League Cup: Spurs 2-0 Brighton

Tottenham secured safe passage into the last eight of the Capital One Cup with an unconvincing 2-0 victory against out-of-form Brighton.

This was just a fourth win in all competitions since August for Mauricio Pochettino’s side but they made heavy weather of progressing into the quarter-finals as substitute Erik Lamela and top goalscorer Harry Kane struck in the second half to see off their Sky Bet Championship opponents.

With only two league wins all season and no victory since their round three success over Burton, there could have been much trickier visitors to north London than Sami Hyypia’s Seagulls.

But, with kick-off delayed by 15 minutes due to gridlock on the streets around the ground, it was Tottenham who struggled to get out of first gear with 10 changes from the side that was beaten here by Newcastle on Sunday.

Despite his complaints about the small pitch at White Hart Lane Pochettino deployed two out-and-out wingers in Andros Townsend and Aaron Lennon – with the duo looking the most likely to make something happen for the nervous hosts in the opening stages.

Club-record signing Lamela was introduced at half-time and needed just nine minutes to open the scoring before Kane, dropped for the weekend loss, added to his Europa League hat-trick of six days ago to seal the tie.
Mark Clattenburg, dropped from Premier League duty for the coming weekend after his indiscretions following Crystal Palace’s recent draw at West Brom, was in charge and infuriated Hyypia when he failed to give a penalty to the away side after Kyle Naughton appeared to handle in the box.

In truth Brighton never looked like springing a cup upset and go back to searching for form in their league campaign instead of continuing on in the hope of reaching Wembley.

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League Cup: Man City 0-2 Newcastle

Holders Manchester City dumped out by Newcastle

Rolando Aarons and substitute Moussa Sissoko struck as Newcastle dumped holders Manchester City out of the Capital One Cup with a 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium.

To compound City’s woes, as manager Manuel Pellegrini’s decision to field a strong side just four days before a Manchester derby backfired, key playmaker David Silva limped off injured early on.

But after a dismal start to the season, Newcastle and Alan Pardew are suddenly enjoying a mini-revival with three successive wins all competitions easing the pressure on the under-fire manager.

Aarons stunned City when he capitalised on poor defending early on and the hosts, despite controlling possession and creating some chances, never truly convinced.

Newcastle were denied what seemed a clear-cut penalty in the second half but Sissoko finished the job 15 minutes from time, loosening City’s grip on the trophy with a fine finish.

Pellegrini’s men have now gone three games without a win and need to regroup with two big games in the next week against United in the Premier League and CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

Losing Silva, who was surprisingly not granted a rest along with likes of Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and Aguero, made for a dismal start.

Silva was injured when fouled by Ryan Taylor, making a welcome first Newcastle appearance in two years after overcoming cruciate ligament trouble, on the edge of the area.

The Spaniard looked in considerable discomfort and left the field for treatment as Yaya Toure blazed the free-kick over the bar.

Silva did return in an attempt to run off the knock but soon admitted defeat and made way for Samir Nasri to return to action after seven games out with a groin injury.

But Pellegrini could not make the change before Newcastle claimed a shock lead.

Taylor was again involved, robbing Fernandinho and releasing the pacy Aarons, who showed no ill effects from his recent hamstring problems as he burst through to slide a shot past Willy Caballero.

Aarons caught City’s defence out again with another lively break and he was only stopped when Bacary Sagna clumsily hauled him back on the edge of the area for a free-kick that came to nothing.

Stevan Jovetic went close to an equaliser after being picked out by a Nasri cross but Rob Elliot blocked with his feet on the line.

Jovetic drove another shot wide and City went even closer when Fabricio Coloccini diverted an Aleksandar Kolarov cross onto his own post with a miscued looping clearance.

Jovetic spurned another opportunity and City were almost made to pay for their profligacy as Paul Dummett was left unmarked at a corner and forced Caballero to make a scrambling save.

Toure may have been the cause of more anxiety before the break as he went down under a Dummett challenge and took time to get up.

But he was soon back in action and drove a shot at Elliot as City finished the first half strongly.

Yet despite dominating possession, City struggled to summon up their usual intensity.

They did show some creativity from a free-kick early in the second half but nobody was able to get a touch on a Kolarov cross.

Newcastle put the ball in the net again when Gabriel Obertan slammed a shot past Caballero but the flag was raised for offside.

Eliaquim Mangala’s tribulations since his £32million summer signing from Porto continued and he was fortunate to escape censure after catching Mehdi Abeid with his arm in a clumsy challenge.

City got another lucky break soon after when Kolarov slid in and appeared to clip the heels of Obertan as he raced into the box. Referee Stuart Attwell gave nothing and Pellegrini tried to make the most of the reprieve by sending on Aguero for the presumably tired Nasri.

But City’s crack striker had no time to make an impact before a Newcastle substitute stole the show.

Sissoko, who entered the fray just after the hour, took possession outside the area and weaved his way past Fernandinho and Sagna before clipping shot past Caballero.

City made a late effort to get back into the game but Taylor completed a satisfactory return by blocking from Edin Dzeko on the line.

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League Cup: Stoke 2-3 Southampton

Southampton beat Stoke for the second time in four days to reach the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup.

This game was much more eventful than Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League victory, with Graziano Pelle netting his second to make it 3-2 two minutes from time in the Potteries.

Saints looked in control at half-time at two up through Pelle and Shane Long’s first for the club but Stoke levelled through Steven Nzonzi and Mame Biram Diouf.

However, moments after substitute Peter Crouch was sent off, Pelle grabbed his second to earn Southampton their ninth win in 10 games.

Both managers resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes, with 16 of the players on show having started at the weekend.

Mark Hughes gave Bojan Krkic a rare start, the former Barcelona forward appearing for the first time in nearly a month, while Saturday’s goalscorer, Sadio Mane, missed out with a knock so Long came in for the visitors.
Despite the strong sides, there were plenty of empty seats at the Britannia Stadium, although more than 2,000 Southampton fans had made the trip.

And they were celebrating inside six minutes as Pelle notched his ninth of the season.

This was arguably his best, the Italian picking up the ball in the middle of the park and taking advantage of the space given to him by the Stoke defence to pick his spot just inside Asmir Begovic’s post from 25 yards.

Stoke hit back with a spell of pressure but, like at St Mary’s, were unable to create any real chances.

The closest they came was a 19th-minute cross from Jonathan Walters that Nathaniel Clyne got his head to just before Marko Arnautovic.
Saints certainly looked to have the greater class in attack and a flowing move ended with them doubling their lead on the half-hour mark.

Dusan Tadic played in Steven Davis on the right of the area and he pulled the ball back for Long to slot under Begovic.

Pelle should have made it three shortly afterwards but blazed over and salt was rubbed into Stoke’s wounds when they thought they had scored only for Walters’ shot to be ruled out for offside.

The striker was definitely standing beyond the last defender but the assistant referee waited until the ball was nestling in the net before raising his flag.

The Stoke players came out early for the second half and it took them only four minutes to halve the deficit.

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Premiership: Rio Ferdinand suspended and fined over Twitter comment

QPR defender Rio Ferdinand has been suspended for three matches and fined £25,000 by the Football Association for comments he made on Twitter.

The 35-year-old ex-England captain has also been “severely warned as to his future conduct” and told to attend an education programme arranged by the FA.

It is believed the misconduct charge related to a comment where he used the word “sket”.

The definition of the term is “a promiscuous girl or woman”.

On 1 September, Ferdinand wrote the tweet thought to have led to the charge in reply to a message sent to him suggesting his team needed a new centre-half.

He was tagged in a message that read: “Maybe QPR will sign a good CB (centre back) they need one” and wrote back: “get ya mum in, plays the field well son! #sket” – a Jamaican slang word.

Ferdinand, who made the last of his 81 appearances for England in June 2011, is a member of FA chairman Greg Dyke’s commission looking at how to improve English football.

The ex-Manchester United centre-back has sent more than 14,000 tweets since joining the social networking site in 2010.

Read more on BBC Sport

League Cup: Liverpool 2-1 Swansea

Mario Balotelli inspired a stirring comeback as Liverpool scored twice in the final few minutes to beat Swansea and reach the League Cup last eight.

The visitors led when Marvin Emnes hooked across Reds understudy keeper Brad Jones into the far corner.

Liverpool rarely threatened until substitute Balotelli guided in Fabio Borini’s cross.

Swans defender Federico Fernandez was sent off before centre-back Dejan Lovren headed in the late winner.

Liverpool have made an indifferent start to the Premier League season as they look to replicate last year’s second-place finish without the departed Luis Suarez.

Swansea, who are a place above their opponents in the top flight, looked set to eliminate the eight-time winners from the League Cup for the second time in three seasons with Emnes’ opener.

Ex-Swans boss Brendan Rodgers watched his current team fall into a familiar pattern of dominating possession without finding a cutting edge.

That was until Balotelli, moved to the bench as one of nine changes to the Reds team which started Saturday’s 0-0 Premier League draw against Hull, was introduced with little over 10 minutes left.

The Italy striker has faced heavy criticism for both his attitude and goalscoring record since arriving from AC Milan in August.

But he responded with a cameo performance that brought the Anfield crowd to its feet. His sharp movement led to the equalising goal and, after Fernandez was shown a straight red card for a lunge on Philippe Coutinho, he also unsettled the Swansea defence in the build-up to the winner.

Lovren, whose performances have also been questioned since his £20m move from Southampton, sparked wild celebrations in front of the Kop when he met Coutinho’s free-kick to keep alive Rodgers’ hopes of winning his first major silverware.

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League Cup: Bournemouth 2-1 West Brom

Bournemouth reached the last eight of the League Cup for the first time as Callum Wilson’s late strike knocked out West Bromwich Albion.

The home side, who merited victory, led when Junior Stanislas fed Eunan O’Kane to drill his first of the season.

Wilson ran clear to finish right footed immediately after West Brom levelled through a Tommy Elphick own goal.

Chris Baird and Youssouf Mulumbu headed over late on but the Championship club are now two rounds from Wembley.

It is a sign of a remarkable transformation for a side who, six years ago, started the League Two season with a 17-point deduction for exiting administration in an incorrect manner, but now sit fourth in the second tier and are enjoying their best League Cup run.

Their meeting with West Brom was their first appearance in the last 16 for 51 years, but manager Eddie Howe said cup matches were “free games” ahead of kick-off, with his focus on their league campaign.

His relaxed nature was visible in his players, who though sometimes lacking cutting edge, attacked with the freedom of a side who have scored 12 goals without reply in their last three league outings.

Despite an 8-0 win at Birmingham on Saturday, Howe made 10 changes – as did Albion boss Alan Irvine.

The result was a game full of intent, which was also littered with penalty appeals. Craig Dawson – the only West Brom player to retain his starting place after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

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F1: Sebastian Vettel’s grid penalty greeted with dismay at US GP

Sebastian Vettel is expected to miss Saturday’s qualifying at the US Grand Prix due to one of F1’s more arcane rules.

Race officials in Texas have reacted with dismay to the news that Sebastian Vettel is set to miss Saturday’s qualifying session at the US Grand Prix, which would mean him starting the race from the pit lane.

The Red Bull driver and world champion for the past four years faces sitting out qualifying because he has used up his full allocation of five power units and will need to fit a new one for Austin.

It means Vettel will incur a five- to 10-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race and, as that makes it likely he would start towards the back, he is expected to opt out of qualifying to save mileage on his new engine. He may also opt not to drive in the three practice runs on Friday and Saturday for the same reason.

Bobby Epstein, the co-founder of the Circuit of the Americas, said: “I’m sorry to hear that he might not run in qualifying. It’s just too bad. I would like to see him start on the grid on Sunday. It won’t affect our ticket sales because most of the people come here for the overall experience but it’s nevertheless unfortunate.”

Vettel expects to pay the engine penalty this weekend. “It looks like it will happen in Austin,” he said. “The rule is completely stupid. So the people turn on the television and see a driver who just stands around and has nothing to do.”

Read more on The Guardian


Premiership: QPR 2-0 Aston Villa

QPR climbed off the foot of the table thanks to a Charlie Austin brace that gave Harry Redknapp’s side a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa.

Austin rifled home a fantastic half-volley on the edge of the box from Bobby Zamora’s knock-down to put the home side ahead early in the first half before adding a well-taken second with 20 minutes remaining.

The win means that QPR leapfrog Burnley but remain in the bottom two whilst 15th placed Villa have now not scored in over eight and a half hours of play.

Much of the pre-match talk focused on under-pressure QPR manager Redknapp’s criticism of Adel Taarabt and he chose to leave the player out of his squad, whilst also benching Rio Ferdinand.

Even so, Villa offered little in the way of threat as Christian Benteke looked short of match fitness with Andy Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor proving impotent up front.

Despite the victory, QPR face an uphill struggle to remain in the top flight even at this early stage and with Chelsea away and Man City at home to come, it doesn’t get much easier.

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FA Cup: first-round draw

FA Cup first-round made at the National Football Centre at St George’s Park.

Mansfield v Concord
Gosport v Colchester
Yeovil v Crawley
York v AFC Wimbledon
Walsall v Shrewsbury
Notts County v Accrington Stanley
Chorley or FC Halifax v Bradford City
Warrington Town v Exeter City
Eastleigh v Alfreton or Lincoln City
Basingstoke or Harrow Borough v Spennymoor or AFC Telford
Dagenham and Redbridge v Tamworth or Southport
Weston-Super-Mare v Doncaster
Peterborough v Carlisle
Cheltenham v Swindon
Bromley v Dartford
Weymouth or Braintree v Chesterfield
Chelmsford or Barnet v Wycombe
Gillingham v Bristol City
Portsmouth v Aldershot
Norton or Shildon v Gateshead
Crewe v Sheffield United
Grimsby v Oxford United
Tranmere v Bristol Rovers
Southend v Chester FC
Luton v Newport County
Stevenage v Maidstone United
Bury v Nuneaton or Hemel Hempstead
Cambridge v Fleetwood
Northampton v Rochdale
Eastbourne or Dover v Morecambe
Port Vale v MK Dons
Macclesfield or Wrexham v Woking
Plymouth v AFC Fylde
Barnsley v Burton
Hartlepool v East Thurrock
Coventry v Worcester City
Oldham v Leyton Orient
Canvey Island or Havant & Waterlooville v Preston
Blyth Spartans v Altrincham
Forest Green v Scunthorpe
Ties to be played on 7, 8, 9, 10 November 2014