Holders Chelsea, Aston Villa and Portsmouth confirmed their spots in the semi-finals of this season’s FA Cup.
On Sunday, goals from Frank Lampard and controversial captain John Terry gave Chelsea a 2-0 victory over Stoke as they booked a semi-final clash against Aston Villa.
Lampard had put the holders in front in the 35th minute when he fired a rising 20-yard shot into the net and Terry sealed victory 22 minutes from time with a firm header.
After two successive defeats, title hopefuls Carlo Ancelotti’s side returned to top form and they were drawn with Villa in the last four after Martin O’Neill’s men remained on course for a second Wembley final of the season.
Hat-trick hero John Carew inspired a second-half fightback as they came from 2-0 down to beat Reading 4-2.
The Royals had already knocked out Premier League sides Liverpool and Burnley and a third scalp appeared imminent after Shane Long marked his return from suspension with a two-goal blast during the opening 45 minutes.
Brian McDermott’s side were the better team, with Jimmy Kebe in particular causing problems down the right flank and the Villa defence looking unusually nervy.
But Villa turned the tie on its head in dramatic fashion with three goals in the first 12 minutes of the second half through Ashley Young and two from Carew.
Then, in injury time, Carew completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after being brought down by Ivar Ingimarsson.
On Saturday, Portsmouth earned a trip to Wembley after Frederic Piquionne fired them to a 2-0 victory over Birmingham.
Pompey, saddled with debt and being pursued by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, will earn more than £600,000 in prize money and broadcasting fees for reaching the FA Cup semi-final but money was hardly on their minds as they celebrated victory against Alex McLeish’s men.
Piquionne’s goals brightened up a tie short on action until he struck in the 67th and 70th minutes, though Liam Ridgewell thought he had scored for the Blues late on only for the officials to deem his header hadn’t crossed the line.
Before that, there was little to do for the two England goalkeepers on display, with David James looking to re-establish himself as Fabio Capello’s first choice and Joe Hart tipped as a future number one.
Fulham and Tottenham must try again after their quarter-final at Craven Cottage ended goalless.
Heurelho Gomes was the busier of the keepers but, in a game of few clear-cut chances, neither manager could have much complaint about the 0-0 scoreline.
Zoltan Gera came closest to settling the tie at the first time of asking, but his close-range header was well saved by Gomes diving to his left.