Fans were treated to a terrific night of Carling Cup football Wednesday night as Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Blackburn progressed to the quarter finals.
Manchester City followed up their scintillating 6-1 win over rivals Manchester United with another heavy victory. Roberto Mancini’s men played some brilliant football and came from behind to beat Wolves 5-2.
Wolves started well and took a deserved lead in the 18th minute. Nenad Milijas scored from eight yards after City failed to clear a cross. The Midlands club managed to hold the lead for 20 minutes but were blown away by three goals in four minutes.
Adam Johnson, who was given a rare start, was heavily involved in all three goals. The English winger equalised in the 37th minute with a well-paced shot from outside the box. Two minutes later a pinpoint through ball by Johnson found Samir Nasri. The Frenchman ran in on goal and applied an accomplished finish into the bottom left hand of the goal.
Edin Dzeko made it 3-1 in the 40th minute after more impressive build-up work. An Adam Johnson cross was headed towards goal by Luca Scapuzzi. Dorus De Vries kept the shot out, but Dzeko finished easily from inside the six yard box.
City’s dominance continued in the second half. Scapuzzi looked to have scored his first Manchester City goal five minutes into the second half, but the goal was awarded as an own goal for De Vries. The goalkeeper again made a decent save, but the Scapuzzi followed up and his shot rebounded into the net off De Vries.
Dzeko made it five in the 63rd minute after a terrific team move. Samir Nasri played a one-two with Dzeko before playing the ball wide to Scapuzzi. The Italian played a delicate cross along the ground to Dzeko, who finished well past De Vries.
Jamie O’Hara pulled a goal back in the 65th minute, turning in a Stephen Ward cross along the ground. City were able to easily hold on for an impressive 5-2 victory.
A relatively full-strength Liverpool side came from behind to beat Stoke 2-1 at the Brittania Stadium. Kenwyne Jones gave Stoke a slender lead at the interval after he headed home in the 44th minute. Luis Suarez then scored two second half goals to send Liverpool through to the quarter finals. The Uruguayan curled the first home ten minutes after the break and won the contest with a header five minutes from time.
Chelsea needed extra time to overcome Everton. The Pensioners played some attractive football during the first period and Salomon Kalou gave Chelsea a deserved 1-0 half-time lead. Ross Turnbull’s dismissal for a professional foul on Luis Saha in the 58th minute changed the match, however. Luis Saha scored with seven minutes left of normal time to send the match into extra time.
The match was finely balanced in extra time until Royston Drenthe was sent off for a second yellow card. Chelsea took control of the game and ultimately won through a quality Daniel Sturridge strike.
The night’s most dramatic match was played at Ewood Park. Blackburn seemed to be cruising towards the quarter finals after an early strike from Ruben Rochina and a Yakubu penalty. Injury time goals from Danny Guthrie and Yohann Cabaye gave Newcastle a late reprieve and sent the match into extra time.
Morten Gamst Pedersen gave Blackburn the lead again in the 99th minute when his free kick nestled in the bottom right hand corner of the net. Peter Lovenkrands then equalised from the penalty spot just before the end of the first period of extra time.
The match was dramatic to the end and the game was decided in the closing moments as Gael Givet headed home from six yards.
Carling Cup Results:
Everton 1 -2 Chelsea AET
Blackburn 4 – 3 Newcastle AET
Stoke 1 – 2 Liverpool
Wolves 2 – 5 Manchester City