Goals galore and 'keepers in midfield: 5 talking points from the FA Cup

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Teams from the Women's Super League and Championship joined the FA Cup this weekend for the fourth round of matches. 

With 32 teams in action, GiveMeSport Women looked at the five main talking points from the 16 games. 

Goals galore

A whopping 86 goals were scored across the 16 matches played this weekend. This was partly down to West Ham’s 11-0 thrashing of Chichester and Selsey, Arsenal’s 10-0 drubbing of Gillingham, and Sheffield United’s 9-0 victory against Middlesborough, but there were a number of other high-scoring games as well.

Manchester City put eight goals past Aston Villa, Manchester United earned a 6-0 win over Burnley, and Chelsea triumphed 5-0 against London City Lionesses.

It was certainly an enjoyable weekend for a number of attackers, including Manchester City’s Chloe Kelly and Arsenal’s Jill Roord, who both scored hat-tricks. West Ham’s Emily Van Egmond went one better, getting on the scoresheet an impressive four times.

Goalkeeper in midfield

Eyebrows were raised when West Ham goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold was brought on to play in midfield during the team’s clash against Chichester and Selsey. The Australian international played the last 20 minutes of the match, replacing Laura Vetterlein.

The substitution provoked a reaction on social media, with Crawley Wasps player Tash Stephens suggesting the move was “disrespectful”.

“Maybe some teams should focus how they’re doing in their own leagues, rather than disrespect a local, self funded club, attempting to build and grow the game the right way,” she posted.

West Ham captain Kate Longhurst then disputed the claim, arguing Arnold had been played outfield to allow players to rest for West Ham’s crucial game against Aston Villa this week.

“We have a massive game Tuesday against a fellow relegation battling team,” Longhurst said. “None of us are here to take the piss, we have a very small squad to pick from and need legs for Tuesday. Certainly no disrespect from us as a team intended!”

Lewes upset

There were few upsets in the fourth round of the FA Cup, but Southampton did manage to deliver a shock result against Lewes.

Southampton currently play in the Women’s National League Division One South West, while Lewes are someway further up the ladder in the Championship. Despite the difference in standings, Southampton triumphed 2-1.

Georgie Freeland and Rachel Panting were the goalscorers for the team managed by England legend Marieanne Spacey-Cale.

Fifth round fixtures

With the fourth round of the FA Cup now complete, fans can begin to look forward to the next set of fixtures.

Southampton will be taking on WSL side Birmingham City next, while Huddersfield Town will be looking to cause an upset against Brighton. Leicester City face an intriguing encounter against Manchester United, with the two teams set to be playing in the same league from next season.

Chelsea and Everton will be a fascinating all-WSL clash, while Manchester City will take on West Ham. Blackburn Rovers have been drawn against Charlton Athletic, with Tottenham Hotspur due to come up against Sheffield United.


Joe Montemurro’s goodbye match

With Arsenal progressing into the next round of the FA Cup, Joe Montemurro’s farewell match has now been confirmed. The Gunners’ fifth round clash against Crystal Palace on May 16th will be Montemurro’s last appearance on the sidelines.

The Australian has led Arsenal to a WSL title, four Cup finals and a Champions League quarter-final. He announced last month he would leave the club at the end of this season to dedicate more time to his family. Montemurro’s replacement has not yet been announced, but his final match in charge is sure to be tinged with sadness.

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