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 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.
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.
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