EFL Carabao Cup quarter-finals Round-Up
Manchester City edged past Leicester City to enter the EFL Cup semi-finals on the back of a 3-1 penalty shoot-out win. Kevin De Bruyne made a superb start, coming back from a longish injury spell to open the scoring for City in the 14th minute with a low drive into the bottom corner.[fcrp_feat_sc sc_id=”14721″]
The hosts who were mostly outplayed in the first half came back strongly post-interval and equalized through a well-struck goal from Marc Albrighton thumping a right-foot shot from a Wilfred Ndidi high ball that rocketed into the far corner of the net.
With no extra-time in the competition the tie went straight to penalties. But Claude Puel's Foxes were let down by some very poor conversions during the penalty shoot-out with Christian Fuchs lashing his shot over and James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu's feeble efforts saved by City's reserve goal-keeper Arijanet Muric.
One could see Pep Guardiola blending experience with youth with first-team regulars such as Sergio Aguero, De Bruyne and Kyle Walker starting alongside youngsters Phil Foden, Eric Garcia and Brahim Diaz as the tournament goes into its final stages.
Tottenham Hotspur stormed into the semi-finals of the EFL Cup beating Arsenal in one of their rare defeats at home at the Emirates.
Mauricio Pochettino left out prime striker Harry Kane from the starting XI for a change but that hardly made any difference with in-form forwards Son Heung-Min and Del Alli giving the visitors the winning goals in the 20th and 59th minutes of play.[fcrp_feat_sc sc_id=”15416″]
This was among those very few instances when the Gunners failed to score at home although Alexandre Lacazettes and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came close, the former hitting the post in the second-half.
Arsenal under coach Unai Emery had not lost back-to-back matches prior to this defeat since they were beaten by Manchester City and Chelsea in the Premier League back in August.
Chelsea were the third team to enter the Carabao Cup semi-finals on the back of Eden Hazard's lone goal against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.
The game that looked be heading towards a penalty shoot-out came to life in the 84th minute when Pedro's back-heel gave Hazard an opportunity to shoot, the Belgian star's strike deflecting off Charlie Daniels and past Cherries custodian Artur Boruc.
Bournemouth who had never made it the last four stage of any major cup competition had opportunities to score when Callum Wilson's shot went wide and a Lys Mousset strike was by effectively thwarted by Blues goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Burton became the only non-Premier League side to reach the semi-finals when they stunned Middlesbrough 0-1 away at the Riverside Stadium.
All the huge amount of possession (64 per cent) the hosts enjoyed came to naught as they could do little to break down the Burton resistance. In fact the Brewers gave Tony Pulis's men a lesson in good finishing when Jake Hesketh – on loan from Southampton – drilled a low shot beyond Boro custodian Darren Randolph from the edge of the area just three minutes into the second-half.
Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough exulted after the historic win and described it as “remarkable”. The Brewers are the only third-tier club to have reach the semi-finals of the EFL Cup since Sheffield United did in 2014-15.
Apart from beating Middlesbrough, Burton got past the likes of Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, and Burnley to get to the final four.