United 5-1 for Cup after RVP bags late leveller

A LATE equaliser by Robin van Persie rescued a 2-2 draw for Manchester United at Upton Park on Saturday just as West Ham looked like pulling off a 4-1 FA Cup third-round upset.

James Collins struck twice from crosses by the Hammers’ returning hero Joe Cole after Tom Cleverley’s opener, but Van Persie brilliantly gathered Ryan Giggs’s pass to secure United a replay.

It had already been a great day for upsets with Blue Square Bet Premier duo  Macclesfield and Luton leading the way as they advanced to the last 32 at the expense of Championship opponents Cardiff and Wolves.

Macclesfield, 9-2 in the pre-match betting, came from behind to defeat second-tier leaders Cardiff with two late goals from Matthew Barnes-Homer. His 88th-minute penalty sealed the Silkmen’s passage to round four and delighted punters who had backed the hosts at an in-running Betfair high of 95.

Luton had been no bigger than 14-5 before Alex Lawless’s first-half goal gave them a 1-0 win at home to Wolves and their success rewarded those who took BetVictor’s 7-1 that two or more non-league teams would progress.

However, Coral expect the fun to end there, going 2-5 that there aren’t any non-league sides in the fifth round.

League One Oldham were the biggest-priced winners at 11-2 as they triumphed 3-2 at Nottingham Forest.

There were no major concerns for those near the head of the market apart from United. Manchester City are 4-1 favourites with Ladbrokes after coasting to a 3-0 victory at home to Watford, but Chelsea were the biggest movers and are just 5-1 to win the trophy for the fifth time in seven years after a hugely impressive 5-1 victory at Southampton.
Tottenham are 8-1 after a 3-0 triumph at home to Coventry.

Match in Focus

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Benfica v Juventus

Home Win Draw Away Win
Expert verdict
The two best teams left in the Europa League meet in Lisbon and Benfica look a value punt to take a lead back to Turin. Benfica have an outstanding home record in European competition and Juventus showed with their early Champions League exit that they are not hugely comfortable on the road in hostile arenas.

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