OLA AINA GRABS FIRST CAREER GOAL
Ola Aina has been a mainstay for Hull City this season since moving on loan from Chelsea. The Tigers came up against Blackburn Rovers in the third round of the FA Cup at the weekend and the recently capped Nigerian international scored the only goal of the game just before the hour mark, heading home from Jon Toral’s corner. It was the 21-year old’s first goal in his professional career and will be looking to put in more of such performances as he aims to impress his parent club and Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
COUTINHO FINALLY JOINS BARCELONA
After a stellar 2016/2017 campaign in which he scored 14 goals for Liverpool in all competitions, Philippe Coutinho caught the interest of Barcelona, unfortunately, the Brazilian failed to move in the summer after the Reds rejected three bids from the Catalan giants. A distraught Coutinho still kept his cool scoring 12 goals and making nine assists this season but it became clear he won’t see out the season at Anfield with his move to the Camp Nou confirmed at the weekend for a record £146 million. Coutinho - who joined Liverpool from Inter Milan for a modest fee of £8.5 million, becomes the second most expensive player in football history after Neymar’s £198 million transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last summer. Coutinho also becomes the Catalan outfit’s biggest purchase.
HUGHES GETS AXED FROM STOKE CITY
Stoke City’s FA Cup third round clash with Coventry City should have been escapism from their poor Premier League form where they have just won five games from 22 games and languish in the relegation zone.
It was however not to be as the League Two side claimed a 2-1 win on their turf and this was the final straw for Mark Hughes whose position as manager came to an end after four and a half years.
The Welshman joined the Bet365 Stadium outfit in 2013 and led them to three consecutive ninth-place finishes between 2014 and 2016. A 13th place finish in 2017 was, however, the beginning of his downfall.
BURNLEY SURRENDER TO SUPERIOR CITY
The FA Cup has been known down the years for its giant-killing results and Manchester City’s home tie with Burnley was seen as a potential one. It seemed to be going that way when Ashley Barnes broke the deadlock in the 25th minute, giving the Clarets a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Pep Guardiola’s men, however, demonstrated why they were the current Premier League leaders with four second-half goals from Sergio Aguero (brace), Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva clinching a 4-1 win and booking their place in the next round.
ARSENAL DEMOLISHED IN THE FOREST
Reigning FA Cup champions Arsenal went into their third round clash with Nottingham Forest without manager Arsene Wenger, serving a three-game touchline ban while also making nine changes to the starting XI, using fringe players. Everything backfired as the Championship outfit triumphed 4-2 over the 13-time champions.
It was the first time a lower division scored four goals against Arsenal since 1908 and also the first time the north London outfit exited the competition from the third round since Wenger took charge in 1996.