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Everton's Lampard hails 'very special day’, while West Ham survive major scare

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5th February, 2022
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New Everton manager Frank Lampard says he’s had a day he will never forget after opening his Goodison Park reign with a 4-1 FA Cup triumph over Premier League rivals Brentford.

Goals from Yerry Mina, Richarlison, Mason Holgate and Andros Townsend, after Ivan Toney’s penalty had briefly made it 2-1, secured the biggest win on debut by any Toffees boss in Saturday’s fourth-round tie.

It was the team’s largest victory against top-flight opposition since beating West Ham by the same scoreline in the League Cup in September 2020 and had supporters singing “Super Frankie Lampard!” in the second half and at the final whistle.

“I can only thank the fans for their support of me from the moment I walked out and, of course, at the end, seeing the team perform the way it did,” said the former Chelsea boss.

“It’s a day I’ll never forget. It was very special, and I can’t help but get caught up in the emotion of that for the moment.

“We all hear about the Goodison effect and I’ve felt it on the other side and we wanted to produce that today – and the players did.

“But as much as I was proud of the performance and it gets me excited, I have to calm down now and work towards the league games.”

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The only downside on an otherwise positive day was an injury to Ben Godfrey.

“Hamstring injury to be assessed,” added Lampard.

“Let it settle for two days and then scan it, but he will be missing for a period of time, depending on the severity.”

Meanwhile, only England international Declan Rice’s stoppage-time equaliser has prevented West Ham from being on the receiving end of one of the biggest upsets in 150 years of the FA Cup.

When their fourth-round game entered stoppage time on Saturday, West Ham were still facing a humiliating loss to sixth-tier side Kidderminster.

Alex Penny had scored in the 19th minute for the National North division’s third-placed team, who were outplaying the high-flying Premier League side from London.

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But Rice’s intervention forced the game into extra time and, with a penalty shootout beckoning at Kidderminster’s little 6000-capacity stadium, it took Jarrod Bowen scoring in stoppage time of extra time to seal West Ham’s 2-1 victory against a team 113 places lower in the English league system.

“It is the magic of the Cup, isn’t it? With two minutes to go I was believing it,” Kidderminster manager Russ Penn said. 

“Things like this don’t happen in other countries. It is something special.

“I thought there would be another chance but to score from that chance was heartbreaking. 

“I thought we’d get blown away in extra time but we didn’t. I’m gutted for the lads. They’re crawling around in the dressing room. They were piling the pressure on but it was just unfortunate they scored from the last phase of the game.”

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It was a struggle too in London for European champions Chelsea, who had to come from behind to eliminate third-tier Plymouth 2-1 in extra time at Stamford Bridge to reach the fifth round.

Macaulay Gillesphey headed Plymouth into an early lead and Cesar Azpilicueta equalised via a fine back-heel finish just before halftime.

But Chelsea couldn’t find a winner inside 90 minutes and even after Marcos Alonso scored at the end of the first half of extra time, Plymouth still had a chance to level.

But goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga guessed correctly to save a late penalty from Ryan Hardie after the Plymouth striker had been fouled by Malang Sarr.

Elsewhere, Manchester City were stunned by Fabio Carvalho putting Fulham ahead after four minutes but the Premier League champions quickly levelled through Ilkay Gundogan and went on to eliminate the second-tier side 4-1 with further goals from John Stones and a double from Riyad Mahrez.

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Norwich reached the fifth round for just the second time in a decade as Kenny McLean’s header clinched a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton, while first-half goals by Marc Guehi and Michael Olise gave Crystal Palace a 2-0 win over Hartlepool.

Premier League Southampton needed a Stuart Armstrong wonder-strike and an extra-time goal from Kyle Walker-Peters to edge out Championship side Coventry 2-1 at St Mary’s.

© AAP

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