Liverpool and Tottenham were victorious in the CapitalOne Cup last night, to join Chelsea and Sheffield United in the draw for thesemi-finals. The draw itself was made shortly after the remaining quarter-finalmatches had been completed, with Jose Mourinho’s men pitted against the Merseysiders,leaving the Blades to take on Spurs in the other two-legged semi-final inJanuary.

Bournemouth 1 Liverpool 3

Brendan Rodgers breathed a huge sigh of relief as hisdeveloping side managed to avoid the potential banana skin several pundits hadpredicted, against the Championship league leaders, Bournemouth.

Showing admirable passing dexterity throughout afirst-half in which they built up what looked to be an unassailable lead, theReds were two goals to the good by half-time. The record eight-times winners ofthe League Cup were for once accurate in their finishing, as first RaheemSterling glanced in a Jordan Henderson layoff from a Lazar Markovic cross(after more than fifty passes), and then Markovic himself was perfectly placedto find the net for his first Liverpool goal after Philippe Coutinho’s efforthad been saved.

Not that it was all one-way traffic, as the home side wastedtwo glorious chances themselves, as Callum Wilson created and missed inside thefirst three minutes, and then Yann Kermorgant blazed over the bar from closerange.

The second-half saw Sterling calmly add a second on thenight, after he had twisted and turned the defence this way and that afterbeing put in by Adam Lallana, but still there was the sense that Bournemouthwere not finished.

True to recent form the Reds’ defence seemed nervy when putunder pressure, so it was no real surprise when the deficit was reduced whenDan Gosling rode a couple of weak challenges just before the hour mark and thenfired through Brad Jones in the Liverpool goal, as he continues to deputise forthe deposed Simon Mignolet.

Sterling failed to claim what would have been a well-deservedhat-trick later on that would have sealed the tie as he dragged his shothorribly wide, after being fed again by Lallana.

That gave the Championshipside renewed hope and they almost closed to within a single goal, when Gosling’scurling shot beat Jones but came back off the post and then Matt Ritchie couldonly drag his effort narrowly wide of goal.

Liverpool survived and now entertain Arsenal in the PremierLeague at the weekend as Rodgers attempts to get his league campaign back online. For Eddie Howe’s men the Cup dream is over, but they showed enough tosuggest that their promotion challenge has every chance of continuing throughto the end of the season.

Tottenham 4 Newcastle United 0

Spurs marched through to thenext round with what at first glance could be viewed as a resounding win overNewcastle, but for much of the game there was little to separate the twoPremier League teams.

Geordie fans must have thought this might be their seasonto claim some long awaited silverware after beating Manchester City to reachthe quarter-finals, but their luck seemed to run out at White Hart Lane.

Bothsides had their chances in a close first-half, but it was a disastrous mistakeby the away side’s third-choice keeper Jak Alnwick that presented Spurs withthe lead on 18 minutes, as he fumbled a seemingly innocuous cross from a cornerand Nabil Bentaleb gratefully hooked in the rebound. It was nearly two when thelively Harry Kane fired a shot just wide before the break.

Spurs put clear daylight between the sides just after thebreak, when Nacer Chadli guided his right foot shot into the corner of the net.Still Alan Pardew’s men sought to find a way back into the match but justcouldn’t find the perfect cross or the vital touch to get on the scoreboard.Spurs on the other hand were much more decisive and went further ahead, as Kaneheld off a defender and was rewarded for his efforts with a 13thstrike of the season, when his crisp left foot shot went in on 65 minutes.

It was clearly the Londoners’ night and they rounded thescoring off with twenty minutes left, when substitute Roberto Soldado followedup Christian Eriksen’s parried shot to hook home. Not even a consolation goalwas allowed for Newcastle as Adam Armstrong was denied late on by Michel Vormin the Spurs’ goal to retain a clean sheet for the hosts.

After the match, former Spurs’ hotshot, Clive Allen,backed claims for Kane to be considered for England’s senior team on the backof his recent form for his old club, and Roy Hodgson must be pleased with hisprogress so far this season, after solid run outs for the under-21s already.

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