only for Foden to net again 79 seconds later before Riyad Mahrez wrapped up the win.
“It was a really tough game. We opened the scoring in the game and believed it was done. They showed us how incredible they are and a big compliment for them,” Guardiola said.
“The home crowd was amazing, winning here, I understand English football today better than ever and how tough the cup is in these conditions.”
With their Champions League last 16 first leg against Schalke to come on Wednesday, followed by the League Cup final against Chelsea, Guardiola made seven changes to the side which hammered Chelsea 6-0 last weekend.
“You play League Two then Champions League. You have to adapt and change mentality and that means a lot to grow like as a team. The big mistake is believing you are better than anyone,” Guardiola said.
“It is a mistake, like United are praised and better than PSG, but you see what happened. You have to be calm and prepare well.”
The gulf between the clubs is enormous, with Newport’s squad costing just £50,000 and City’s totalling £450 million.
But Newport had already knocked out Premier League side Leicester and Championship outfit Middlesbrough in the previous two rounds.
Guardiola had warned City they would “suffer” at set-pieces against Newport’s “taller, stronger” players and the Spaniard’s fears were nearly confirmed in the 14th minute.
Failing to deal with Mickey Demetriou’s long throw, City left space for Tyreeq Bakinson and he headed goalwards from close range, only for Ederson to dive to his right to make a brilliant one-handed save.
Bothered by the unpredictable surface, left badly damaged by heavy use from two rugby unions teams as well as Newport, City were unable to get any momentum and another long throw ended with Joss Labadie lashing wide.
Mahrez couldn’t hit the target with a series of half-chances and Sane grazed the top of the crossbar from an acute angle as Newport gamely reached half-time on level terms.
Newport’s brave resistance was finally broke in the 51st minute, with Gabriel Jesus teeing up Sane for a fierce strike that smashed into Newport keeper Joe Day’s face before looping into the net.
With 15 minutes left, Foden increased City’s advantage as his low strike eluded Day’s weak attempt to save.
Amond punished woeful defending from Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi to lob home from the edge of the area in the 88th minute.
But young midfielder Foden went straight down the other end to blast City’s third and Mahrez slammed in the fourth in the final seconds.
Brighton moved into the quarter-finals for the second successive season as goals from Anthony Knockaert and Jurgen Locadia clinched a 2-1 win over Frank Lampard’s Derby.
Chris Hughton’s side opened the scoring after 33 minutes at the Amex Stadium when Knockaert bent his first-time shot into the bottom corner.
The Seagulls doubled their advantage as Locadia fired home in first-half stoppage-time after Yves Bissouma’s effort hit the post.
Former Chelsea and Arsenal star Ashley Cole set up a tense finish when the Derby defender headed in after 81 minutes.
Championship strugglers Millwall are also through to the quarter-finals after a 1-0 win at third-tier AFC Wimbledon.
Neil Harris’s side made it to the last eight for the second time in three years thanks to a fifth-minute header from Murray Wallace, who scored their shock winner against Everton in the previous round.
Brighton opened the scoring after 33 minutes when Knockaert bent his first-time shot into the bottom corner of Kelle Roos’ net after connecting with Yves Bissouma’s cross.
Hughton’s team doubled their advantage when Locadia fired home from close-range in first-half stoppage time after Bissouma’s effort hit the post.
Former Chelsea and Arsenal star Ashley Cole set up a tense finish when the Derby defender headed in after 81 minutes.
It was the 38-year-old’s first goal in England since 2012 and his first ever in the FA Cup and the landmark strike came in his second game since joining Derby until the end of the season following his release by LA Galaxy.
But, despite Derby’s barrage of pressure, Cole’s goal wasn’t enough to spark a late escape for the Rams.