FA Cup: Man United heads to Shrewsbury, Chelsea faces City
SHREWSBURY, England — Chelsea will host Premier League title favorite Manchester City in the last 16 of the FA Cup, while Wayne Rooney faces an unpleasant trip down memory lane when Manchester United travels to third-tier Shrewsbury, the lowest-placed team left in soccer’s oldest club competition.
Sunday’s fifth-round draw followed shortly after Chelsea won 5-1 at MK Dons, as interim manager Guus Hiddink’s side continued its sporting rehabilitation after a dreadful start to the season. Hiddink likes this competition, having won the FA Cup in 2009 during his last temporary spell in charge of Chelsea.
Tottenham hosts Crystal Palace in a London derby, while Bournemouth takes on Everton in another all-Premier League clash.
Arsenal — chasing a third straight FA Cup title — is at home to Hull, the team it came from 2-0 down to beat 3-2 in the 2014 final. Arsenal has won the cup a record 12 times, one more than United.
Currently 20th in League One, Shrewsbury’s weekend has swung from bad to brilliant.
Trailing second-tier Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 in the fourth round on Saturday, the West Midlands club equalized in the 87th minute and snatched a 3-2 win in the seventh minute of injury time to set up a lucrative match against United.
Shrewsbury, which has reached the fifth round for the first time since 1991, will be the underdogs at its New Meadow stadium — but Rooney won’t be taking victory for granted.
The 17-year-old Rooney was part of the Everton team — managed by future United boss David Moyes — which lost 2-1 to Shrewsbury at its downtown stadium Gay Meadow in the FA Cup third round in 2003.
“We will focus on what’s important and that’s the next league game at home to Southend United,” Shrewsbury manager Micky Mellon said on the club’s website.
“I’m delighted that always on the horizon we will have a game against one of the biggest clubs in the world. This game should keep performance levels high from the squad because everyone will want to play in that game.”
Peterborough, which is eighth in the same division as Shrewsbury, faces a replay against West Bromwich Albion, with the winner going to League Championship team Reading.
Blackburn hosts either Liverpool or West Ham, which drew 0-0 on Saturday, while Watford faces Leeds, which won the cup in 1972 before a famous defeat in the following year’s final to unfancied Sunderland.
The fifth round takes place from Feb. 19-22.