By 90Min
January 08, 2018

The FA Cup returned this weekend and it did not disappoint, throwing up plenty of shocks and entertainment to keep fans enthralled.

The best ties from the third round included Arsenal's trip to Nottingham Forest, the Merseyside derby on Friday under the lights at Anfield and Leeds' trek to Newport in Wales.

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The matches kept all fans on their toes, but what were the best and most memorable moments? Here are our top picks...


Best Goal

Nottingham Forest were sniffing a 'cupset' as soon as they saw Arsenal's team, with Gunners youngsters Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson all starting alongside a roster of internationals including Per Mertesacker, Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott. 

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Their headed opener from Eric Lichaj was cancelled out by Mertesacker's instinctive finish, but American Lichaj stole the show just before half-time with a glorious strike.


Taking down Rob Holding's looping clearance, the 29-year-old controlled it before putting an arched effort past the helpless David Ospina. What. A. Goal. Forest eventually won 4-2, sending Arsenal crashing out.


Special mentions must go to Sheffield United's Nathan Thomas, Preston's Josh Harrop, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Manchester United's Jesse Lingard, all of whom netted exceptional strikes.


Best Fashion Accessory


Facing blinding sunlight on Sunday, West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart asked an Irons fan for a hat during the match against Shrewsbury, his former club, on Sunday.

Hart, given a start after losing his Premier League place to Adrian, managed to block out the sun and regain optimal vision thanks to a baseball cap kindly donated by one of his supporters.

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Hart made two saves of note to keep out League One outfit Shrewsbury and secure a 0-0 draw, forcing a replay.


Best Off-Field Spat

It might have little to do with the FA Cup, but the feud between Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is so, so entertaining and shows no signs of stopping.

Mourinho referenced Conte's controversial past when the Italian was given a four-month suspension while at Juventus in 2012-13 for failing to report match-fixing with former club Siena, although Conte was cleared of any wrongdoing by a court in 2016.

After Chelsea's 0-0 draw with Norwich, Conte responded to Mourinho's jibe, telling BBC Sport: "I think when there are these types of comments, comments where you try to offend the person and don't know the truth, then you are a little man."


Chelsea next take on United on 25 February. Jot that one down in the diary.


Best Assist


No competition here, it's Ilkay Gundogan.


The German's backheel into Aguero's path was nothing short of sublime as City came from behind to beat Burnley and safely secure their passage into the next round.

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With skills like that, let's hope Gundogan can stay injury-free for the rest of the campaign and play a major role in City's season.


Also, kudos to Phil Jagielka. The 35-year-old has never been known for his electric pace or running ability, but on Friday the centre-back charged up the pitch at Anfield before having the presence of mind to lay it off to Gylfi Sigurdsson, who nonchalantly stroked past Loris Karius.


Best Debut

Speaking of the Merseyside derby, it's hard to ignore the debut Virgil van Dijk had.

A lot is expected of the £75m signing, who Reds fans hope will sort out an often sloppy defence.

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While Liverpool still demonstrated the slack tendencies that have gained them a reputation as defensively insufficient, Van Dijk endeared himself nevertheless to the club's fanbase, scoring a late winner as Jurgen Klopp's side won 2-1.

It's certainly not a bad way to introduce yourself as a Liverpool player.


Best Save

Tottenham eventually ran out 3-0 winners against Wimbledon but almost went a goal behind when Jimmy Abdou struck the bar.

On second viewing you see Spurs' second choice goalkeeper Michel Vorm palm the ball onto the crossbar, despite the Dutchman having a limited view of the shot due to the bodies in front of him.

The home side turned on the style in the second half, with Harry Kane netting a double and a rare Jan Vertonghen strike sealing the victory.

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