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5 things we learned from the FA Cup third round

5 things we learned from the FA Cup third round
© Reuters
Five Premier League clubs bowed out of the competition this weekend.

Barnet and Newport provided the biggest shocks in the third round as they knocked out Sheffield United and Leicester respectively.

Holders Chelsea, plus fellow big guns Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United all reached the fourth round, but five top-flight sides made their exits.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five things we learned from this weekend's third-round ties.

Barnet fly flag for minnows

Barnet kept FA Cup romance alive and kicking by stunning Sky Bet Championship promotion-chasers Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. Shaq Coulthirst's first-half penalty and goalkeeper Mark Cousins' superb late save to deny Leon Clarke were enough to blunt the Blades and ensure the Bees, in 15th place in the Vanarama National League, are the only non-league side in the hat for the fourth round draw.

Giant-killing is no lost art

All neutrals love a giant-killing and Barnet were not the only lower league side to bloody the nose of a more fancied club and dump them out of the competition. Newport knocked Leeds out of the competition last season but went one better by stunning Premier League club Leicester in a 2-1 win at Rodney Parade. Cardiff came unstuck at League One strugglers Gillingham, basement club Oldham stunned Fulham at Craven Cottage and Huddersfield were knocked out by Bristol City. Another top-flight side, Bournemouth, lost at home to Premier League rivals Brighton.

Video assistant referees in spotlight

A video assistant referee (VAR) was used in nine of this weekend's ties and the technology made some crucial interventions. Burnley were denied a penalty after a VAR referral in their home win against Barnsley and another in Manchester United's victory over Reading led to confusion when Juan Mata's 20th-minute 'goal' was ruled out, apparently for offside, before a penalty was awarded. VAR was consulted before Grimsby defender Andrew Fox's early dismissal in his side's defeat at Crystal Palace and also for Aleksandar Mitrovic's saved penalty in Fulham's shock defeat to Oldham.

Farewell from Fabregas?

Cesc Fabregas salutes the Stamford Bridge crowd after being substituted in Saturday's FA Cup tie
Cesc Fabregas salutes the Stamford Bridge crowd after being substituted in Saturday's FA Cup tie (John Walton/PA)

Chelsea launched their defence of the world's oldest knock-out trophy by beating Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge, where Cesc Fabregas had a first-half penalty saved in possibly his last game in English football. The 31-year-old, who has made a combined total of 501 appearances for Arsenal and Chelsea, is reported to be joining Thierry Henry's Monaco. The Spanish midfielder was given a standing ovation when substituted and was the last player to leave the pitch after returning at the final whistle to wave goodbye.

Upset not on Cards for Tyler

Martin Tyler, pictured during Woking's defeat to Watford, is part of the non-league club's coaching staff
Martin Tyler, pictured during Woking's defeat to Watford, is part of the non-league club's coaching staff (Adam Davy/PA)

Veteran commentator Martin Tyler swapped his microphone for a tracksuit as he took his place in Woking's dug-out in their home defeat to Watford. The 73-year-old, better known as the voice of Sky Sport's football, became a non-paid member of Woking boss Alan Dowson's coaching staff following the latter's appointment in May. Life-long Cards fan Tyler was assistant manager for the day, but could not inspire the National League South side to an upset as Watford ran out 2-0 winners.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool34267177205785
2Manchester CityMan City33272486226483
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs332211064343067
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Leicester CityLeicester34145154645147
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33138124142-147
9Everton34137144644246
10Watford33137134748-146
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham34126164252-1042
12Bournemouth34125174961-1241
13Crystal Palace34116174046-639
14Burnley34116174260-1839
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle34108163243-1138
16Southampton3399153954-1536
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3396183253-2133
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3455243276-4420
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3435261967-4814

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