January 7, 2023

Premier League Forest, Bournemouth dumped out of FA Cup

<strong>Premier League Forest, Bournemouth dumped out of FA Cup</strong>

Premier League strugglers Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth were dumped out of the FA Cup by lower-league opposition on Saturday as Harry Kane fired Tottenham past third-tier Portsmouth.

Elsewhere on a hectic day of third-round action, 2021 winners Leicester emerged unscathed from a tricky tie against lowly Gillingham while struggling Southampton came from behind to beat Crystal Palace 2-1.

Forest boss Steve Cooper named an entirely different starting team for the match at Blackpool after his side’s midweek win at Southampton, which lifted them out of the Premier League relegation zone.

The plan backfired badly as the Championship side won 4-1 at Bloomfield Road, with goals from Marvin Ekpiteta, Ian Poveda, CJ Hamilton and Jerry Yates.

Two goals from Morocco winger Anass Zaroury gave Championship leaders Burnley a 3-1 lead at Bournemouth but Dominic Solanke scored just after half-time to narrow the deficit.

However, Manuel Benson scored his second of the game to restore Burnley’s two-goal cushion and they advanced to the next round with a 4-2 win.

– Kane on target –

Antonio Conte rang the changes for Spurs in their match against League One Portsmouth but retained a heavyweight forward line including Kane and Son Heung-min.

The in-form Kane scored the only goal of the game in the 50th minute, receiving the ball on the edge of the box and bending a fine curling effort past the despairing dive of Josh Griffiths.

Kane, with four goals in four matches since missing the penalty against France that led to England’s elimination at the World Cup, now has 265 goals for Spurs — just one behind the club’s all-time record scorer, Jimmy Greaves.

The 29-year-old said he was trying not to focus on overtaking Greaves.

“I try to not think about it,” he said. “Sometimes you can think too much. Obviously I feel in good form and I feel fit. My mindset is to help the team and hopefully the goals will come.”

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers, who led his side to the trophy two years ago, made multiple changes after his team’s third straight Premier League defeat this week.

But he retained veteran forward Jamie Vardy for the match against fourth-tier Gillingham, who are rock bottom of England’s Football League.

Vardy was the provider as Kelechi Iheanacho scored the only goal of the game in the 56th minute — only his second goal of the season.

Nigerian international forward Iheanacho said it had been tough to break down their opponents in the early stages of the match but hailed an important win.

“This gave us momentum to go to the next cup competition,” he said. “We are playing Newcastle (in the League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday). Sort of revenge because they beat us in the Premier League.

“It is not going to be easy but fingers crossed we will go there and fight to our last breath to make sure that we win.”

Last year’s beaten FA Cup semi-finalists Palace took the lead against Premier League basement club Southampton through Odsonne Edouard but Saints equalised with a free-kick from James Ward-Prowse that was intended to be a cross.

Southampton took the lead midway through the second half, when Adam Armstrong capitalised on an error by Vicente Guaita, stealing the ball off the Palace goalkeeper outside the box and stroking the ball into the empty net.

Preston came from behind to beat Huddersfield 3-1 while Reading beat Watford 2-0. There were also wins for Premier League sides Fulham and Brighton.

Liverpool take on Wolves in the standout match of the day later on Saturday, with Manchester City hosting Chelsea on Sunday.

Manchester United beat Everton 3-1 on Friday in another all-Premier League clash, heaping the pressure on beleaguered manager Frank Lampard.

Forest Green’s tie against Birmingham was postponed on Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch.