Category: League Cup

Mata delivers for United as Devils knock out Champions City

A Juan Mata goal proved sufficient for Manchester United to defeat former EFL Cup champions Manchester City by 1-0 and help the Red Devils advance into the quarter finals.

After a dreary first half in which neither of the bitter rivals managed a shot on target, the game came alive with Paul Pogba hitting a post moments before Mata found his mark.

Nine minutes after the break, the Spaniard scored as Zlatan Ibrahimovic holds off Nicolas Otamendi, and then squares for Mata to sidefoot home from eight yards out.

City boss Pep Guardiola had made nine changes to his side, who are now six games without a win in all competitions – his worst run as a manager.

However, the former Bayern Munich coach appears to have little interest or intent for a victory in the domestic cup competition, leaving vital offensive playmakers  such as David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and star striker Sergio Aguero on the bench.

Their best chance arrived early on when Kelechi Iheanacho headed over from six yards, while second-half substitutes Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero made little impact.

Victory was also United’s second in five matches, and only Jose Mourinho’s fourth win in 18 meetings with Guardiola.

His team will now face West Ham in the quarter-finals, while Hull City hosts Newcastle, Liverpool face Leeds and Southampton plays Arsenal from November 29-30.

Manchester City lifts Capital One Cup

during the Capital One Cup Final between Manchester City and Sunderland at Wembley Stadium on March 2, 2014 in London, England.
during the Capital One Cup Final between Manchester City and Sunderland at Wembley Stadium on March 2, 2014 in London, England.

Manchester City more than made up for their absence in the Premier League over the weekend as they lift the League cup by beating Liverpool on penalties in Wembley.

Drawing 1-1 at normal time, Fernandinho had brought City ahead before half time thanks to and error from Reds keeper Simon Mignolet. Then, clear misses from Raheem Sterling failed to provide City with goals cushion, allowing Phillipe Coutinho to level the game late on.

Both sides performed entertainingly during extra time, and the game soon extended into penalties. In what was nail biting shootout, Fernandinho hits the woodwork for City’s opener before Sergio Aguero and Jesus Navras went on target to beat Mignolet.

On the other hand, City’s second-choice keeper Willy Caballero more than made up for conceding one to Emre Can’s rather impolite wedge ball, and dramatically saved penalties from Lucas, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana.

Being selected ahead of Joe Hart, the 34-year-old rewarded the faith of City manager Manuel Pellegrini in spades. Furthermore, it was not an easy choice for Pellegrini to field Caballero either; there was that poor performance on his part during the club’s 5-1 defeat and elimination by Chelsea in the FA cup.

But as Pellegrini put it, City did not manage to convert much of their chances during normal time, and Raheem Sterling’s indecisiveness in front of goal was a key factor to that problem. It is clear, that even with the three trophies since he took charge of City, Pellegrini has his work cut out to improve City’s Premier League title chances before his tenure ends.

League Cup Full-time Report: Sheffield Wednesday vs Arsenal

Sheffield Wednesday vs Arsenal






Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud looks dejected as Sheffield Wednesday gets their third goal.
Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud looks dejected as Sheffield Wednesday gets their third goal.

Sheffield Wednesday punishes a severely lacking Arsenal with three goals to nil on home ground.

Wednesday took the lead when Ross Wallace fired in coolly from 18 yards.

Wallace created Lucas Joao’s headed second and Sam Hutchinson turned home a third from four yards after the break.

Arsenal, who made nine changes to the team that beat Everton on Saturday and lost Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to injury in the first 20 minutes, managed two shots on target.

After falling behind, the Premier League side never looked like getting back into the tie and Wednesday, conquerors of Newcastle in the last round, reach the last eight of the League Cup for the first time in 13 years.

Despite his side’s eight-game unbeaten run, Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal said the Owls had just a “10% chance of progress”.

“I am very happy about the players and for the club, it is an important victory for the club,” said Carvalhal. “It was a full stadium, with a new generation of fans. We deserved what we got.”

Wenger’s nine changes – including full debuts for Glen Kamara and Alex Iwobi – possibly led to a lack of fluency and after sitting deep early on, Wednesday landed the perfect counter-punch when Wallace smartly passed home Daniel Pudil’s cut-back.

Joao’s header from Wallace’s cross and Hutchinson’s tap in sparked chaotic celebrations from the majority of the 35,065 inside Hillsborough, while Wenger was left contemplating two examples of poor set-piece defending by his makeshift side.

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