In the past he has used the third round as an excuse to field young players but today he played his big guns.

The only significant change was between the posts as Ferguson, chasing his sixth FA Cup, rested Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar for Tomasz Kuszczak, to make his fourth start since arriving on loan from West Bromwich Albion.

 

Championship heroes

  

Tottenham had to settle for a 0-0 draw by Championship side Cardiff in the FA Cup third round on  Sunday.

  

Martin Jol's side survived several scares before emerging unscathed from rain-soaked Ninian Park, as Cardiff pushed their Premiership opponents all the way.

  

Cardiff had failed to win any of their last 10 matches, while Tottenham had won all nine of their cup matches this season, so Dave Jones's side can take great credit from a determined display.

 

Mersey-blues

 

A miserable weekend for Merseyside football was completed on Sunday when Blackburn Rovers dumped Everton out of the FA Cup with a 4-1 win in their third-round clash.

 

After Liverpool's defeat at the hands of Arsenal, David Moyes's side followed suit as Blackburn took full advantage of a series of individual errors to book their place in Monday's fourth-round draw.

 

Goals from Matt Derbyshire, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Paul Gallagher  and Benni McCarthy were more than enough for troubled Everton, the only goal for which came from a penalty, scored by Andrew Johnson.

 

In the other game, Sheffield Wednesday striker Steven MacLean hit a superb equaliser only a minute after his side had fallen behind to rescue a 1-1 FA Cup draw against  Manchester City on Sunday.

  

Georgios Samaras had put City ahead with a 78th-minute penalty, but less than 60 seconds later, MacLean cracked in a long-range effort to earn the Championship club a third-round replay at Eastlands.