MX23RW : Friday, January 22 19:11:52| >> :120:29796:29796:

Result: Crawley Town claim Premier League scalp by beating Leeds United in FA Cup

Result: Crawley claim Premier League scalp by beating Leeds in FA Cup
© Reuters
The League Two side took the tie with second-half goals from Nick Tsaroulla, Ashley Nadesan and Jordan Tunnicliffe.

League Two Crawley produced a stunning FA Cup shock by embarrassing lacklustre Leeds with an emphatic 3-0 triumph.

Second-half strikes from Nick Tsaroulla, Ashley Nadesan and Jordan Tunnicliffe secured a remarkable third-round upset at Broadfield Stadium.

Victory for John Yems’ rampant hosts was their first over a top-flight team in this competition and arguably the most famous result in their history.

Leeds created little on a bitterly-cold afternoon in West Sussex as they endured another cup shock at the hands of lower-league opposition.

Crawley Town v Leeds United – Emirates FA Cup – Third Round – People’s Pension Stadium
Crawley’s Jordan Tunnicliffe, centre, scores his side’s third goal of the game during the shock 3-0 FA Cup win over Leeds (PA)

The illustrious Premier League visitors have made an unwelcome habit of exiting this competition in humiliating fashion, with this humbling loss added to recent upsets against Histon, Newport, Sutton and Rochdale.

United manager Marcelo Bielsa named a relatively strong side showing seven changes from last weekend’s loss at Tottenham in a bid avoid a banana skin.

But, despite dominating the opening period, they had no answer to quick-fire strikes from Tsaroulla and Nadesan immediately after the restart, before Tunnicliffe put the televised tie beyond doubt.

Boosted by the return of captain Liam Cooper from injury, Leeds had been the first to seriously threaten.

Creative midfielder Ian Poveda played a one-two with Ezgjan Alioski on the left-hand side before his drilled effort from a tight angle was repelled by the legs of home goalkeeper Glenn Morris.

Crawley Town v Leeds United – Emirates FA Cup – Third Round – People’s Pension Stadium
Crawley manager John Yems, left, and Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa shake hands after the League Two side’s shock 3-0 FA Cup third round win (PA)

The visitors were then perhaps unfortunate not to be awarded a 28th-minute penalty. Spain forward Rodrigo tumbled in the six-yard box after appearing to be pulled by Tony Craig but referee Peter Bankes was uninterested.

While in-form Crawley suffered a 1-0 fifth-round defeat at Manchester United as a non-league side a decade ago, this was almost certainly the club’s biggest game on home soil.

Coronavirus restrictions deprived them of a sell-out home support but they were boosted by 15-goal top scorer Max Watters returning to the bench, where he was joined by former reality television star Mark Wright.

The hosts had to wait until four minutes before the break for their first real chance and could easily have gone into the dressing room ahead.

Striker Tom Nichols, scorer of a hat-trick in the remarkable 6-5 first-round win at Torquay, powerfully met Jack Powell’s corner with his head, forcing back-up Leeds keeper Kiko Casilla into a diving save.

Undeterred by that missed opportunity, the hosts took control of the contest courtesy of two goals in the opening minutes of the second half.

Former Tottenham youth player Tsaroulla, whose inclusion was Crawley’s only change from last weekend’s win at Bolton, escaped the attentions of four Leeds players as he drove into the box and drilled his first senior goal into the bottom right corner.

The home dugout had barely finished celebrating the opener when the advantage was swiftly doubled.

Nadesan burst into the 18-yard area on the right and, with no support, opted to unleash a low drive which bobbled and beat former Real Madrid keeper Casilla at the near post.

Crawley, flying high in the fourth tier, were seeking to make it 10 games without defeat and put the result beyond doubt with 20 minutes to play.

Crawley Town v Leeds United – Emirates FA Cup – Third Round – People’s Pension Stadium
The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright, right, and Josh Wright, second right, warm down after Crawley’s famous win (PA)

After Sam Matthews’ free-kick into the box, Nadesan’s effort was denied by Casilla, only for Tunicliffe to force the loose ball into the roof of the net.

There was never any threat of a Leeds comeback and substitute Watters could have added further gloss to the scoreline.

He found his path to goal blocked after rounding Casilla, while manager Yems also used the comfortable situation to bring on former The Only Way is Essex star Wright for the final moments.

Bankes’ full-time whistle promoted celebratory scenes from the home side as they cruised into the fourth round for the first time since 2012.

ID:429969:cQx
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd19124336251140
2Manchester CityMan City18115231131838
3Leicester CityLeicester19122535211438
4Liverpool1997337221534
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1896333171633
6Everton1710252821732
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham199552722532
8Chelsea1985633231029
9Southampton188552621529
10Arsenal198382319427
11Aston Villa1682629181126
12Leeds UnitedLeeds187293034-423
13Crystal Palace196582233-1123
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves196492129-822
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle185491830-1219
16Burnley185491022-1219
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton193882229-717
18Fulham1826101527-1212
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1925121543-2811
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1912161032-225

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!