8 Jan 2017

Five EPL teams knocked out of FA Cup

10:45 am on 8 January 2017

Football club Arsenal scrambled to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory against Championship team Preston North in their FA Cup tie this morning, in a round in which five Premier League teams were knocked out.

Olivier Giroud scored a late winner to help Arsenal survive a third round scare, with manager Arsene Wenger opting to rest the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny and Hector Bellerin.

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates.

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates. Photo: Photosport

Those absences almost cost them as, for half an hour, Preston were sensational - and they needed just seven minutes to take the lead.

The Gunners were fortunate not to trail by more than Callum Robinson's early strike at halftime after being run ragged by the fired-up hosts at Deepdale.

But Aaron Ramsey equalised soon after the break and Wenger's side, much improved in the second half, snatched victory when Giroud claimed his fourth goal in four games, in the 89th minute.

While the Gunners were lucky to survive the third round tie, fellow Premier League sides Bournemouth, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion were knocked out of Cup by lower league opposition.

A much-changed Bournemouth were beaten 3-0 by League One Millwall in the biggest upset of the round, while Stoke lost 2-0 at home to Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers.

West Brom lost 2-1 at home to Championship promotion hopefuls Derby.

In the two all-Premier League ties, Hull knocked out Swansea while Everton were beaten 2-1 at home by Leicester City, who claimed their first away win all season.

FA Cup holders Manchester United beat Reading 4-0 in the early game to progress to the fourth round in commanding fashion.

Wayne Rooney celebrates a goal for Manchester United 2015.

Wayne Rooney celebrates a goal for Manchester United. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

United striker Wayne Rooney equalled Bobby Charlton's club record of 249 goals during the tie, giving the home side a seventh-minute lead with an opportunist strike.

Anthony Martial had added the second eight minutes later to put the hosts 2-0 ahead at halftime.

Marcus Rashford, who wasted several opportunities after being given a rare start up front, sealed United's eighth successive victory with two quickfire goals in the closing stages.

Rooney missed two gilt-edged chances during the second half with the crowd roaring him on to reach the 250-goal milestone.

United, who left top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic and France midfielder Paul Pogba on the bench, dominated throughout with some crisp passing at Old Trafford.

- BBC, Reuters, AAP