Magic of the cup – Number of Premier League teams eliminated could break record

A weekend of upsets means the Premier League will at least equal its record for teams eliminated in the FA Cup third round.

In the Premier League era, the most top-flight teams to fall at the first hurdle is nine in the 2007-08 season.

Eight have already crashed out this year, with a ninth certain to follow after Liverpool and Wolves drew, while the record could even be broken if Oxford upset league leaders Arsenal on Monday night.

  1. Everton: lost 3-1 to Manchester United (Premier League)

  2. Crystal Palace: lost 2-1 to Southampton (Premier League)

  3. Bournemouth: lost 4-2 to Burnley (Championship)

  4. Nottingham Forest: lost 4-1 to Blackpool (Championship)

  5. Brentford: lost 1-0 to West Ham (Premier League)

  6. Newcastle: lost 2-1 to Sheffield Wednesday (League One)

  7. Aston Villa: lost 2-1 to Stevenage (League Two)

  8. Chelsea: lost 4-0 to Manchester City (Premier League)

  9. Liverpool OR Wolves: drew 2-2, replay Jan 17

The casualties include five from all-Premier League ties while two fell to Championship opposition, leaving Aston Villa and Newcastle’s defeats as the only upsets spanning more than one division.

Sheffield Wednesday, from League One, beat the in-form Magpies 2-1 with a Josh Windass brace before League Two Stevenage scored twice in the last three minutes to produce a stunning 2-1 win at Villa Park.

Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest conceded four goals apiece in defeats to Championship sides Burnley and Blackpool respectively.

Sheffield Wednesday’s Josh Windass celebrates his first goal against Newcastle
Sheffield Wednesday’s Josh Windass celebrates his first goal against Newcastle (Nick Potts/PA)

The all-Premier League ties saw Everton beaten 3-1 by Manchester United and Chelsea thrashed 4-0 by Manchester City, while Crystal Palace and Brentford fell by the odd goal to Southampton and West Ham respectively. The loser of the Liverpool-Wolves replay, scheduled for next Tuesday, will join the list.

Some of the weekend’s more notable results actually involved Championship sides Coventry and West Brom faltering against non-league opposition.

Wrexham stunned the Sky Blues with a characteristically wild 4-3 win, clinched by the competition’s top scorer to date Paul Mullin, while Albion needed a last-minute equaliser from Brandon Thomas-Asante to salvage a 3-3 draw and a replay against Chesterfield.

Wrexham’s Paul Mullin, right, celebrates Wrexham's win at Coventry
Paul Mullin, right, celebrates Wrexham’s win at Coventry (Barrington Coombs/PA)

The record-breaking 2007-08 season saw Aston Villa, Birmingham, Blackburn, Bolton, Everton, Fulham, Reading, Sunderland and West Ham, all top-flight sides at the time, exit in the third round with then-League One sides Oldham, Huddersfield and Bristol Rovers accounting for the Toffees, Birmingham and Fulham respectively.

Over the previous 10 seasons there have been eight Premier League teams eliminated on three separate occasions, most recently in 2018-19, and at least five in every third round.

Brighton will play Liverpool or Wolves in this season’s fourth round while Arsenal, if they get past Oxford, travel to Manchester City, meaning there will be no more than nine top-flight sides in the last 16.

There were nine last season while only three times in the last decade have fewer top-flight teams made round five – eight in 2016-17 and seven in both 2018-19 and 2012-13.