Tuesday night may have had some upsets and excitement but Wednesday surpassed it all.
Aston Villa 3 – 1 Blackburn
Gerard Houllier, making his Aston villa managerial debut led Villa to victory over Blackburn with goals from Heskey and Young. Aston Villa will be looking to do better than last season and reach the final and win after losing in the final last year. But they had to come from behind after Givet strike. Heskey, who Houllier signed in his Liverpool days, got the equalizer and then took the lead with Ashley Young, who then got his second and Villa’s third to put them into the next round.
Chelsea 3 – 4 Newcastle
Both teams rested key players and gave chances to players coming back from injury and fringe players and that lack of team harmony may to blame or thank, depending on who you support, for a great game. Chelas took the lead with a goal from youngest van Aanholt on the 6th min. but then Newcastle youngest Nile Ranger, who benefited from playing in the championship last season, equalized before Ryan Taylor gave Newcastle the lead with a great freekick. Newcastle went further in the leas thanks to shoal Ameobi after half time. But Chelsea hadn’t given up hope especially Anelka who near enough pulled Chelsea up by the scruff of their neck solo. Chelsea had made all three changes when Benayoun pulled up unable to carry on so Chelsea had to play with 10 men. Anelka who was a constant threat on the left wing finally got a goal back for Chelsea and then converted a weak penalty on the 87 minute. It seemed that goal was going to force the game into extra time but with the game going end to end you couldn’t bet against someone scoring and that someone was Ameobi again giving Newcastle the lead again. But even with 6 minutes of extra time Chelsea couldn’t push for the goal and extra time leaving Newcastle the victors in this classic match.
Liverpool 2 – 2 Northampton AET (Northampton win 4-2 on pen)
Liverpool didn’t field a full strength team but did have established players such as Babel, Agger, Lucas, Jovanovic and Brad Jones. There was enough quality to beat Northampton, but they have fought hard to get this far, and going up against a side like Liverpool may be daunting but not a Liverpool side that seems to be in disarray. On and off the pitch things are not going as the fans would not just like, but demand. Liverpool took the lead with Jovanovic scoring for Liverpool but then Northampton equalised after the ball was headed down McKay pounced to score. Liverpool didn’t manage to score during normal time and it was Northampton who seemed to be the threat and took the initiative and with Jacobs scoring early in extra time. N’Gog got the Liverpool equalizer but that was it and the game went to penalties. The belief was with Northampton and at Anfield the fact that the Northampton keeper never seemed challenged is a disgrace. Northampton’s Steve Guinan and Liverpool’s N’Gog missed the first spot-kicks. With everyone else scoring it came down to youngest Eccleston for Liverpool but he hit the crossbar meaning that if Osman or Northampton scored they would be sent crashing out and he did just that. With their poor start to the season, i’m more than sure they would have loved to have a good run in the completion and reach a final but now Northampton look forward to see who else they can cause a shock to in the next round.
Scunthorpe 2 – 5 Man Utd
Manchester United may have rested their starting 11 but their back up team managed a lot better than those of Chelsea and Liverpool and doing so away from home. Scunthorpe had the majority of shot on target but could only manage to goal past kuska who is wanting first team football and is looking to move do to that but United always seemed in relative control even without Sir Alex pitch side while he left duties down to mike Phelan while he was watching upcoming champions league opponents. United went a goal down to a superb Josh Wright strike into the top corner after 19 minutes. But United responded with goals from first Darron Gibson and then Chris Smalling. Both nice finishes. The ore Gibson plays and the more experience he gets the more he seems to be the replacement for Scholes if he ever retires. Michael Owen got in the goals 4 minutes later the second half and then Ji-Sung Park joined in before Owen grabbed his second. Martyn Woolford grabbed himself a goal in stoppage time to finish the scoring at 5-2.
West Brom 2 – 1 Man City
Man City learnt the same lesson many other team have learnt, that money doesn’t buy success. There seems to be a lack of harmony at the club and that affects the results more than money. City did take the lead after Jo scored a nice goal, but West Brom came back in the game when Gianni Zuiverloon equalized and then Simon Cox scored the eventual winner. With that the chance of winning some silverware just got tougher. An all important game against Chelsea awaits City, and if they don’t win that, then their chances of challenging for the title will be near impossible.
Wigan 2 – 1 Preston
Keith Treacy gave Preston the lead on the 23rd minute but Wigan left it had to fin the equalizer and eventual winner. Gomez scored with three minutes left before full-time and N’Zgobia, who almost left the club in the summer, got the winner. Wigan almost crashed out of the Carling Cup but managed even though it was late to get the victory they needed unlike other teams tonight.