• FA Cup round-up

Luton stun Norwich, QPR ousted, Arsenal & City through

ESPN staff
January 26, 2013

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Conference side Luton claimed the biggest scalp of the day as they earned a shock win at Norwich, while QPR can fully focus their attentions on their battle for Premier League survival after they were dumped out of the FA Cup by League One side MK Dons.

Elsewhere, Manchester United were never remotely troubled by Fulham as Premier League sides Arsenal, Manchester City and Everton all scraped through with narrow victories, while Aldershot's FA Cup dream was ended in agonising fashion by Middlesbrough.

FA Cup scores

Luton Town became the first non-league side in 24 years to beat Premier League opposition as the Conference outfit defeated Norwich 1-0 at Carrow Road thanks to Scott Rendell's late finish.

The Hatters were preoccupied with defending for much of the contest, but substitute Rendell stunned the top-flight opponents with just 10 minutes remaining - as he found himself in the right place at the right time to steer home JJ O'Donnell's low cross.

Canaries boss Chris Hughton perhaps paid the price for starting the ineffective Simeon Jackson and Harry Kane upfront - after the duo had spluttered in front of goal, even Grant Holt's late introduction could not produce a breakthrough - but the unheralded visitors were reasonable value for their success, creating a number of opportunities over the course of the contest as they also edged the possession statistics.

Where Holt's introduction did not have the desired effect, however, Luton manager Paul Buckle's tactical change certainly did. Rendell had been on the pitch just six minutes when he scored the historic winning goal, blasting past Declan Rudd to write his name into cup folklore.

Not since Sutton United, against Coventry City back in 1989, had a side outside England's top four leagues defeated top-flight opposition in the competition.

Luton made history against Norwich in Saturday's FA Cup fourth round match © PA Photos

Relegation-threatened QPR suffered perhaps the biggest embarrassment of Saturday's action, as the Premier League side were beaten 4-2 by League One promotion contenders Milton Keynes Dons.

Rangers manager Harry Redknapp could have been forgiven for fearing that things were not going to go his side's way early on, after Armand Traore deflected a low cross - that had perhaps first been touched on by Dean Lewington - beyond goalkeeper Robert Green and into his own net.

And things duly did get worse for Redknapp's rotated side, as a poor mistake from Anton Ferdinand allowed Ryan Lowe in behind the defence to make it 2-0 shortly before half-time. Ryan Harley and Darren Potter then scored similar close-range strikes six minutes apart to leave the west London club, somewhat shamefully, four goals adrift in front of their own fans.

The scoreline was not entirely representative of the full 90 minutes' play, but QPR only made anything of their great number of chances in the closing stages - as Jay Bothroyd latched onto Bobby Zamora's flick to get a consolation before Fabio's injury time follow-up, but it was all far too little, too late for the Hoops.

Olivier Giroud has scored four goals in his last four matches © PA Photos

Olivier Giroud bagged a brace as Arsenal moved into the last 16 with a 3-2 victory at Brighton and Hove Albion. After a rampant victory over West Ham in midweek, sloppy defending nearly cost the Gunners, but Theo Walcott came off the bench to seal victory.

After an end-to-end start at the Amex Stadium, Giroud fired the Gunners ahead in the 16th minute, curling the ball past Casper Ankergren from the edge of the penalty box after Wojciech Szczeseny had just produced a impressive save to deny Barnes.

However, Barnes got the better of Szczesny after some poor marking from Arsenal - the Pole was left stranded by David Lopez's swinging cross to set up a routine header for Barnes.

Arsenal took the lead once again when Giroud scored his fourth goal in two games, showing real poise to hold off Adam El-Abd to finish from close range, but their lead was shortlived as Brighton hit back through Leonardo Ulloa, who marked his debut with an impressive diving header to divert Barnes' cross into the net.

Desperate to avoid a replay, Arsene Wenger brought on Jack Wilshere and Walcott, and it was Walcott who snatched a late winner for Arsenal, his deflected volley from the edge of the area finding its way into the net.

In the day's evening kick-off, Manchester United cruised into the fifth round with a comfortable 4-1 win over a woefully uninspired Fulham.

In fairness the tone was set early on at Old Trafford, after Mark Clattenburg awarded a penalty following a handball from Aaron Hughes. Ryan Giggs - not Wayne Rooney - took the ensuing chance, and beat Mark Schwarzer to the Australian's right to give the side an early lead.

Schwarzer - who actually made a number of smart saves during the contest - was not beaten again until the second half, when Rooney got on the scoresheet himself after a smart turn and shot. Minutes later it was 3-0 as Javier Hernandez showed his own cutting edge - before the Mexican grabbed his second and Utd's fourth as his effort deflected past Schwarzer off the hapless Hughes.

The defender got something of a consolation minutes later, however, beating David de Gea at his near post with a header from a corner as Martin Jol's men got a goal their display scarcely deserved. But that was that as United eased into the fifth round draw.

Manchester City got their 85th-minute desserts through Pablo Zabaleta's first FA Cup goal to reach the fifth round with a 1-0 victory over Stoke. In a repeat of the 2011 final, when City also won 1-0, the Premier League champions dominated the action primarily through the dual threats of Carlos Tevez and David Silva.

Stoke were not chasing light blue shadows, however, and had a goal from Ryan Shawcross ruled out for offside. However Silva's late break forward gave Sergio Aguero the chance to play the ball across the area and at the back post Zabaleta arrived in time to turn it goalward.

John Heitinga scored a dramatic late winner for Everton © PA Photos

John Heitinga came off the bench to fire Everton into the fifth round with a dramatic late winner against Bolton for a 2-1 victory at the Reebok Stadium. The tie looked to be heading for a replay after Marvin Sordell cancelled out Steven Pienaar's opener, but Heitinga pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area to lash home from 12 yards in injury time.

Elsewhere, Premier League side Reading cruised into the fifth round of the competition with a one-sided 4-0 home victory over League One's Sheffield United.

Noel Hunt opened the scoring for Brian McDermott's side after just six minutes, before Mikele Leigertwood's blistering long-range effort ensured the Royals entered half-time 2-0 up.

A second from Hunt, and then a first for Garath McCleary, ensured the contest was over as a spectacle after only 54 minutes - although the Blades did at least prevent further damage occurring over a subdued final half hour of play.

Jordi Gomez's early penalty prevented an upset at Moss Rose, as Wigan Athletic escaped with a slender 1-0 victory over Conference side Macclesfield.

With a packed crowd in attendance hoping for an upset, the Premier League visitors were handed something of a gift after Thierry Audel brought down Callum McManaman in the box after barely six minutes. It was a gift Gomez was not going to pass up, burying the penalty despite goalkeeper Joe Anyon guessing the right way.

The non-leaguers enjoyed the majority of the play for the rest of the game but were unable to steal a potentially lucrative replay - with Waide Fairhurst and Matthew Barnes-Homer both missing decent openings, as Audel also saw a close-range chance to make amends kept out by Joel Blazquez.

League Two side Aldershot were denied a home replay against Middlesbrough in heartbreaking fashion, after forward Lukas Jutkiewicz scored a winner deep into injury time.

In a scarcely-believable finish at the Riverside Stadium, the Shots thought they had earned a second run at the Championship front-runners on their own turf after Daniel Hylton's 89th minute equaliser had cancelled out Jutkiewicz's 83rd minute breakthrough.

But they saw their dreams dashed at the absolute death, as Jutkiewicz popped up again in the sixth minute of injury time to fire a shot that hit the post and, after dribbling along the goalline for what seemed like an age, eventually rolled in to send Dean Holdsworth's men out of the competition.

Michael Appleton enjoyed his first win as Blackburn boss as Rovers moved into the fifth round with a 3-0 victory over Derby County. Goals from Colin Kazim-Richards, Scott Dann and Jordan Rhodes ensured a comfortable victory at Pride Park.

Finally, Chris Wood grabbed a late goal to cancel out Lee Novak's penalty to earn a replay for Leicester City after a 1-1 draw at Huddersfield Town - while Chris Dagnall scored the only goal of the game as Barnsley beat Yorkshire rivals Hull City 1-0.

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