Category: Year 6

League Cup Semi-Final 1st Legs Report

Fans were set for some thrilling League Cup semi-finals as the draw created some excellent ties. Aston Villa were drawn to play Manchester City, both from Division 2. Both teams were promoted from Division 3 last year and are vying for promotion once again this season. This has built an interesting rivalry between the sides, which can only be enhanced as they go in search of their first Cup Final.

The second semi-final placed the First Division sides against each other as Arsenal play Liverpool. Despite Liverpool having an exceptional League Cup record, they last won the Cup way back in Season 3. Arsenal are currently top of Division 1, as they chase a first league title but have never reached a League Cup final. There is everything to play for as each side knows just how difficult it can be to win a trophy.

The first match saw Aston Villa play host to Manchester City at Villa park. It was difficult to nominate a favourite, with the bookies calling a close match with Villa having the home advantage in the 1st leg. Aston Villa wore their traditional claret and blue, whilst City worse their away black kit.

Man City started the brighter with plenty of flying tackles coming in from the beginning. Man City put together some great passing which led to a goal in the first half. In the second half, Villa gave away a clumsy free kick and City converted to make it 2-0.

Villa knew they had to score to get back into the tie and it was only thanks to the City keeper that they did not find a way through. Later on, City continued to pressure and some fabulous passing led to another great chance. The City forward made the most of it and Villa fans were shocked to see the score at 3-0 to the away side (see featured photo). Despite Villa trying hard they could not get past the opposition defence and City nearly got a fourth late on. It will be a huge uphill task for Aston Villa to get back into contention in the 2nd leg.

The second game was a tight match between Arsenal and Liverpool. Arsenal had home advantage for the 1st leg and they wanted to get ahead before a difficult 2nd leg at Anfield. They got off to a good start after a lazy tackle gave them a direct free kick in the first half. They made the most of it to hammer the ball past the goalkeeper. The game remained a close tie with both sides having a few chances on goal but they either missed or the keepers made good saves. In the final few minutes Arsenal looked to extend their lead and a fantastic forward pass found a forward in lots of space. Despite a Liverpool defender trying to block the shot, he mistimed it and could not get in the way. Arsenal looked odds-on to score their second but a tremendous save kept Liverpool in the tie. Arsenal take a slender lead into the second leg but there is still everything to play for in a weeks time.

League Cup Quarter-Final Results Are In

The 2nd Legs of the League Cup Quarter-Finals got underway this week as teams looked to obtain a place in the semi-finals.

The first game was Leicester City of Division 3 against previous winners Liverpool. Leicester were 3-1 down from the 1st leg so it was imperative that they scored first. They went close when they hit the crossbar, but it was Liverpool who then found a way through. With a 3 goal advantage, Liverpool sat back to see out the match. Leicester managed to find an equaliser but Liverpool stood tough to make their fourth semi-final in a row.

The second game saw West Ham host Aston Villa after all was equal after the first leg. The game was very close but current Cup holders West Ham took the lead with a tight shot just outside the 6-yard box which surprised the Villa keeper. Villa pushed to make it level but West Ham were up to the job and kept them at bay, even though Villa hit the crossbar. In injury time Villa through all their players forward and the intense pressure paid off as they found a way through from a corner.

In extra time West Ham once again had Villa on the ropes but they could not score, despite a few good shots. In injury time, the momentum was with Villa once more. Despite West Ham thinking they had enough defenders, the Villa player tried a cheeky chip and it paid off as it fell into the goal. Aston Villa go through to their first semi-final.

The third match was an all-London tie between Chelsea and Arsenal. Defending league Champions Chelsea got off to a flying start and were only denied thanks to the Arsenal keeper. Arsenal then turned on the gas and forced a number of good saves from the Chelsea keeper. A Chelsea defender then gave away a free kick and Arsenal found the back of the net.

Chelsea had to score to remain in the tie and it did not take long before they got a free kick of their own. They duly put the ball in the net to make it all even once more. The final stage of the match was close, but Arsenal continued to press and a lucky pass found a striker free. Despite two Chelsea defenders rushing in to try and block the shot, it was not enough and the Arsenal player took full advantage. With only seconds left, Chelsea had one last corner, but Arsenal were able to clear the ball and the game was all over. Arsenal move into their first League Cup semi-final.

The Arsenal player scores the winning goal

The final match of the round saw Manchester City host Tottenham. Spurs were previous Cup holders but they were already 1-0 down to their Division 2 opponents. Spurs got off to a flying start and it was only the goal post that stopped them from getting the equalising goal early in the game.

City were not flustered and began to press on with their attacking. It was near the end of the first half that City got a clear chance. It was not an easy shot but the City player got just enough curve to slot the ball into the net.

The City player scores their first with a left-footed shot

Spurs had to push forward now they were two goals down, but they were caught out when a free kick on the edge of City’s area went straight through to a player. They did not need to take a second touch, as they hammered the ball home. With a 3 goal advantage, Spurs looked for a consolation goal but it was not to be as City go on to the semi-finals.

Semi-Final Draw

Following the last quarter-final match, the draw for the League Cup semi-finals has just been made. The two Division Two teams have been drawn together which ensures that at least one team from Division 2 will reach the final, as Aston Villa face Manchester City. In the other tie, the two big teams from Division 1 meet each other, as Arsenal take on rivals Liverpool.

Aston Villa vs Manchester City

Arsenal vs Liverpool

Close Action In League Cup Quarter-Final 1st Legs

As the first round of League Cup quarter-final matches got underway, it was Liverpool hosting Division 3 Leicester City in the opening match. Newly promoted Leicester had been the surprise team from he previous round, after they knocked out Watford, so Liverpool were very wary of their opponents.

Leicester got off to a fantastic start and went 1-0 up early, after being given a direct free kick. They could have made it 2-0 after Liverpool gave away another free kick, but the Liverpool keeper parried the ball away. It was the Liverpool keeper who came to his sides rescue once more as Leicester kept the pressure on.

After a slow start, Liverpool finally found their boots and began to fight back. It was not long until they equalised, much to their relief. With Leicester starting to run out of steam, Liverpool applied further pressure and managed to find the net twice more. Liverpool take a 3-1 lead into the second leg, where they will be feeling confident of going through to the semi-finals.

The second match was between Division 2 Aston Villa and current Cup holders West Ham United. West Ham got off to good start with an early goal after a howler from the Villa keeper. This was despite Villa attacking directly from the off. The match turned into a bit of a scrappy affair, with neither side performing well in front of goal. West Ham dug in to secure the win, but Villa got lucky with a late corner, which they managed to squeeze in through a crowded box. The score is all level as the teams head towards the 2nd leg at West Ham.

The match between Arsenal and Chelsea was a classic from two English heavyweight teams. Chelsea set off on a flier and took their opportunity to open the scoring (which is shown in the featured photograph). Chelsea’s defence looked awesome as Arsenal struggled, but the Gunners eventually found a way through. Chelsea came back on the counter and scored a superb goal from a long way out, to take the score to 2-1. Arsenal are never a team to under estimate and they equalised for 2-2 to leave everything even ahead of the second leg.

The final match of the quarter-finals was between Spurs and Manchester City. It was a close game with City starting the better. They managed to hit the post and had the ball saved off the line as Spurs rode their luck. But luck was eventually to run out as City took the lead. Spurs were kept in the game by their goalkeeper as City continued the attack. It was only near the final whistle that Spurs pushed forward and they were rewarded with a late corner. It was a good save from the City keeper, who allowed his side to take a 1-0 advantage into the second leg.

Leicester City Stun Watford In League Cup

Division 3 Leicester City have sprung a huge Cup upset away at Watford in the second round, which could go down as the game of the round.

Leicester City started brightly against their Division 1 opponents, as they hit the post twice in the first half. But it was Watford who scored first as they withstood the pressure before finding a way to score themselves.

Leicester managed to equalise during the second half and it looked like the match was heading for extra time. But the Leicester striker had one small chance late in the game and managed to chip the ball over the defender and keeper from a tight angle in the six yard box, to place the ball into the corner of the goal.

The Watford team were left speechless by the incredible flick which resulted in a sensational goal. Nobody thought that Leicester would score from such a tight angle, but the striker had nothing to lose.

Watford had only seconds left to find a reply but ran out of time, meaning Leicester City were 2-1 winners.

With the revised competition this season, Leicester City have set a new record by becoming the first ever team from Division 3 to reach the League Cup Quarter-finals. There is only one other Division 3 side remaining, who are Coventry City. They will take on Aston Villa in their second round game.

Arsenal Beat Man Utd In League Cup

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.

Arsenal Drawn Against Man Utd In League Cup 2nd Round

Week 3 sees the 2nd round of the League Cup. In a revised format of the competition, the majority of teams played in the 1st Round with the top 4 teams from Division 1 last season earning a bye into the second round. Those teams with a bye are Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Cup holders West Ham

It is incredible that two of those four teams have been drawn against each other, in what will be the only all first Division tie. Arsenal are hosting Manchester United in what will be an incredible game and will be played days before both sides play each other in a Division 1 fixture.

In other matches, Leeds United take on mighty Liverpool and Spurs play Luton Town. Chelsea take on a solid Sheffield Wednesday side from Division 2 and West Ham will play Wimbledon, who knocked out last years losing finalists Newcastle.

These games will be played after the Week 3 league matches.