Liverpool and Tottenham were victorious in the Capital One Cup last night, to join Chelsea and Sheffield United in the draw for the semi-finals. The draw itself was made shortly after the remaining quarter-final matches 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 in January.

Bournemouth 1 Liverpool 3

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

Showing admirable passing dexterity throughout a first-half in which they built up what looked to be an unassailable lead, the Reds were two goals to the good by half-time. The record eight-times winners of the League Cup were for once accurate in their finishing, as first Raheem Sterling glanced in a Jordan Henderson layoff from a Lazar Markovic cross (after more than fifty passes), and then Markovic himself was perfectly placed to find the net for his first Liverpool goal after Philippe Coutinho’s effort had been saved. Not that it was all one-way traffic, as the home side wasted two glorious chances themselves, as Callum Wilson created and missed inside the first three minutes, and then Yann Kermorgant blazed over the bar from close range.

The second-half saw Sterling calmly add a second on the night, after he had twisted and turned the defence this way and that after being put in by Adam Lallana, but still there was the sense that Bournemouth were not finished. True to recent form the Reds’ defence seemed nervy when put under pressure, so it was no real surprise when the deficit was reduced when Dan Gosling rode a couple of weak challenges just before the hour mark and then fired through Brad Jones in the Liverpool goal, as he continues to deputise for the deposed Simon Mignolet.

Sterling failed to claim what would have been a well-deserved hat-trick later on that would have sealed the tie as he dragged his shot horribly wide, after being fed again by Lallana. That gave the Championship side renewed hope and they almost closed to within a single goal, when Gosling’s curling shot beat Jones but came back off the post and then Matt Ritchie could only drag his effort narrowly wide of goal.

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

Tottenham 4 Newcastle United 0

Spurs marched through to the next round with what at first glance could be viewed as a resounding win over Newcastle, but for much of the game there was little to separate the two Premier League teams.

Geordie fans must have thought this might be their season to claim some long awaited silverware after beating Manchester City to reach the quarter-finals, but their luck seemed to run out at White Hart Lane. Both sides had their chances in a close first-half, but it was a disastrous mistake by the away side’s third-choice keeper Jak Alnwick that presented Spurs with the lead on 18 minutes, as he fumbled a seemingly innocuous cross from a corner and Nabil Bentaleb gratefully hooked in the rebound. It was nearly two when the lively Harry Kane fired a shot just wide before the break.

Spurs put clear daylight between the sides just after the break, 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 just couldn’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 Kane held off a defender and was rewarded for his efforts with a 13th strike of the season, when his crisp left foot shot went in on 65 minutes.

It was clearly the Londoners’ night and they rounded the scoring off with twenty minutes left, when substitute Roberto Soldado followed up Christian Eriksen’s parried shot to hook home. Not even a consolation goal was allowed for Newcastle as Adam Armstrong was denied late on by Michel Vorm in 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 back of his recent form for his old club, and Roy Hodgson must be pleased with his progress so far this season, after solid run outs for the under-21s already.

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