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Jan 8 (Reuters) – Newcastle United suffered a humiliating 1-0 home defeat by third-tier Cambridge United but holders Leicester City began their defence of the FA Cup by trouncing Premier League rivals Watford 4-1 in the third round on Saturday.
Premier League strugglers Newcastle flexed their new financial muscle by signing England full back Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid on Friday and he made his debut in front of an expectant St James’ Park crowd.
But humble Cambridge were undaunted as Joe Ironside fired in a second-half goal and keeper Dimitar Mitov made a series of saves to seal a famous victory and send their 5,000 visiting fans into delirium.
Mitov made an incredible save in stoppage time to deny Joelinton an equaliser and Eddie Howe’s side were booed off at the final whistle as Newcastle’s season went from bad to worse.
“It is unbelievable what we just did today, but we always knew we had nothing to lose,” Mitov said.
“We need to be the best version of ourselves and that is what we did today. We always had that belief, look at how many supporters have come, we sold out.”
Leicester, who beat Chelsea in last season’s final to win the competition for the first time,welcomed back former title-winning manager Claudio Ranieri but showed him no sympathy in a dominant display interrupted only by a floodlight failure.
Youri Tielemans put them ahead from the penalty spot and James Maddison made it 2-0. Joao Pedro replied for Watford but second-half goals by Harvey Barnes and Marc Albrighton sealed Leicester’s place in the fourth round draw.
Earlier, Burnley became the first Premier League casualty of the third round when they lost 2-1 to Huddersfield Town who came from a goal down to win late on at Turf Moor through Matty Pearson’s 87th-minute header from a corner.
Crystal Palace avoided a similar fate, though, as they secured a 2-1 comeback victory at London rivals Millwall with goals from Michael Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta.
Premier League side Brentford enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 victory away to Port Vale thanks to a Bryan Mbeumo hat-trick while Brighton & Hove Albion beat Championship promotion chasers West Bromwich Albion 2-1 after extra time at the Hawthorns.
Minor league Kidderminster Harriers, the lowest-ranked team to survive until the third round, pulled off a shock when the sixth-tier club beat Championship side Reading 2-1.
Boreham Wood made sure two non-league sides will be in the fourth round when they beat AFC Wimbledon 2-0.
Despite Newcastle having won only once in their opening 19 Premier League games there has been a mood of optimism sweeping the club since Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund took over and the capture of Trippier was heralded as a sign of intent by the under-achieving north east club.
But that optimism was swept away by Cambridge who are 16th in League One having not scored in their last three games.
They rode their luck at times and had Mitov to thank for several saves, one an amazing fingertip effort to deny Jacob Murphy, while Newcastle’s Fabian Schar had a goal ruled out for offside.
But Cambridge were always a threat and took the lead when Ironside fired in after Newcastle had failed to clear — the goal allowed after a VAR check for offside.