FA Cup draw throws up juicy Manchester derby
London: Holders Manchester City will host rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup third round after Sunday`s draw threw up a mouth-watering derby.
The Manchester clubs, who are setting the pace in the Premier League, met in last season`s FA Cup semi-final with City winning 1-0 before securing their first major trophy for 35 years by beating Stoke City in the final.
January`s Cup meeting will come almost three months after City stunned their neighbours 6-1 in the league at Old Trafford in a result that signalled their strong intention to challenge United`s years of domination in the city.
City have raced to a five-point lead in the Premier League over champions United, who will see the Cup meeting at the Etihad stadium as the perfect chance to exact revenge on their high-flying rivals.
The match is by far the standout of the draw for the January 7-8 ties, although the jubilant scenes of players from non-league Tamworth celebrating being handed a trip to Premier League Everton were a reminder of the magic of the FA Cup.
Apart from the big Manchester match, there will be one other all top-flight meeting as Newcastle United will host struggling Blackburn Rovers.
Last year`s runners-up Stoke will travel to League Two (fourth division) Gillingham.