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Women's FA Cup: who is headed to the quarter final?

This weekend convened excitement in the FA Cup, as matchups began to heat up! Leicester netting 6, City triumphing Arsenal in a contested tie and 7 from Everton were all part of the action.

Leicester City 6-2 Birmingham City

Soaring 5-1 past fellow WSL side Everton to secure their place in the 5th round, Leicester City ensured this energy remained in their tie with Championship side Birmingham City. Birmingham have seen plenty of positive results this season, sitting in respectable 5th. Knocking out WSL side West Ham United in the previous round, this would have undoubtedly filled them with confidence coming into this fixture against Leicester, who began on the wrong foot with an own goal from Goodwin seeing them 1-0 within the first 2 minutes. The Foxes were prompt on their turnaround, scoring 2 goals in quick succession at the 20 minute mark, thanks to Cayman and O'Brien. Libby Smith brought it back level for Birmingham just before the half, but O'Brien had a quick response as she scored her second to gift Leicester the advantage after a contested half. The Foxes ran away with it in a dominant second half, where they scored an additional 3. Saori Takarada, Deanne Rose and Aileen Whelan found the back of the net to secure Leicester's place in the quarter finals.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Charlton Athletic

A closely tied game between London sides Tottenham and Charlton reminisced Spurs' win last time out in the cup, hard fought. The North London side went to extra-time against Sheffield United where they found their breakthrough to earn their spot in the 5th round, drawing former manager Karen Hill's side Charlton, who currently top the ever-competitive Championship. They came into to the fixture having previously beat third-tier Ipswich Town 4-1, and off the back of a league draw to bottom place Lewes. The fixture was contested throughout, with a tight first half of balanced possession denying either side a shot on target; the second half was mostly the same, both teams desperate to find the back of the net. Spencer made some appreciable saves to maintain the deadlock, as Charlton began to pick up their chances. Spurs wanting to take the edge, hit the woodwork twice before Kit Graham found their eventual opening, just 5 minutes after she joined the field and 15 minutes left to play, sending the Lilywhites through to the quarter finals for the first time since 2020/21.

Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City

The only all-WSL affair in the fifth round was bound to be a dramatic game determined by narrow margins, and that it was. City came into the fixture full of confidence, unbeaten in 9, with Arsenal looking to cause some upset. The tension on the field was clear throughout the first half, which was scrappy and disjointed; City star Bunny Shaw was the standout in this half, trying to find an edge but was upheld by Arsenal's sturdy defence. A cleaner second half followed, as this ever-competitive affair flared up with both sides determined to make their breakthrough. Arsenal began to push through late into the game, trying to make something of the game with several late advances forward, to which young keeper Khiara Keating prevented as she showcased several spectacular saves. Aleixandri slotted home the only goal of the game, poking in a deflected free kick, beating arsenal's Catley as she failed to clear the set piece in a scramble. In a desperate strive for an equaliser, controversy arose as Arsenal felt that a ball had in fact crossed the line in a scramble in the box. Uproar in Meadow Park followed, as have calls for VAR and advanced goal-line technology in the women's game, as City have triumphed through into the quarter finals.

Wolves 1-4 Brighton

After beating Championship side Reading, third-tiered Wolves found themselves in the 5th round for the first time in 50 years, drawn to WSL side Brighton, to which they held well in the first half. Brighton, who haven't had the most positive of seasons, scuffled before Katie Robinson tipped them ahead just before half-time. Merrick levelled for Wolves, 67 minutes in, after she capitalised on a penalty and brought the side back into the game, accompanied by an enlivened crowd. It was Emma Kullberg who made the difference and secured Brighton's place in the quarter finals however; in the closing moments of the game she netted her first goal for the Seagulls. She didn't stop there, she continued to pick apart Wolves' defence scoring an additional 2, bagging herself a well executed hattrick, in the space of 8 minutes.

London City Lionesses 0-2 Liverpool

Liverpool opened early, after they began this tie with energy, courtesy of Sophie Roman Haug who headed home inside the six-yard box. The Red's continued to put pressure onto a London City side, who have been struggling so far this season - sitting 10th in the Championship, but were unable to find another breakthrough before the half, despite dominating possession. The second half was continually controlled by Liverpool as they continued their advancements up the pitch and searched to extend their lead. After several attempts, their additional opening came as Lawley struck beautifully from outside of the box. further attempts followed, but the Red's wrapped it up at 2-0, despite dominating the game and searching for more.

Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace, who have been in good stead, sitting 3rd in the Championship, just 3 points off of the top sitting with a game in hand, saw their London-tie against ever-dominant Chelsea as an opportunity. The Eagles put in a convincing defensive performance, after a deflected effort was ruled offside in the early stages of the game, and held 4x cup holders Chelsea in deadlock until the very last margins of the game. It was Ramirez who took the game for the Blues, the British record signing scored her first goal for the club, beating the keeper with an excellent flick and making the difference.

Southampton 1-3 Manchester United

After back-to-back home wins, Manchester United aimed to continue their good stride in their fixture against Championship side Southampton, who have had some mixed results this season, and that they did. Ella Toone opened the scoring early, firing low and from distance, painting the picture for what the Red's anticipated to continue. United, however, were met with a contested game as the Saints picked up their performance and made it increasingly difficult for the Red's to gain an edge as they began to battle for the game. Southampton levelled in the second half as Lloyd-Smith put in a forceful cross, which found its way into Mary Earps' net. United picked up the control of the game once again, however Southampton were continually defensively organised and made it challenging for another breakthrough; substitute William's ensured to re-establish United's position in the game as she fired home a brace to make certain the Reds would advance to the quarter finals.

Nottingham Forest 1-7 Everton

Although third tier Nottingham Forest were ambitious they could make something of their tie with WSL side Everton, it was not to be as the Toffees crushed their hopes but slotting home 7. Only being 2-0 down at half-time, after Katherine Kuhl opened the scoring with a nicely placed chip over the keeper, followed by a Piemonte header, Forest looked to turn things around. Grengrass capitalised on disorganisation from Everton early in the second-half and looked to call game on; but the Toffees came firing back just 5 minutes later as Vanheaevermaet added to their account. Kuhl got her second has Everton continued to fire against a struggling Forest side, with Emma Bissell adding another followed by a Katja Snoeijs penalty. Bennison made it 7 in the last minute of play, to top off a disappointing afternoon for Nottingham Forest and send Everton flying through into the next round.

A weekend of exciting fixtures comes to an end, with the quarter-final draw due to take place on Monday night (12th February) at 7PM GMT.

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