Capital One Cup wrap: Di Matteo’s Chelsea prove too good for Wolves
Trevor Murray takes a look at the third round of the Capital One Cup which included upsets at the Etihad and Elland Road
Wolves undone by superior Chelsea side
There was to be no giant-killing on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge as a dominant Chelsea knocked six past Wolverhampton Wanderers without reply. It was a great display from Roberto Di Matteo’s side, with the manager awarding appearances to several of the new signings and to some of the younger players. The fledgling Blues rose to the challenge in impressive style with Gary Cahill beginning the goal-scoring spree in the third minute before Ryan Bertrand got on the score sheet minutes later. Victor Moses, who enjoyed his first start since joining, also grabbed his first goal in a Chelsea shirt. The fans will have been happy to see the less regular players getting an opportunity and they will have been even more delighted that they took their chances so well. In truth, the result was expected, but the manner of the defeat for Wolves was not, and it clearly emphasised the gap in quality between the sides. Stale Solbakken’s men could not cope with the Blues’ attack and they looked very much out of their depth as Chelsea swept them aside with ease.
Surprise as Villa knock City out
There was plenty of action and excitement at the Etihad on Tuesday night as Manchester City were unceremoniously dumped out of the Capital One Cup by a resurgent Aston Villa side. Dubious offside decisions, penalty claims, own goals and extra-time drama were the order of the night as the crowd were treated to some entertaining football. Mario Balotelli and Aleksandar Kolarov both scored for the Citizens with the latter netting via a beautifully executed free-kick situated just outside the box in the 64th minute. For Villa, Gabriel Agbonlahor levelled the game in the 70th minute, but not before Gareth Barry had dragged them back in to the game through an unfortunate own-goal in the first half. Paul Lambert’s side would win the match 4-2 in extra-time thanks to a goal, firstly, from Charles N’Zogbia and then another from Agbonlahor. The match was full of incidents and talking points but the main subject of discussion now is that City are out of the League Cup, a tophy that will continue to evade Mancini’s grasp for at least another year.
Manchester United sink Pardew’s Newcastle
The Red Devils will be hoping to put in a good cup run this year and they began their attempt with an accomplished 2-1 victory over Newcastle United at Old Trafford last night. The United side possessed a potent mixture of both youth and experience on Wednesday night as Sir Alex Ferguson gave match time to those who needed it most. Darren Fletcher captained United in the middle of the park, just in front of a rather inexperienced back four that consisted of Marnick Vermijl, Scott Wooton, Michael Keane and Alexander Büttner. Ferguson’s choice of players did not disappoint, with the defence in particular putting in a terrific display against a potentially dangerous Newcastle side. Anderson scored his first goal in over a year to fire United in front before Tom Cleverly grabbed his first-ever goal in a United shirt by curling a lovely effort past Rob Elliot in the 57th minute. Although the Magpies got one back through Papiss Cisse late on, a comeback never really looked on the cards for them. United ran out convincing winners with many of the younger players putting in a solid display. Ferguson now knows that his cup side are good enough to beat good Premier League opposition so his hopes will be high that they can get their hands on the Capital One Cup trophy – although a testing trip to Stamford Bridge is next up.
Leeds United overcome Everton
Elland road was in fine voice on Tuesday night as Leeds knocked the Toffees out of the Capital One Cup after a 2-1 win. Before the match, victory was not expected but soon after kick-off it was clear which team was set to dominate proceedings. With four minutes on the clock, Aidan White scored a terrific, albeit opportunistic strike to put his side ahead and to put a rather large grin on Neil Warnock’s face. It really was end-to-end stuff between both sides, but Everton just couldn’t find the target – in fact, it took them over an hour to do so. David Moyes’ team looked rather toothless in attack, however this was due not only to wayward shooting but also to excellent defending from Leeds. The Peacocks showed tremendous tenacity and determination in their performance which was best embodied by Jason Pearce and the awful cut he gained above his eye in attempting to win a header. Rodolph Austin scored the second goal of the night to put the Whites in a commanding position and although Everton pulled one back through Sylvain Distin, Leeds deserved to win as they looked far more comprehensive and capable in all departments.