A scoreless game through more than an hour exploded with five goals over the final twenty-five minutes as Portsmouth routed south coast rivals Southampton at St. Mary’s 4-1. Quincy Owusu-Abeyie’s 66th goal was equalized by Rickie Lambert in the 70th minute. From there Pompey dominated the final twenty minutes. Aruna Dindane, Nadir Belhadj and Jamie O’Hara (pictured) knocked in goals in the 75th, 82nd and 85th minutes to complete the important fifth round victory for Portsmouth. The Saints will surely look back at a missed opportunity but Pompey, despite their financial troubles, are certainly the better side.
At Stamford Bridge Chelsea blasted in three second half goals to break a 1-1 half-time score and defeat Cardiff City 4-1. Didier Drogba scored in the second minute but was equalized from Michael Chopra’s 34th minute goal. The Blues took control in the second half with goals from Michael Ballack, Daniel Sturridge and Salomon Kalou. The holders were certainly expected to win this game despite their missing back line duo of John Terry and Ashley Cole.
Liam Ridgewell scored another extra-time goal, this time to send Birmingham City into the quarterfinals of the FA Cup, 2-1 over Derby County at Pride Park. Brum keeper had a terrible gaffe in letting Jay McEveley’s shot bounce over him and into the goal, giving Derby the lead in the 55th minute. But Scott Dann leveled things on 73 minutes before Ridgewell saved Birmingham an embarrassing replay.
West Bromich Albion twice equalized to preserve a 2-2 draw against Reading at the Madejski Stadium. Jimmy Kébé scored in the game’s first minute for a shocking early lead for Reading. But Robert Koren knocked in a Chris Brunt cross to give the visitors equal footing in the 18th minute. Simon Church scored in the 73rd minute to give Reading the lead again but the Baggies equalized again from Joe Mattock in the 87th minute to force a replay at the Hawthorns.
Finally, Saturday’s late game saw Stoke City come from behind to earn a draw at Eastlands and force a Britannia replay against Manchester City. Shaun Wright-Phillips scored for City in the 11th minute but was rebuffed by Ricardo Fuller’s goal in the 57th from a Rory Delap long throw-in. So a replay, which was certainly not in either club’s plans, will be played at Stoke where the Potters will have a nice home crowd advantage.