Category Archives: League Cup

Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool manager ‘really sick’ of poor defending

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Liverpool manager said he feels “really sick” with Liverpool’s defending after they conceded two poor goals. during a damaging defeat against Leicester City in the third round of the League Cup.

The Reds were also knocked out from the League Cup altogether after their 2-0 loss at Leicester, with the defeat also capping off a streak of four winless games in all competitions for the Merseyside club — a streak which also saw them concede 10 goals.

Despite making eight changes to the team that drew 1-1 against Burnley in the Premier League during the weekend, registering 21 shots at the King Power Stadium on top of 70% possession, Klopp’s team yielded no goals in the League Cup fixture.

Instead, it was Leicester who found the breakthrough at 69 minutes through Shinji Okazaki, which came after Liverpool failed to clear a corner and conceded yet another goal through set pieces — a problem that has plagued Liverpool since Klopp took over the club from Brendan Rodgers in 2015.

12 minutes later, Islam Slimani’s doubled Leicester’s lead through a superb left-footed shot following a throw-in, which in turn found the top-corner and effectively took the game out of Liverpool hands.

“The story of this game is really easy to tell,” Klopp said after the game, lamenting familiar failings. “We were the much better team in the first half, we didn’t score — that’s sometimes part of football. It was unlucky in one or two moments, maybe not clinical enough in others. But as long as we concede goals like we conceded today again, then it is quite difficult.”

“We should have scored three but as long as you leave games open, you have to defend. We always have to defend these situations better. The second ball after the corner, it’s close but it’s not offside. So we need to make it more clear that it’s offside.”

“The only thing you can do is to push up — we didn’t. With the second one it is a throw-in again. Everyone can imagine we know how to defend them but obviously we don’t do it, because always somebody else is doing it. It doesn’t feel too cool but it’s the truth.”

League-Cup: Last season’s finalists Southampton defeated by Wolves

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Southampton, last season’s finalists of the EFL Cup, were eliminated from the tournament after their 2-0 second round home defeat by Championship side Wolves.

In what was Wolves’s third win against Premier League sides this calendar year, Danny Batth headed in Ivan Cavaleiro’s corner in the 67th minute and substitute Donovan Wilson made it 2-0 with three minutes left.

It also came despite the fact that the Wolves manager, Nuno Espirito Santo, fielded an entirely different roster after his team’s defeat against Cardiff City on Saturday.

“I’m very proud, it’s fantastic work from my players, the way they prepared,” said Nuno. “It’s not about building a team, it’s about a squad, and they showed there’s no starting XI at Wolves. For us it’s about creating a squad, growing their own identity and being able to perform like this.”

“We know Donovan, he’s been performing well and training with us for some time. He has scored a goal here, but he will be back with the under-23s. Nothing changes for Donovan. I’ve done this throughout my career, giving players chances, but only at the right times.”

As for Southampton, they were far outshone by their opponents after six changes were made to the squad who defeated West Ham 3-2 last weekend in the Premier League.

They also registered few chances, with right-back Jeremy Pied firing wide twice and Wolves keeper Will Norris turning Sam McQueen’s cross onto the woodwork.

EFL Cup: Southampton will host Wolves in second round

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Southampton, the runners-up of the EFL Cup last season, will meet Wolves in the second round of the tournament following a live draw that had been in disarray.

Southampton had been headed towards the end of a 7-year title drought before being stopped short by Manchester United in the final last season.

But as the EFL Cup renews with the new season, the live draw which took place in the Sky Sports studios by Alex McLeish and John Salako, alongside the host Julian Warren, left many confused as four second-round matches were announced with the incorrect team away from home.

Initially, the draw was to select seeded teams, followed by whether they would be at home or away and then finally, their opposition. However, it was not until after Salako said Norwich would be away to Charlton that he appeared to realise the previous matches had been drawn the wrong way around.

Following the adjustment, it was decided that Newcastle will host Nottingham Forest, with Bournemouth and Leicester City playing away to Birmingham and Sheffield United respectively, among six ties with Premier League sides facing Championship opposition. Another seven Premier League teams involved in European competition will enter at round three.

Second round draw – South section
QPR v Brentford
Crystal Palace v Ipswich Town
Watford v Bristol City
Norwich City v Charlton Athletic
Cheltenham Town v West Ham United
Brighton & Hove Albion v Barnet
Cardiff City v Burton Albion
Southampton v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Fulham v Bristol Rovers
Milton Keynes Dons v Swansea City
Birmingham City v Bournemouth
Reading v Millwall

North section
Carlisle United v Sunderland
Bolton Wanderers v Sheffield Wednesday
Accrington Stanley v West Bromwich Albion
Newcastle United v Nottingham Forest
Leeds United v Newport County**
Stoke City v Rochdale
Huddersfield Town v Rotherham United
Middlesbrough v Scunthorpe United
Doncaster Rovers v Hull City
Blackburn Rovers v Burnley
Sheffield United v Leicester City
Aston Villa v Wigan Athletic
Barnsley v Derby County or Grimsby Town

Manchester United wins EFL Cup with Zlatan header

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Manchester United won their first major trophy of the season by beating Southampton 3-2 through a Zlatan Ibrahimovic header in a thrilling final.

The Saints were the better team throughout the match in Wembley. Manolo Gabbiadiani saw a goal ruled out by a controversial offside decision before United took an undeserved two-goal lead in the first-half.

Ibrahimovic’s spearing free-kick managed to deceived Fraser Forster to bring United ahead, while Jesse Lingard’s precise finish went through the legs of Maya Yoshida to double the advantage and seemingly set the course of the match to a straightforward United win.

However, Gabbiadiani, a £14m signing from Napoli, proved his credentials to be as the game’s outstanding performer.
Despite the almost unfair offside ruling against what could have been the first goal of the match, he kept going for the Saints and was ultimately rewarded with a quick tap-in in first-half injury time, before hitting another on the turn 3 minutes into the second-half.

The game looked destined for extra-time from there, but the Saints could only blame themselves as loopy defending afforded Ibrahimovic too much space in the 87th minute, allowing the talismanic striker to score from a header and spare United the embarrassment of losing a game they lead 2-0.

“This is a team effort,” Ibrahimovic said in the post-game interview. “This is what I came for — to win, and I am winning. The more I win the more satisfied I get.”

“You appreciate it more the older you get. Wherever I have gone I have won. I think this is trophy number 32 for me. This is what I predicted. My friend, I keep doing it. I’m enjoying it in England.”

It also justified Jose Mourinho’s intentions to sign the Swede on free, as their unique partnership won the Portuguese his first trophy as United boss and indeed making Mourinho the first manager in Manchester United’s history to win a major trophy in his first season.