Hernandez puts United through but Swans exit Capital One Cup
Manchester United overcame old rivals Liverpool 1-0 to reach the Capital One Cup last 16 on a night which saw holders Swansea City bow out at Birmingham City.
Javier Hernandez brought a sense of stability back to United after a turbulent week by netting the only goal of an absorbing tie at Old Trafford.
Following a heavy weekend derby defeat to Manchester City, Hernandez wriggled away from Jose Enrique to touch home Wayne Rooney’s corner early in the second half of a game in which Liverpool’s Uruguay international forward Luis Suarez impressed on his return from a ten-match suspension.
Jonny Evans made clear United’s ambition to win the Capital One Cup after the match. The Northern Ireland international defender was making his first start of the season and he made no bones about United’s desire to lift the prize.
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Evans told Sky Sports: “We want to win it. It was the first trophy I won and it was a great feeling to win it then.
“It’s a competition we want to win, we will be taking it seriously.”
Evans added: “I think the fans enjoyed it, we certainly enjoyed it. It was a hard game, Liverpool have been playing expansive football.
“I am just glad we got the goal after half-time and held on. They put out a strong team. There were a lot of lads out there who haven’t had a lot of football and we were getting a bit tired towards the end.”
United’s reward for overcoming Liverpool is a home tie with Norwich City in the fourth round. The Red Devils will play host to the Canaries during the week starting October 28.
“Well, you always want a home draw if you can get it,” United manager David Moyes said. “Norwich are a good side, they have got a good manager and we will give them every respect.”
Arguably the biggest shock so far of this year’s competition came at St Andrew’s, where Birmingham secured a 3-1 win against the holders, Swansea.
After a first half in which Wilfried Bony and Alejandro Pozuelo hit a post in quick succession, the 2011 winners appeared a different side after the break.
Former Yeovil Town loan signing Dan Burn headed home his first goal for the Blues in the 56th minute, before Matt Green added a second from close range soon afterwards.
Inspired by winger Chris Burke, who played his part in all three goals, Tom Adeyemi also got in on the act with his maiden goal for the club late on – with Bony netting a consolation goal for the Swans with virtually the last touch.
Arsenal’s winning streak continued as they defeated West Brom on penalties at The Hawthorns to book their place in the fourth round.
Albion – whose first XI featured eight changes and their opponents’ nine – had the best chances of the first half, with a Craig Dawson header being pushed over by Lukasz Fabianski.
There was also Steven Reid’s free-kick, seemingly sent over by a slight touch of Fabianski’s glove, although the goalkeeper argued he had not made contact, hoping to prevent a corner that was given nonetheless.
In terms of Arsenal’s impact in the opening 45 minutes, perhaps the most notable was that of Nicklas Bendtner – making his first Gunners appearance since August 2011 – with a post when he failed to connect with an early cross, and debutant Isaac Hayden on Youssouf Mulumbu with a sliding challenge that saw the 18-year-old Gunner shown a yellow card which could have been red.
There was no question that Fabianski had produced a save, and a good one, to keep out Mulumbu’s strike on the hour mark.
But a minute later Arsenal had the lead as Mulumbu lost possession, Bendtner slipped in Thomas Eisfeld and the 20-year-old German midfielder slotted in what was his first Gunners goal on his maiden start.
West Brom equalised in the 71st minute when Saido Berahino, scorer of a hat-trick in round two, headed past Fabianski from close range.
Baggies substitute Morgan Amalfitano hit the bar in extra time but the teams could not be separated over 120 minutes.
In the shoot-out, West Brom initially had the advantage after Luke Daniels saved Serge Gnabry’s effort, but misses from Dawson and Amalfitano allowed Nacho Monreal to seal victory for the away side.
Arsenal, who have now won eight successive matches in all competitions, will host Chelsea in round four.
Papiss Cisse’s first goal since April helped ease Newcastle United to a 2-0 victory over Leeds United.
The Senegal international’s goal drought ended 31 minutes into the encounter when he powered a header past goalkeeper Paddy Kenny to end a run stretching back to the 1-1 UEFA Europa League draw with Benfica on April 11.
However, the tie remained in the balance until deep into the second half when his strike partner Yoan Gouffran blasted home to wrap up victory over the Championship side.
Stephen Ireland marked his first Stoke City start with a goal at Tranmere Rovers. One of seven changes made by manager Mark Hughes, the on-loan Aston Villa midfielder put them ahead in the 23rd minute at Prenton Park.
Peter Crouch, making his first start of the season, scored in stoppage time to seal a 2-0 victory for Stoke. The Potters’ reward was an away tie against Birmingham in the next round.
Capital One Cup fourth-round draw: @ Sunderland v Southampton, Leicester v Fulham, Birmingham v Stoke, Manchester Utd v Norwich, Burnley v West Ham, Arsenal v Chelsea, Tottenham v Hull, Newcastle v Manchester City. (Ties to be played on October 29 or 30).