A Cup full of upsets: long, slow clap for Brentford, Leeds United and Oldham Athletic
When you talk about that surprising result in FA Cup today, you had better darn well say which one.
Earlier today, Chelsea needed a late Fernando Torres goal to avoid a rather embarrassing Fourth Round ouster at the hands of tiny Brentford, a shoestring budget club from England’s third tier.
How large is the gulf between the two nearby clubs? Until two years ago, Chelsea used Brentford’s wee little Griffin Park for its reserve matches.
But there was Brentford, almost engineering the day’s top upset but earning a replay instead just down the highway at Stamford Bridge in today’s 2-2 draw.
Leeds United got a retro taste of some of that old Elland Road glory, harkening back to a better day with a 2-1 win over Tottenham. Clint Dempsey struck for Spurs – his fifth goal in five matches in calendar 2013 – but the U.S. international’s FA Cup is finished for the year.
And to top it today, we have Oldham Athletic, also from England’s third tier, doing the little bit extra and getting to the glorious place that Brentford could not quite reach today. Oldham (pictured, celebrating Sunday’s achievement) is into the fifth round after knocking out Liverpool, 3-2.
In one way of looking at it, Oldham’s win over a Premiership club is even more implausible than a Brentford win over a superior Chelsea would have been. That’s because Brentford is actually having a nice season, now in third place. Not so for Oldham, going through a rough winter and currently in the relegation muck, 19th in the 24-team league.