Category Archives: League Cup

Jose Mourinho challenges players to be ‘men’ against City

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has challenged his players to show they are “men” by recovering from their 4-0 humiliation by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge as they hosts Manchester City in the EFL Cup later today.

The match will be the second encounter between City boss Pep Guardiola and Mourinho since both took charge of the two Manchester clubs. The Portuguese will be hoping for a better result than when the sides met in the Premier League in September, where City claimed a 2-1 win.

“We have had a very difficult period of matches. We lost points this week and, even in the match when we played phenomenal against Stoke [a 1-1 draw], we lost points then. Now we need to win matches.” Mourinho said.

“We are really, really sad, but again this is not for kids, this is for men and… we have to be men and work for the next one.”

However, Manchester United will have to play without defender Eric Bailly after he picked up a knee injury in the match against Chelsea.

City also suffered an injury blow as midfielder Kevin de Bruyne will miss out with a calf injury. Pablo Zabaleta is also out but Vincent Kompany, who made his first league start since April on Saturday, will be fit.

City are without a win in five games in all competitions and manager Pep Guardiola said he will make changes to his team.

“Some are going to play. I need to see the players in training and after we will decide the team,” Guardiola said. “They are a strong team with quality. They are six points behind – just two games behind. [and] Derbies are always special. We are going to try to play seriously and try to win the game.”

Prediction:

Manchester United (2) – (1) Manchester City

Fabregas brace carries Chelsea past Leicester in League Cup

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Cesc Fabregas scored two goals early in extra time to help Chelsea defeat Leicester City by 4-2 in the third round of the League Cup.

The Foxes were largely dominant in the first half; Shinji Okazaki’s header and instinctive strike had brought the Premier League Champions 2-0 up.

However, Chelsea pulled one back through Gary Cahill’s header a few minutes before half time, while Cesar Azpilicueta equalised with a long-range strike.

Marcin Wasilewski was then sent off for elbowing Diego Costa, reducing Leicester down to 10 men. Still, both sides could not find a winner, and the game went on into extra time.

As the match restarts Spain International Fabregas immediately in two minutes run into Leicester’s box to fire home.

Dazed and slow to recover, Leicester players allowed Fabregas space to pounce on keeper Ron-Robert Zieler’s poor clearance, and also for the following rasping drive past the goalkeeper.

Fabregas, who had only been given 32 minutes of play in the Premier League this season, has surely given his new manager Antonio Conte some food for thought.

As Chelsea win deservedly to book a place in the last 16, Leicester could still revel in their performances that showed incisive attacking and compact defending – elements that helped them win the title last season on show.

Liverpool and Chelsea through in League Cup

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Liverpool and Chelsea are through the third round of the EFL Cup after registering victories in their respective League Cup fixtures.

The Reds looked strong as they overwhelmed Championship Burton Albion with a resounding victory with five goals to nil.

The route began in the 15th minute when Divock Origi flicked in from close range before Roberto Firmino headsin Nathaniel Clyne’s cross to double Liverpool’s lead.

As the Merseyside cup lead 2-0, Burton Albion’s Tom Naylor inadvertently put the ball in his own net after half-time as James Milner’s ball came at him with fearsome pace, essentially killing the game for his team.

Daniel Sturridge, who was subbed into the game for Roberto Firmino after the break, made it 4-0 when he tapped in Milner’s low centre. He then ran unto a Sadio Mane assist to fire home from 15 yards, thus earning his second goal in the space of six minutes.

during the EFL Cup second round match between Chelsea and Bristol Rovers at Stamford Bridge on August 23, 2016 in London, England.

Michy Bathsuayi’s double carried Chelsea over the line.

Things were not as easy for Chelsea as they were forced to a tense 3-2 victory against Bristol Rovers.

Michy Batshuayi volleyed in before a simple finish from Victor Moses looked enough for Chelsea to seal the game in the first half.

A towering header from Peter Hartley then brought the deficit back to one, before Bathsuayi widened the gap again by a tap in.

After that, Rovers converted a penalty early in the second half, throwing back the pressure on Chelsea.

The Blues enjoyed dominating possession in the first half, but wasteful finishing and brilliant goalkeeping from Steve Mildenhall saw them pressured up until the end of the game.

Manchester City’s De Bruyne out for 10 weeks

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Manchester City's De Bruyne out for 10 weeks

Manchester City had yet another injury blow to the team, as their key player Kevin De Bruyne is set to miss out on matches for at least 10 weeks.

Scans revealed that De Bruyne had torn ligaments on his muscles and ankles, as he came out from the bench to inspire City to a victory over Everton in the League Cup semi-final.

He appeared to catch his studs in the turf and twist his knee as he challenged Ramiro Funes Mori in injury time.

It would mean that the attacking midfielder would miss out on vital European fixtures against Dynamo Kiev, the League Cup final and a handful of league games, including a Manchester derby on 20 March.

His absence would deal a major blow to Manuel Pellegrini side, which is in the process of chasing trophies in four different competitions. He is a vital player, being City’s second top goalscorer, claiming 12 assists and creating more chances than any other City player.

The Belgian posted his injury news on Twitter.

“Just got back from the specialist. I’ll be out for around 10 weeks,” he Tweeted.

“I’ll work hard on my recovery and hope to be back on the pitch asap. Thank you all for the supportive messages!”