Arsenal to face Black Cats in FA Cup

LONDON • Arsenal will begin their quest to become the first team in modern times to win the FA Cup for three years running with a home tie against fellow Premier League side Sunderland next month.

Monday's draw in Cardiff for the third round of the most historic domestic knockout competition in world football produced an unusually high total of five all-top-flight ties.

Arsene Wenger's holders will start their defence against the Black Cats whom they beat 3-1 in the league on Saturday as they seek to become only the third team in the history of the venerable competition to win the trophy for three years in succession.

The last team to achieve the feat were Blackburn Rovers, who won the Cup in 1884, 1885 and 1886 in Britain's Victorian era, eight years after Wanderers had performed a similar treble.

The third-round draw, which traditionally sees the introduction of the glamour clubs into the event, also paired two current Premier League high-flyers, fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur against current leaders Leicester City. The other top-tier ties are Watford versus Newcastle United, Southampton against Crystal Palace and Norwich at home to Manchester City.

Monday's draw in Cardiff for the third round of the most historic domestic knockout competition in world football produced an unusually high total of five all-top-flight ties.

Juergen Klopp's Liverpool will visit fourth-tier Exeter City in his first taste of the competition following his recent arrival as replacement for the sacked Brendan Rodgers.

The draw, as usual, offers a whiff of romance with four non-league sides still in the competition given the chance to tackle the big boys.

Salford City of the seventh tier, the lowest-ranked among them, will host Championship high-flyers Derby if they can get past League Two team Hartlepool in their second-round replay.

Salford are co-owned by Singapore billionaire Peter Lim and former Manchester United stars Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and brothers Gary and Phil Neville.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2015, with the headline 'Arsenal to face Black Cats in FA Cup'. Print Edition | Subscribe