LONDON (AFP) – Alvaro Morata scored twice as holders Chelsea began their FA Cup defence with a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday night.
The third round is the stage where top-flight clubs enter the world’s oldest senior knockout football tournament and has traditionally been associated with upsets.
But there was only one ‘giant-killing’ on Saturday with third-tier Gillingham beating Premier League Cardiff 1-0.
Cardiff conceded eight minutes from time when midfielder Elliott List scored for south-east club Gillingham.
“We wouldn’t have scored in a million years,” admitted Neil Warnock, the Cardiff manager.
Delighted Gills boss Steve Lowell, born in Swansea – Cardiff’s arch Welsh rivals – added, “I haven’t played against many Premiership teams before so it’s got to be the best, hasn’t it? It’s a great result.”
Championship side Bristol City defeated top flight basement club Huddersfield by the same score thanks to Josh Brownhill’s 72nd-minute goal and Crystal Palace left it late to see off fourth-tier Grimsby 1-0.
Meanwhile, second division Derby, managed by former England midfielder Frank Lampard, came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Premier League strugglers Southampton.
Newcastle were also held to a draw, a Matt Ritchie penalty five minutes from time ensuring a 1-1 result against Championship club Blackburn.
Southampton were cruising following Nathan Redmond goals early in each half but Derby hit back with two in quick succession after the hour mark through Jack Marriott and Tom Lawrence.
Everton eventually saw off fourth-tier Lincoln 2-1 at Goodison Park as Ademola Lookman and Bernard put the Toffees 2-0 up by the 14th minute but the hosts pulled a goal back in the 28th minute with Michael Bostwick’s effort.
Record 13-time FA Cup winners Arsenal won 3-0 at Blackpool.
Arsenal had a bizarre build-up to their tie when a Blackpool fan climbed onto the roof of the coach taking the squad to Bloomfield Road.
Eventually, after being spoken to by police officers, the man came down off the roof after some 40 minutes before he was arrested.
Joel Willock, one of four teenagers in Arsenal’s side, scored twice before half-time, with Alex Iwobi added a third goal late on.
“We imposed our quality on the game and it was good to see the young players do well today as well,” said Arsenal Manager Unai Emery after his FA Cup debut.
League One leaders Portsmouth, the 2008 FA Cup winners, needed an Andre Green stoppage-time goal in a 1-0 victory away to Championship high-flyers Norwich, down to 10 men after Grant Haley’s early red card.
Premier League leaders Liverpool play Wolves at Anfield tonight.