By Giuseppe Muro

The number of upsets in this season’s FA Cup was, in part, due to the snow that swept across Britain before Christmas, according to Arsène Wenger.

The Third Round produced a number of eye-catching results with Arsenal needing a last-gasp Cesc Fabregas penalty to spare their blushes against Leeds while West Brom, Newcastle, Sunderland and Blackpool all succumb to lower League opposition.

Wenger wasn’t surprised.

Football League fixtures were heavily disrupted in December with the adverse weather conditions forcing the postponement of a host of fixtures over a three-week period. However, there was no let up for Premier League teams over the notoriously busy festive schedule and this respite, the Arsenal manager feels, goes some way to explaining why there were so many shocks.

“[There was] relative rest for the Championship teams because many games were cancelled for them” said Wenger. “[Also] the heavy programme during the Christmas period for the Premier League teams.

“The improvement of the level in the Championship is a good reason as well. You saw Leeds coming to Arsenal, they played without any restriction.”

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18 Jan 2011