In what was billed as the big match of this seasons League Cup 2nd Round, Arsenal hosted Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium last night.
Both teams have struggled to progress in this competition over the years, so this was an important match for everyone. One side would progress to the 2-legged quarter-finals, whilst the losing team would have to accept another poor season in this Cup competition.
As expected, the game was a tight affair, with both teams not wanting to give too much away. As play progressed, it became clear that this would not be a high scoring match.
Both teams had good opportunities early on, with the goalkeepers both making crucial saves. Eventually, it was Arsenal that found a way through, with an excellent shot from outside of the area thumping into the corner of the goal.
Manchester United pressed forward to find an equaliser, but Arsenal stood strong. The Arsenal keeper continued to make some good saves to keep his team in the lead. Manchester’s forwards could not find a way to break the Arsenal defence and so it was Arsenal that came out victors with a 1-0 win.
In other ties:
Leeds Utd v Liverpool – Liverpool defeated Division 2 Leeds United 1-0 at Elland Road, to continue Liverpool’s excellent run in the League Cup.
Tottenham v Luton Town – A nervous looking Tottenham team edged past Luton Town with a slender 1-0 win at home.
Chelsea v Sheffield Wednesday – Chelsea were keen to put last years League Cup humiliation defeat against Wimbledon behind them, as they came out with all guns firing at home to Sheffield Wednesday. They went 3-0 up before letting the visitors grab consolation goal late in the second half.
Watford v Leicester City – Division 3 Leicester City sprung a huge surprise at Watford, which you can read about here.
West Ham Utd v Wimbledon – Cup holders West Ham faced a difficult tie as they welcomed London rivals Wimbledon. The Dons had already knocked out last seasons losing finalists in Newcastle, so they were not a team to be underestimated. The match became even more difficult when a sloppy West Ham defender gifted Wimbledon a penalty in the first half, which Wimbledon duly converted. West Ham fought back and pressured with a number of corners until they found an equaliser.
In extra time, West Ham set up some good chances and managed to score a goal to take the lead on the night. Wimbledon responded and had one final opportunity in injury time, which the West Ham keeper managed to keep out, despite being caught in a bundle by Wimbledon players. West Ham were relieved to hear the final whistle, as they take their place in the draw for the quarter-finals.
Manchester City v Charlton Athletic – Manchester City took on a feisty Charlton at the Etihad stadium, with both teams wanting a place in the quarter-finals. They had previous played out a draw in their first league game of the campaign, so were keen to get one over the other side. Charlton scored first, but it did not take Manchester long to get back into the game. It was a close game, even through extra time, but neither side could find a winner. Charlton had chances to take the match during penalties, but City fought back and scored their final penalty to win the match.
Aston Villa v Coventry City – This was always going to be a tough midlands battle, even though Aston Villa sat a Division higher. There was not much between the sides, although the shooting was equally bad. After a 0-0 draw, the match went to a penalty shoot-out. Even at this point, the sides could not be split as it ended 3-3. In sudden death, Villa converted their first one, but Coventry missed, leaving Villa to celebrate on the night.