Football Features

Eight FA Cup stories you might have missed, from Salah surpassing Sir Kenny to promising Patino

By Ben Green

Published: 15:33, 8 January 2023

The FA Cup third round has seen the introduction of Premier League clubs this weekend — and the big boys have brought an added layer of drama to the competition.

There have been upsets, with Newcastle exiting at the hands of third tier Sheffield Wednesday, seven-goal thrillers, with Wrexham edging Coventry 4-3, and the usual VAR controversy, with Wolves having a goal chalked off against Liverpool under questionable circumstances.

Amid the relentless calendar and fixture pile-up of league football, the FA Cup has brought a refreshing distraction; with the swirling storylines and copious sub-plots bringing just as much entertainment. Below are several such stories you might have missed from this weekend’s FA Cup action.

1. Salah surpasses Sir Kenny

On a night that was fraught with uncertainty, there was never any doubt about whether Mohamed Salah would make an impression in Liverpool vs Wolves. In a contest that ebbed and flowed, Salah bagged his obligatory goal to move one clear of Sir Kenny Dalglish in Liverpool’s all-time scoring charts (173 to 172 now).

The goal itself was somewhat dubious. Many felt the finish should have been disallowed as he was in an offside position when Cody Gakpo played the initial ball over the top. The Dutchman’s attempted loft was undercooked, and Toti ultimately glanced a header into the path of an onrushing Salah.

There are suggestions that because Salah was behind Toti when Gakpo sought his team-mate, it forced the Wolves defender to react. Upon inspection from VAR, though, they were satisfied that Toti’s header started a new sequence of play, and hence the goal was legitimate.

Not all were happy, though, with former Wolves midfielder Karl Henry particularly perturbed…

2. Liverpool and… Sheff Wed?

Newcastle have been relentlessly effective and nigh-on impossible to beat this season, with only Liverpool enjoying such success over the well-heeled Tyneside club in the league. In fact, prior to yesterday’s giantkilling, Jurgen Klopp was the only manager in any competition to best Eddie Howe this term… that has now changed.

It’s a testament to Howe that Newcastle have been in such scintillating form this campaign, but he came unstuck against Darren Moore and Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, losing 2-1 thanks to a brace from Josh Windass. It now means only Liverpool and The Owls have tasted triumph against Newcastle in 2022/23.

3. Kelechi’s cup

Kelechi Iheanacho hasn’t exactly set the world ablaze in the Premier League since joining Leicester from Manchester City in 2017. But in the FA Cup, he has been ridiculously prolific. In fact, since his debut in the competition with Man City in January 2016, he has scored more goals than any other player, thumping home a more-than-respectable 16 strikes. His finish against Gillingham on Saturday separated the two sides, and booked Leicester their place in the next round.

4. A Hollywood Story

Since being taken over by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in 2020, Wrexham have been a source of intrigue, and have generated a cult following, owing largely to their highly-succesful docuseries Welcome to Wrexham. They’ve thrust their names into the limelight — and they produced a famous performance on Saturday as they edged Coventry City 4-3, booking their ticket in the fourth round for the first time since 2000. Talk about a Hollywood script!


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5. Promising Patino

The Arsenal production line has proven exceptionally fruitful in recent years, with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah all hailing from Hale End to make a tangible impression on the first team. And it would appear the academy conveyor belt has no intention of letting up anytime soon, with Ethan Nwaneri recently becoming the youngest Premier League player ever, and Charlie Patino continuing to turn heads on loan at Blackpool.

Tipped to break into the Arsenal first team at some point, the tenacious yet elegant midfield jewell made his FA Cup debut for Arsenal last season in a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest. On Saturday, he had a chance to exact revenge, this time in the colours of Blackpool, and he duly delivered. The Seasiders smashed Forest 4-1, with Patino having a particularly graceful and eventful game against the Premier League side.

6. Rashford’s run goes on

Hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but Marcus Rashford really should have received more than just one start at the World Cup for England. Since returning from Qatar, the 25-year-old has scored in five consecutive games, including Friday’s 3-1 win over Everton at Old Trafford. That goal against The Toffees has ensured he has become the first Man Utd player to bag in seven successive home games across all competitions since Wayne Rooney in 2012. Oh Gareth.

7. A Long record

Shane Long has been around the block, so much so that his finish against Watford in Reading’s 2-0 win over the Hertfordshire club means he has now scored in the FA Cup in three different decades for The Royals. Having moved to Reading as a precocious goal-getter from Cork City in 2005, Long spent six highly-fruitful years in Berkshire before leaving for pastures new. He has since re-joined the club, and at 35, is still making a considerable impact on the pitch.

8. History beckons for Kane

A record that looked like it would never be broken is now on the cusp of being surpassed. Jimmy Greaves’ 266-goal tally for Tottenham has stood for over half a century, but Harry Kane is now just one shy of matching the England legend. His 50th-minute strike against Portsmouth on Saturday separated the two sides, and in turn, moved him just a goal away from Greaves. The 29-year-old academy graduate now looks destined to cement his legacy as Tottenham’s greatest-ever goalscorer.

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Download the new Squawka Live app

  1. Download the Squawka Live app on the App Store or Google Play (here's the link). Currently, the app is available in the UK only.
  2. Follow your favourite sports, teams and leagues to receive notifications.
  3. Compare odds and set alerts for specific match scenarios.
  4. Use Squawka Live as your second screen with real-time updates from free-kicks to blocked shots and offsides.