LONDON (AFP) – Third-tier Sheffield United confirmed their remarkable cup pedigree by eliminating Premier League Queens Park Rangers from the FA Cup with a 3-0 third-round victory at Loftus Road on Sunday.
Nigel Clough’s League One side, who reached last season’s semi-finals and face Tottenham Hotspur in the last four of this season’s League Cup, won via a Marc McNulty goal and a second-half brace from Jamal Campbell-Ryce.
QPR, whose manager, Harry Redknapp, made seven changes to his starting XI, become the second top-flight team to be knocked out following Newcastle United’s 1-0 loss at Leicester City on Saturday.
Alan Pardew made a winning start to life as manager of Crystal Palace, who won 4-0 at non-league Dover Athletic thanks to a first-half double by centre-back Scott Dann and goals from Dwight Gayle and Kevin Doyle.
Pardew was appointed Palace manager on Saturday after leaving Newcastle.
Meanwhile, Sunderland repeated their victory over Leeds United in the 1973 final with an identical 1-0 win against the Championship club at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland, whose 1973 win was one of the biggest upsets in the competition’s history, prevailed courtesy of a drilled 33rd-minute effort by Dutch left-back Patrick van Aanholt.
Holders Arsenal entered the competition later on Sunday when they hosted Hull City in a repeat of last season’s final, which Arsene Wenger’s side won 3-2.
Premier League co-leaders Chelsea and Manchester City both faced home games against second-tier clubs, with Chelsea hosting Watford and City tackling Sheffield United, while Manchester United visited third-tier Yeovil Town.
Tottenham Hotspur travel to Burnley on Monday in a repeat of the 1962 final, which Spurs won, and Liverpool visit third-tier AFC Wimbledon for a tie that recalls the original Wimbledon’s shock victory in the 1988 final.