While most people were acclaiming an exciting draw, others broke off from their devoted investigation into the Illuminati, or their frame-by-frame analysis of the Zapruder film, to declare the whole thing a fix.
Fa cup draw is a fix if I have ever saw one..
— Jamie Murphy (@JamieMurf) January 26, 2014
FA CUP DRAW FIX. FOR SURE. — Gillian Fish (@GillsF) January 26, 2014
Not only was the integrity of the Football Association impugned, but also that of Andros Townsend, as the Tottenham winger and his father were the two lucky men asked to draw the balls out of the bag at Wembley.
Look what happens when you get a Spurs player to do the FA Cup draw... #fix
— Joseph S. Marchbank (@Marchbank45) January 26, 2014
And how did the governing body and the Tottenham winger so devilishly collude to fix the draw? Why of course, by heating certain balls - the go-to accusation for sporting draw conspiracy theorists.
Fa cup draw. Classic hot balls job.
— Adam Conant (@adamjconant) January 26, 2014
(Arsenal v Liverpool FA Cup) Hot balls draw if ever I saw one... — RAWK Meltdown (@RAWK_Meltdown) January 26, 2014
Some, though, were rather more sceptical about claims the FA had hoodwinked us all...
Kopites calling the FA Cup draw a fix? Who picks these balls out? Dynamo????
— Andy Roberts (@Robbo72uk) January 26, 2014
And one cheeky viewer saw the opportunity for a little dig at Tottenham midfielder Townsend...
And so so the weekend's football action...
Manchester City had a patchy start to the season, but with 110 goals scored in all competitions, a spot in the League Cup final already assured, and Barcelona fans groaning when the all-conquering Catalans drew City in the Champions League, you'd think that people would have accepted that they're fairly good at football.
But a poor start and two goals against them in the early stages of Saturday's FA Cup clash against Watford was seemingly enough to erase all that hard work.
Watford almost playing in a 5-2-2-1 system and Man City haven't got a clue how to deal with it. Been absolutely battered in the first half.
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonMEN) January 25, 2014
Even the FA's official Twitter account was ready to predict Doomsday:
— The FA (@FA) January 25, 2014
Of course, City hit back in style - as we knew they would - and Early Doors' only regret is not lumping on Manuel Pellegrini's side at 5-1 early in the second half as they still trailed by two goals. And you can almost hear the bookies' relief that nobody else bothered to do so either:
GOAL: Kolarov has broken Watford fans hearts. 3-2 Man City
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) January 25, 2014
In fairness, even Manchester City themselves appear to have stopped believing in their team, if their palapable relief at full-time is anything to go by:
92. Sergio nods down to beat Bond and that's game, set and match! Phew! City 4-2 Watford — Manchester City FC (@MCFC) January 25, 2014
Man United fans will love this: Juan Mata and Robin van Persie = £59m Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll = £55m
— Football__Tweet (@Football__Tweet) January 26, 2014
David Moyes even earned some rare praise:
But not everybody was convinced:
Merse on Mata: "They have bought a luxury player instead ... It’s more like when Manchester City paid big money for James Milner".
— Daniel Harris (@DanielHarris) January 25, 2014
hear so much about Mata going to change United. He will but I dont think he will save their season needs more than that to make United good — Tommy Smyth (@TommySmythESPN) January 26, 2014
Matic is an upgraded version of Mikel, Oscar is an upgraded version of Mata. #CFC
— pamy del rey (@fahmyvevo) January 26, 2014
Mostly, though, everybody played nicely. Almost oddly so, as one football site pointed out:
How mad has the Juan Mata transfer been ? Everyone loves each other! We may never see a move like it again... — 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) January 26, 2014