FA Cup Action
Giants Humbled 强队受挫
Anything can happen in the FA Cup
High-profile football teams like Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are so well-known that they have become household names all around the world, but have you ever heard of Burton Albion or Leyton Orient?
A week ago you could have been forgiven for never having heard of such obscure teams. However, last weekend’s FA Cup third round saw several ‘minnows’ bringing big-name teams to their knees.
The FA Cup is unique in British football because it offers fans the opportunity to see smaller teams take on their higher-placed counterparts.
Established in 1871, the FA Cup competition is the oldest football tournament in the world. What makes it so exciting is that it is a knockout tournament with no seeds – all the pairings are drawn completely randomly.
This means that the finest squads in the Premiere League can find themselves playing against part-timers, which is precisely what happened in Sunday’s fixture between Manchester United and Burton Albion.
A few statistics indicate the theoretical difference in quality between the two sides. Manchester United has an annual salary bill of more than £80 million; Burton Albion players are amateurs who hold down full-time jobs and play in their free-time. United’s stadium, Old Trafford, has a 68000-seat capacity; Burton Albion’s stadium can seat less than 7000 fans.
However, the theory did not match the reality as Burton Albion managed to hold United to a goalless draw, forcing a replay at Old Trafford next week.
Other underdogs like Leicester City and Leyton Orient did even better, defeating Premiership giants, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham.
Chinese players have also been involved in FA Cup action but with mixed results. Sun Jihai’s team Manchester City had a comfortable 3-1 win over Scunthorpe, with striker Robbie Fowler scoring a hat trick. Hao Haidong’s team, Sheffield United, had less luck, losing 2-1 at home to Colchester.
high–profile 有名气的, 高声望的
minnows 小鱼, 杂鱼, 这里指无名的足球队
take on 挑战
knockout tournament 淘汰赛
household names 家喻户晓的名字
third round 三轮, 第三局
annual salary bill 薪帐单
goalless draw 方各无进球的平局
mixed results 忧参半
hat trick 进三球