Friday, January 13, 2023

Carabao Cup: Praise The Saints; Rashford Rolls On; Forest Shades Wolves; Newcastle Advances

Southampton is amid a terrible season in which the Saints are likely to be relegated from the Premier League. It was a shock then to see to see the Saints defeat the Manchester City juggernaut in a 2-0 victory on the south coast. Manchester City failed to put a shot on target versus the Saints as frustrated manager Pep Guardiola brought Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne off the bench in the second half in a futile effort to create some spark. Former Leeds defensive midfielder Kalvin Philips, playing in his first start for Guardiola’s side, may be waiting awhile for his second start after an unimpressive performance. Southampton will hope to  leverage their shocking Carabao Cup win and last weekend’s FA Cup victory over Crystal Palace to perhaps improve their league results under manager Nathan Jones.

The Saints will host Newcastle in the Carabao Cup semifinals after the Magpies swept Leicester from the tournament with a 2-0 home victory over the Foxes. Newcastle find themselves in a Carabao (or EFL) Cup semifinal for the first time in 47 years. The other side of the semifinal bracket will see Manchester United host surprising semifinalist Nottingham Forest. The Red Devils were easy 3-0 winners over League One Charlton as red-hot Marcus Rashford registered a brace. Rashford has now scored in eight consecutive home contests across all competitions to break Wayne Rooney’s club record. Nottingham Forest was pushed to penalties to eliminate Wolverhampton after the clubs were unable to resolve a 1-1 tie in open play. The tense contest saw a brawl break out between the players after Forest prevailed in the shootout.

The first legs of the Carabao Cup semifinal ties will take place on January 24th (Southampton versus Newcastle) and January 25th (Nottingham Forest versus Manchester United).

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