There were goals aplenty in the Carabao Cup Quarter-Finals as teams battled it out for a place in the last four. Here’s a roundup of all the action.
Oxford United 3-1 Manchester City
A Raheem Sterling double fired current holders Manchester City into the Semi-Finals as they beat Oxford United 3-1, but it was by no means a walk in the park for Pep Guardiola’s men as Oxford gave a good account of themselves and were unfortunate in the way they fell behind.
Joao Cancelo put the visitors ahead, though his shot took a hefty deflection to beat Jordan Archer. Going in at the break a goal down, Karl Robinson’s men levelled just minutes into the second-half as Matty Taylor finished low into the bottom corner and it was no more than the home side deserved. Scores were level only a few minutes however as Raheem Sterling got on the end of a perfect cross to tap home from close range, before the City captain for the night added his second and City’s third 20 minutes later.
Oxford kept pushing and had their chances as Claudio Bravo was called into action numerous times and their 18 shots on goal - which is the most the Citizens have faced in a single game under Pep Guardiola as manager - is testament to their performance. Manchester City however have now not lost in the competition for more than three years.
Manchester United 3-0 Colchester United
Marcus Rashford continued his good form in the Carabao Cup as he had a hand in all three goals for Manchester United against League Two side Colchester. With John McGreal’s side 61 places below Manchester United in the football pyramid, expectations were high at Old Trafford and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named a strong side to ensure they advanced to the last four.
Colchester however are currently unbeaten in the league since October and had already knocked out two Premier League sides to reach the Quarter-Finals and set up the tie at Old Trafford. Despite the home side dominating from the off, Colchester stood strong in defence and went in level at the break. However, United came out in the second half determined, breaking the deadlock following a rare Colchester attack which left them exposed.
Marcus Rashford cut inside from the left before firing past Dean Gerken. Two goals in the next ten minutes sealed the result, following an own goal Anthony Martial got himself on the scoresheet as United ran out 3-0 winners, moving them a step closer to lifting the League Cup trophy for the first time since 2017.
Everton 2-2 Leicester City
Leicester City struck twice in the space of four minutes at Goodison Park, as it looked as though they had taken the game away from Everton. Goals from James Maddison and Johnny Evans gave the Foxes a 2-0 lead at half-time. The hosts however halved the deficit with 20 minutes remaining in the game as Tom Davies volleyed home, before Leighton Baines lifted the roof at Goodison with a stunning long-range effort to level things up in stoppage time.
Despite being the hero at full-time, Baines missed his penalty along with substitute Cenk Tosun, and Jamie Vardy made no mistake in slotting his spot kick home, sending Leicester through to the Semi-Finals.
Aston Villa 5-0 Liverpool
Aston Villa secured their place in the last four after easing past the youngest side in Liverpool’s history on Tuesday night. The young Reds started brightly and were the better side early on, testing goalkeeper Orjan Nyland multiple times in the first 15 minutes. Following a nervy start, Conor Hourihane’s fortunate free-kick put the hosts in front and there was a bit of luck involved in their second too, as Ahmed Elmohamady’s cross took a huge deflection to loop into the back of the net.
From there Villa looked comfortable as Jonathan Kodjia netted twice before striker Wesley came off the bench to score for the first time since October. The win put Aston Villa through to their first League Cup Semi-Final since 2013.
Confirmed Semi-Final ties are as follows:
Fixtures for the first leg of the Semi-Finals are scheduled to take place week commencing 6 January, with the second leg to take place week commencing 27 January.