LONDON, Feb 17 (Reuters) - West Bromwich Albion’s tumultuous week took a final turn for the worse as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Southampton, whose 2-1 victory at the Hawthorns on Saturday secured the visitors a quarter-final berth for the first time since 2005.
Defeat always seemed likely for West Brom, who are bottom of the Premier League and sacked their chairman and chief-executive on Tuesday.
They then had four senior players interviewed by Spanish police over the alleged theft of a taxi from outside a fast-food restaurant in Barcelona.
Two of those involved in the incident, Jonny Evans and Gareth Barry, both started against Southampton after apologising for their part in the incident although Evans was stripped of the captaincy.
The Ulsterman could do nothing to stop Southampton taking the lead through Wesley Hoedt on 11 minutes, with Dusan Tadic adding the second after the interval.
Salomon Rondon quickly countered for West Brom but Southampton held on to record their second win at Albion in two weeks.
Brighton’s Jurgen Locadia scored on his debut in the 3-1 win over Coventry City who, after knocking out Stoke City in the third round, failed in their attempt to make FA Cup history by becoming the first fourth-tier side to beat two top-flight teams in the same season.
There was never much chance of that with Brighton’s record signing Locadia scoring with his first shot on target after 15 minutes and Leicester City loanee Leonardo Ulloa, who is in his second spell with the Seagulls, rounding off the win after Connor Goldson netted his first goal in almost two years. Jonson Clarke-Harris scored Coventry’s consolation.
The last time Brighton were a top-flight team they reached the FA Cup final in 1983 and might fancy their chances of a repeat this season although manager Chris Hughton’s decision to make nine changes in his starting lineup suggests the competition which he twice won as a player is not a priority.
At Hillsborough, both managers bemoaned the replay after second tier Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea City shared a goalless draw, with Swansea’s Carlos Carvalhal suggesting everyone would have been happy to play on to penalties.
“It’s a score nobody wants. I also believe (that’s the case) for Sheffield Wednesday - the same one more game. Maybe in the future we can think that if the managers and referee agree after the first game we can go to penalties and we can finish the game today,” said Carvalhal who was given a warm reception on his return to the club he managed for two and a half years.
Swansea felt they had two strong shouts for a penalty while Swans keeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt did well to save late on from Atdhe Nuhiu.
The replay is Swansea’s third in succession as they continue to juggle cup commitments with a Premier League survival battle that has become more difficult after impressive defender Alfie Mawson injured himself before kickoff and was subsequently seen wearing a knee brace.
Manchester United visit Huddersfield Town in Saturday’s late game.
Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Toby Davis