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Semi-Final review

22 January 2014

We round-up the action from the Semi-Finals of the Capital One Cup

Wednesday 22nd January

Manchester United endured a nightmare penalty shoot-out as Sunderland claimed a place in the Capital One Cup Final.

United scored just once from their five kicks, with only skipper Darren Fletcher converting, as Sunderland's two successes proved enough to book a Wembley date with Manchester City on 2nd March.

David Moyes' side seemed to be on the verge of victory thanks to Jonny Evans' first-half goal as the tie ticked towards the final minute of extra time.

But when Phil Bardsley let fly from 20 yards, David De Gea inexplicably allowed the former United man's shot to slip through his grasp.

Amazingly, United responded immediately with Javier Hernandez coverting an Adnan Januzaj cross, to send the tie to penalties.

In the shoot-out, Danny Welbeck and Phil Jones fired over, while Januzaj and Rafael saw their efforts saved by Vito Mannone. 

Sunderland were not much better, with Craig Gardner blazing over and Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson's penalties saved, but Ki Sung-Yueng and Marcos Alonso found the back of the net to send the Black Cats to Wembley.

Tuesday 21st January

Manchester City coasted into March 2nd's Capital One Cup Final at Wembley Stadium with a comfortable 3-0 Semi-Final second leg victory against West Ham United.

Already leading 6-0 from the reverse tie at the Etihad, City had all but rubber-stamped their place in the Final at the national stadium.

But they didn't let complacency creep in and added three more goals through an Alvaro Negredo brace and a Sergio Aguero strike to record the biggest margin of victory in a League Cup Semi-Final tie.

Negredo opened the scoring after two minutes with a close-range header and he rounded off the win in the second half after Aguero had made it 2-0.

Wednesday 8th January

Alvaro Negredo claimed a hat-trick as Manchester City demolished struggling West Ham United 6-0 in the first leg of their Capital One Cup Semi-Final.

Edin Dzeko grabbed two and Yaya Toure also got on the scoresheet as City all but booked a trip to Wembley by piling on the misery for the Hammers and their under-fire manager Sam Allardyce.

City needed just 12 minutes to take the lead at the Etihad Stadium and the Londoners were simply swept aside in an embarrassingly one-sided match.

Allardyce had prioritised the game to some extent by fielding a weakened side against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round last weekend.

But that backfired as they were thrashed by six goals and despite eight changes, including the return of senior players such as Mark Noble, Joe Cole, Guy Demel and Mohamed Diame, it proved a similar story in the Manchester rain.

Tuesday 7th January

Fabio Borini's winner lifted Sunderland's hopes of Capital One Cup glory as Manchester United slipped to a third successive defeat.

The Italian's 65th-minute penalty handed Gus Poyet's men a precious 2-1 first-leg advantage in their Semi-Final showdown with United.

The Black Cats, who remain rooted to the foot of the Premier League table, had taken the lead at the end of the first half as Ryan Giggs scored an own goal.

The visitors dragged themselves back into the game when returning central defender Nemanja Vidic struck with a towering 52nd-minute header, but the drama was far from over.

Later in the second half, substitute Adam Johnson lured Tom Cleverley into an ill-judged challenge on the edge of the box. After consulting his assistant, referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot to hand Borini his big chance, which he took confidently, to give his side a slender advantage going into the second leg at Old Trafford.


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