After a thrilling night of Capital One Cup action on Tuesday, the remaining 4th round ties were decided yesterday with two all Premier League matches and Spurs hoping to improve on their recent poor home form against Brighton from the Championship. As one expects from a cup competition, there were one or two surprises.
#Manchester City 0 Newcastle United 2
Newcastle United recorded their first ever victory at the Etihad and in doing so put out the current holders. It was sweet revenge for Alan Pardew's men after City beat them at the same stage last season on their way to their Wembley triumph.
An early goal for Newcastle in the 6th minute from teenager Rolando Aarons put them on the road to success, as he found the target from a tight angle after a pass from Ryan Taylor and slipped the ball under City's reserve keeper Willy Caballero.
The English Champions had a further setback when midfield playmaker David Silva hobbled off a few minutes later with a knee injury, that makes him doubtful for the Manchester derby at the weekend.
The hosts rallied but failed to draw level with a close range shot from Stevan Jovetic being cleared by Newcastle and Yaya Toure cleverly making space with a shimmy for a curling shot that the keeper pushed away.
The Magpies had chances to extend their lead as the first-half wore on and in injury time Adam Armstrong slid in but the ball went agonisingly wide of the post.
On 69 minutes Newcastle were exasperated when Gabriel Obertan looked to have been brought down by Aleksandar Kolarov as he raced into the box, only for the referee to wave play on. It didn't take them long to finally get a second though, as seven minutes later sub Moussa Sissoko feinted past a tackle, drove through the defence and then prodded home.
City threw everything at the Geordies in the closing minutes but they stood firm, as Ryan Taylor somehow kept Edin Dzeko's shot out using his torso (and not his hands) and then Jesus Navas' shot just wide after a flowing move from City.
It completed a miserable night for Manuel Pellegrini's men, as they not only relinquished their hold on the cup but also lost Toure to a groin niggle. When added to Silva's early exit, it is a heavy blow ahead of the game against their local neighbours across Manchester.
Tottenham 2 Brighton 0
Spurs eventually wore their Championship opponents down at White Hart Lane, with two second- half strikes from Erik Lamela and Harry Kane ensuring their safe passage into the next round. Lamela struck on 54 minutes after a cute one- two put him through the Brighton defence and he just managed to prod the ball home. The London club created plenty of chances to make the game safe but had to wait until sixteen minutes from time for a second. Kane continued his scoring form to provide the finish from close range as the ball ricocheted out to him, after Andros Townsend had cut a cross back for Roberto Soldado.
Stoke City 2 #Southampton 3
Graziano Pelle is the man in form for the South Coast Premier League successes this season and was in fine form again at Stoke. It took only 6 minutes before his right foot shot from distance flew into the top corner of the net off a post. Shane Long doubled their advantage when he slid in a shot on 30 minutes.
Stoke came back strongly in the second period, with Steven N'Zonzi pulling one back on 49 minutes with a scruffy looking right foot shot that beat Fraser Forster from distance.
Long missed a good chance to settle the tie for the Saints with a half volley and then Asmir Begovic denied Victor Wanyama to keep Stoke in the game. It seemed to have proved vital as the home team drew level at 2-2 with eight minutes to go, when Mane Biram Diouf scored from a Phil Bardsley flick on after a period of heavy pressure. They seemed most likely to go on and clinch the tie but then there was a further twist to the narrative of the night.
Substitute Peter Crouch somehow managed to get himself sent off for Stoke in the 88th minute for two yellow cards in only fourteen minutes of match action, with two reckless challenges. Saints seized on their numerical advantage almost immediately, as Pelle added his second to put Saints 3-2 ahead after a free-kick fell to him in the box, to land the killer blow for the Saints.
With the fourth round completed, the draw for the quarter-finals has been made and has thrown up a number of interesting potential tussles, especially where the so called "bigger" clubs have been drawn away to lower division opposition. Eight-time cup winners Liverpool will play Championship high flyers, Bournemouth at the Goldsands Stadium, while Cup favourites Chelsea travel to Derby. The full draw was as follows :
Derby v Chelsea
Tottenham v Newcastle
Bournemouth v Liverpool
Sheffield United v Southampton. #Football