FA Cup replays to return as prize money fund is revealed

By Sports Desk July 15, 2021

FA Cup replays will make a comeback in the new season for ties up to and including the fourth round.

Replays were scrapped in 2020-21 in an effort to ease pressure on clubs in a campaign that was condensed due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, after it was announced on Tuesday that EFL Cup semi-finals will revert to being played over two legs, the Football Association has confirmed the return of replays in its highest-prestige cup competition.

The 2021-22 FA Cup campaign will be the 150th in the tournament's history, with 729 clubs participating. Premier League and Championship teams will enter from the third round in early January.

The FA also announced on Thursday that the total prize fund for the competition will remain at around £16million, the same level as it was last season.

Leicester City lifted the trophy for the first time in their history in May after beating Chelsea 1-0 in the final at Wembley through a Youri Tielemans strike.

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    Milan ended a three-game winless run at home with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Serie A's bottom club Salernitana on Saturday.

    First-half goals from Franck Kessie and Alexis Saelemaekers eased the league leaders to three points at San Siro.

    It should have been a more one-sided scoreline, the Rossoneri spurning a host of second-half chances through Brahim Diaz and Junior Messias to extend their lead.

    The contest was firmly in Milan's control almost from the off. Kessie squeezed a left-foot shot into the bottom-right corner with just five minutes played, and both Saelemaekers and Brahim were whiskers away from adding a second.

    Milan suffered a blow when Pietro Pellegri was forced off injured after a quarter of an hour, but a deserved second goal soon followed, Saelemaekers given time to consider a cross before placing a fine finish beyond Vid Belec's reach from just inside the box.

    Rade Krunic was denied by Belec and Kessie side-footed wide just before the interval, with Alessio Romagnoli heading wide just after the restart.

    It began to look a case of when rather than if Milan would score again: Fikayo Tomori nodded wide and Messias was denied by a fine one-handed save from Belec, who also smothered the ball at the feet of the lively Brahim.

    Messias stung the palms of Belec from the edge of the box and both Brahim and Sandro Tonali prodded wide with the goal at their mercy, but the risk of a Salernitana comeback was never on the cards.

    What does it mean? Rossoneri put pressure on chasing pack

    Having lost 11 of their first 15 league games this season, few expected Salernitana to spring a surprise at San Siro and the contest looked over as soon as Kessie broke the deadlock.

    The result leaves Stefano Colantuono's side bottom, while Milan's lead at the top is at two points ahead of Inter's tricky trip to Jose Mourinho's Roma and Napoli's home game with Atalanta.

    A fitting tribute

    Saelemaekers celebrated his goal by holding up a Simon Kjaer shirt in support of the centre-back, whose season has been ended by injury.

    It was a moment to cap a lively overall performance. Saelemaekers attempted the most opposition-half passes (41) and open-play crosses (three) from the right of the Milan attack.

    Sinking feeling

    Nadir Zortea tested Mike Maignan late in the first half, after which Salernitana failed to trouble the Milan keeper with a shot on target.

    It is hard to see how they will haul themselves out of trouble if their attacking play does not improve.

    What's next?

    Milan host Udinese next Saturday but, before then, there is the small matter of a home Champions League clash with Liverpool that offers the chance to qualify for the last 16.

  • A-League: Yuel turns the tide as Melbourne City are beaten A-League: Yuel turns the tide as Melbourne City are beaten

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    The 2020 champions looked in control against a side they had beaten nine times in 12 previous home games, Adam Le Fondre opening the scoring from the penalty spot before cleverly setting up Elvis Kamsoba for a 2-0 half-time lead.

    However, Valentino Yuel puled a goal back before the hour mark and struck again seven minutes later, firing high into the net after a strong run into the box.

    Le Fondre thought he had scored a winner 13 minutes from time only for VAR to intervene due to an offside in the build-up.

    While Sydney remain without a win in three games, reigning champions Melbourne City have fared little better, losing 1-0 at home to Western United on matchday three.

    Dylan Wenzel-Halls followed up his winner over Perth Glory on November 26 with the only goal of the game at AAMI Park, firing home after being played in by Alessandro Diamanti.

    Adelaide United drew for the third game in a row as Brisbane Roar claimed their first point of the season, with six saves from visiting goalkeeper James Delianov ensuring a goalless draw at Moreton Daily Stadium.

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    Kylian Mbappe has had an extended flirtation with Real Madrid.

    The Paris Saint-Germain forward is out of contract at the end of this season.

    Mbappe has stalled on signing a new deal with PSG amid speculation of a move.

    TOP STORY – REAL CONVINCED OF MBAPPE DEAL

    Real Madrid are convinced they will win the race for Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe's signature, according to AS.

    Los Blancos are certain the 22-year-old France international will join the club on a free transfer at the end of this season.

    Mbappe has long flirted with Madrid and has decided he will not renew with PSG. The LaLiga giants are already planning Mbappe's arrival at the sporting and commercial level.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Manchester City have joined the race to sign Fiorentina's hot property forward Dusan Vlahovic, claims La Repubblica.

    - Barcelona have held discussions with Manchester City about the potential to sign Spanish forward Ferran Torres in January, according to ESPN.

    - Fichajes reports that Liverpool are interested in signing Lille's Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches. Lille have valued him at £34m.

    - Arsenal are homing in on Lille's Canada international forward Jonathan David, according to the London Evening Standard. David is currently Ligue 1's leading scorer.

    - Calciomercato claims Christian Eriksen is close to terminating his deal with Inter, having been unable to play since his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.

    - Bayern Munich midfielder Marc Roca is in the sights of Roma who have considered a move for the Spaniard, claims Corriere dello Sport.

    - Chelsea have opened talks with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy over a new deal, claims Football Insider.

    - Everton have joined the race to sign Zenit striker Sardar Azmoun, according to 90min.

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