Coral’s team of the FA Cup fifth round: Jakupovic and Payet star
Lee Gormley | February 22, 2015
The FA Cup fifth round has produced plenty of magic, with Reading overcoming Premier League outfit West Bromwich Albion, top-flight champions Chelsea thrashing rivals Manchester City 5-1 and Hull City holding Arsenal in London.
This year’s quarter-final line-up has also been made, with Everton set to host Chelsea, Reading welcoming Crystal Palace, the winner of Arsenal’s replay against Hull then contesting Watford and Manchester United or Shrewsbury Town facing West Ham United.
Following the enthralling action this past weekend, Coral bring you our team of the round, featuring those players that excelled for their sides during fixtures that lived up to the hysteria of the oldest cup competition in football.
Goalkeeper: Eldin Jakupovic (Hull City)
Steve Bruce’s Tigers managed to get their claws on a 0-0 draw at the Emirates, with their sublime shot stopper Jakupovic being key to forcing a deserved replay. The Hull goal guard’s heroics denied the holders constantly with a string of superb saves in what was a defiant display between the sticks.
Right back: Martin Kelly (Crystal Palace)
Not typically known for his exploits in front of goal, Palace defender Kelly popped up at the right time to send Alan Pardew’s Eagles gliding into the quarter-finals, with a powerful close-range effort securing a 1-0 victory over high-flying domestic rivals Tottenham.
Centre back: Paul McShane (Reading)
Another unlikely goalscorer, this time in the form of Reading’s reliant Irishman McShane, with the Wicklow-born defender’s second-half header helping the Championship club mount an impressive comeback to eventually overcome West Brom 3-1 and book a quarter-final spot against Palace.
Centre back: Craig Cathcart (Watford)
Coming up against Championship side Leeds United, former Manchester United defender Cathcart may have thought he’d be in for a tougher task, but Watford’s centre back enjoyed a relatively quiet cup clash, doing his job solidly and helping the Hornets progress with a clean sheet.
Left back: Bryan Oviedo (Everton)
As Everton brushed aside their recent Premier League opponents Bournemouth, flying full back Oviedo was a constant outlet down the left flank and even played a part in the build-up to Romelu Lukaku’s match-sealing strike to comfortably end the tie 2-0.
Defensive midfield: Michael Hector (Reading)
After Republic of Ireland centre back McShane had levelled proceedings for Reading after half-time against the Baggies, on-loan defensive midfielder Hector struck next and was a truly imposing presence as anchorman in the central areas during a man of the match outing.
Right midfield: Victor Moses (West Ham)
Having initially gone behind against Blackburn Rovers, it was wideman Moses that inspired a comeback for the Hammers, dispatching an equaliser in an eventual 5-1 demolition at Ewood Park, setting up a crack at either Man Utd or Shrewsbury.
Attacking Midfield: Dimitri Payet (West Ham)
Moses may have grabbed the crucial leveller on West Ham’s fifth round travels, but it was mercurial Frenchman Payet that stole the show, bagging a brilliant brace during an incredible performance for Slaven Bilic’s east Londoners, who are aiming to end their 36-year trophy drought this year.
Left midfield: Ross Barkley (Everton)
In the Toffees win over Eddie Howe’s Cherries, Barkley once again produced a magical display to further boost his prospects for England at Euro 2016 this upcoming summer. The in-form playmaker has now been directly involved in more goals on all fronts than any other English midfielder in the Premier League, following his opener at Dean Court.
Striker: Diego Costa (Chelsea)
The resurgence of Brazilian-born Spain international hitman Costa continued at Stamford Bridge as he starred in the hammering of top tier rivals Man City, opening proceedings to make it seven in as many matches on home soil. Interestingly, Guus Hiddink has never lost an FA Cup as Chelsea coach and he will be gunning for further success this year after triumphing in 2009.
Striker: Emmanuel Emenike (West Ham)
In a meeting with Rovers which was captivated by Payet, the Frenchman’s on-loan teammate Emenike also starred heavily, firing in an impressive second-half double to open his Hammers account after a temporary January switch from Fenerbahce.