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FA Cup: Ups and Downs

The National staff  |  January 29, 2013

Wayne Rooney congratulates evergreen Manchester United star Ryan Giggs after his penalty against Fulham. Pic: Andrew Yates/AFP
Wayne Rooney congratulates evergreen Manchester United star Ryan Giggs after his penalty against Fulham.  Pic: Andrew Yates/AFP

In lieu of our usual Premier League review, we look instead at the three heroes and three villains of the latest round of FA Cup matches...

GOING UP

Ryan Giggs, Manchester United The evergreen midfielder sent United on their way against Fulham. Before the match Wayne Rooney had been relieved of penalty duties and the 39 year old scored from the spot 70 seconds into the match.

Olivier Giroud, Arsenal The big French striker has come in for an unfair amount of criticism in his debut season, but has netted 13 goals in all competitions and he grabbed an important brace against Brighton this weekend, including a 20-yard strike.

Former Manchester City strikers Brentford’s Uwe Rossler and Oldham Athletic’s Paul Dickov enjoyed the FA Cup on Sunday against Premier League opponents. Despite his win against Liverpool, Dickov is reportedly facing dismissal for his side’s poor form in League One.

GOING DOWN

Clint Dempsey, Tottenham The American finally scored on his sixth attempt, and his misfiring played a large part in Tottenham’s failure to beat Championship side Leeds United. With Jermain Defoe rested and Emmanuel Adebayor in Africa he could not step up.

Paul Lambert, Aston Villa Despite backing from his chairman Randy Lerner the Scottish manager is looking increasingly beleaguered after cup losses to two sides in divisions below them. League form needs to improve to ease the pressure on the man and the team.

Harry Redknapp, Queens Park Rangers The Premier League’s bottom club were humiliated in the FA Cup by League One MK Dons. The defence was exposed, but strangely Redknapp’s answer is looking to buy another striker. The Championship beckons.