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Arsenal, Everton and Sheffield United light up FA Cup

Arsenal's Nacho Monreal (R) is fouled by Liverpool's Jon Flanagan during their English FA Cup fifth round soccer match at the Emirates stadi
Arsenal's Nacho Monreal (R) is fouled by Liverpool's Jon Flanagan during their English FA Cup fifth round soccer match at the Emirates stadi

By Mike Collett

LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal exacted revenge against Liverpool on Sunday, Everton kept a dream alive for their manager and Sheffield United caused a dramatic old-fashioned upset as they all reached the FA Cup quarter-finals.

The Londoners, who lost 5-1 at Anfield in the Premier League on February 8, beat Liverpool 2-1 with a 16th-minute goal from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and a 47th-minute strike from Lukas Podolski.

Captain Steven Gerrard halved the arrears for Liverpool with a penalty on the hour.

Everton were by far the better team in another all-Premier League clash, seeing off Swansea City 3-1 with goals from debutant Lacinda Traore, Steven Naismith and a Leighton Baines penalty.

Swansea replied through Jonathan de Guzman.

Everton's win keeps Roberto Martinez on course to become the first manager to lift the famous FA Cup trophy with different clubs in successive seasons after he led Wigan Athletic to victory in last season's final against Manchester City.

Once-powerful Sheffield United, league champions in 1898 and FA Cup winners in 1899, 1902, 1915 and 1925 but now battling to avoid relegation to League Two, came from behind to beat Championship promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest 3-1 with two goals in the last two minutes.

Forest, who reached the FA Cup final in 1991 when they were managed by Brian Clough, the father of Sheffield United manager Nigel, came to Bramall Lane protecting a 16-match unbeaten run and took the lead with a Jamie Paterson header after 28 minutes.

But United, who have knocked out Premier League sides Aston Villa and Fulham this season, evoked the ghosts of their past to record an unlikely win.

On-loan Liverpool forward Connor Coady equalized after a goalkeeping error in the 68th minute before substitute Chris Porter struck twice, once from the penalty spot, in the dying minutes.

Sunday's FA Cup draw gave United the chance of meeting neighbors Sheffield Wednesday in a Steel City derby in the quarter-finals, provided the latter eventually win their postponed tie against Charlton Athletic.

Wigan, who beat Cardiff City 2-1 on Saturday, will face Manchester City in a rematch of last season's final while Arsenal host Everton at the Emirates Stadium.

The other last-eight tie will be between Sunderland, who beat Southampton 1-0 on Saturday, and Brighton and Hove Albion or Hull City who meet on Monday.

LIVERPOOL FURIOUS

While it was all sweetness and light for Arsenal, Everton and Sheffield United, Liverpool were furious with 2010 World Cup final referee Howard Webb after their defeat at Arsenal.

Webb awarded the visitors a penalty that Gerrard converted but soon after the official turned down what appeared a much stronger claim following a challenge by Oxlade-Chamberlain on Luis Suarez.

"I thought it was a blatant penalty," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told BT Sport television. "Luis got a touch on the ball and young Alex has just taken him out."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger would only say of the penalty claim: "Maybe, maybe not". He added: "I'm very proud of the way we responded to the huge defeat last week."

Everton, chasing Liverpool in the race for a top-four league finish, brushed aside the challenge of Swansea to the delight of Martinez.

"They gave us some trouble in the first half but we were more composed in the second. We pressed them and got the rewards and overall we were very professional again," he said.

Clough, who played for Forest under his father and lost his previous job at Derby County when his team lost to his old club in the Championship in October, enjoyed his Sheffield United team's victory.

"I was proud of them. They never knew when they were beaten and we got our reward in the end," he said.

The quarter-finals will take place the weekend of March 8/9.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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