Over the past week, clubs such as Bradford City, MK Dons, Luton Town and Oldham Athletic have shown once again why our cup competitions are important to our domestic football calendar.
Respective upsets against the likes of Aston Villa, QPR, Norwich City and Liverpool have once again ignited the passion and romance amongst supporters that only cup competitions can do.
Who would have foreseen at the beginning of the season that the League Cup final would be played out at Wembley Stadium between Swansea and Bradford?
Both clubs deserve their place in the final, particularly Bradford who have fallen on hard times since relegation from the Premier League. Swansea have resurrected themselves over the past few years and are establishing themselves as a solid Premier League outfit. Even so, to reach the final of a cup competition at the expense of Chelsea is a huge achievement for them and could be their first step towards greater achievements.
This weekend the FA Cup has seen one of the biggest shocks in its history with non-league Luton Town defeating Norwich City 1-0 at Carrow Road. In doing so, they became the first side from non-league football to knock out a top flight club since 1989. Particularly these days, with such a huge gap financially between teams, this was a major surprise. Luton are also only the seventh Conference side to reach the 5th round since the Second World War.
Villa, QPR and Norwich have all been struggling recently but they are still more than capable of winning games against lowly opponents. However, the passion and commitment shown by their lower league opponents has more than bridged the gap.
These results have sparked huge scenes of jubilation amongst managers, players and supporters and this is the reason why our cup competitions should always remain. Both cup competitions have proven their doubters wrong and long may that continue. They are the envy of many nations across the world, and rightly so. Can you ever recall so many upsets occurring in one weekend? That's the magic of the cup for you, and it's clear that it's alive and kicking.
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