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Carabao Cup

Carabao Cup Quarter-Finals: The five big stories!

24 December 2021

It was yet another special Carabao Cup Quarter-Final stage!

1. Eddie Nketiah destined for the golden boot?

The Arsenal striker's famous 'dial a goal' celebration seems to be a guaranteed sight after every round. And the Quarter-Finals didn't disappoint. 

A hat-trick of goals, including the opener, for the England U21s star made sure that he took home the match ball as well as a nomination for both Player of the Round and Goal of the Round.

Nketiah has now netted five goals in three games against AFC Wimbledon, Leeds United and now Sunderland - and he has 10 in nine Carabao Cup games in his career.

2. A debut to remember

Nketiah may have scored that hat-trick, but it was another Gunners prospect getting the home crowd purring.

Fans inside the Emirates were chanting Charlie Patino's name when he was brought on as a substitute for his first-team debut - and they were even louder after he netted in added time in the 5-1 victory over Sunderland.

The 18-year-old, who was born two months into Arsenal's famous 'Invincibles' season of 2003/04, only entered the field in the 80th minute, before turning Nicolas Pepe's cross into the corner to cap a good night for Mikel Arteta.

3. Spurs looking to reach back-to-back finals

Last season's beaten finalists faced a tough task to reach the last four this time out. 

Going in to the match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, West Ham United were arguably the team of the tournament so far, after beating Manchester United at Old Trafford before ending Manchester City's dominance in the competition over recent seasons. 

The hosts went ahead when Steven Bergwijn linked up with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and fired home his first goal of the season after 29 minutes.

But Tottenham's lead only lasted three minutes before Eric Dier's poor clearance led to Nikola Vlasic having a shot and the ball falling to Jarrod Bowen, who finished neatly after producing a superb turn to create space.

However, Spurs retook the lead - and ultimately grabbed the winner - just two minutes later, with Lucas Moura netting from Bergwijn's pull-back.

Antonio Conte now face his former side Chelsea in a repeat of the 2019 Semi-Final. A North London derby Final on the cards, perhaps?

4. Anfield drama

It's an arena that always seems to deliver special moments.

Whether it's Arsenal's 1989 last minute League winning triumph, or the Reds' miraculous 2019 Champions League Semi-Final second leg against Barcelona, Anfield was built for drama and this year's Carabao Cup Quarter-Final was the latest classic. 

Brendan Rogers's Leicester City led 3-1 after goals from Jamie Vardy and a stunning strike by James Maddision. 

A goal from Diogo Jota gave them hope, but it was their shining light in this year's competition who provided THAT drama. 

Takumi Minamino, who has played in every minute of Liverpool's Carabao Cup campaign this season, scored in the 95th minute to force penalties. 

Step-up Caoimhin Kelleher. The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper saving two spot-kicks, before Jota scored the winning penalty to break Foxes hearts. 

5. Classy Hammers captain

After such a strong Carabao Cup campaign, it would be understandable for captain Declan Rice to have been downbeat after defeat. 

But after taking park in post-match interviews, the England star recognised someone in the crowd. 

Rice was quick to then give the young fan his shirt. 


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