Friday, November 3, 2023

Carabao Cup

The Round of Sixteen provided a surprise when West Ham defeated visiting Arsenal 3-1. Gunners’ Manager Mikel Arteta rotated his line-up and received a disappointing performance from those squandering the opportunity to impress. Kai Havertz continued to struggle with his new club. Aaron Ramsdale did himself no favors in his ongoing battle with David Raya to be the preferred goalkeeper for the Gunners. Among the others failing the test for Arsenal were Zinchenko, Jorginho, Reiss-Nelson and Fabio Viera. The Gunners fell victim to the typical David Moyes game plan as West Ham prevailed despite controlling only 28% of the possession and failing to put a shot on target until the second half. After being gifted a first half own goal by Arsenal, Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus found the net in the second half for the Hammers. Former West Ham captain Declan Rice only entered the match as a second half substitute to a mixed reaction from West Ham supporters. West Ham wins the dubious privilege of travelling to Liverpool for the next round after a Darwin Nunez goal eliminated Bournemouth 2-1. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp rotated eight of his eleven starters in the winner over the Cherries.

It probably doesn’t matter who Manchester United Manager Eric ten Hag puts on the pitch as nothing seems to be working for the Red Devils. Old Trafford was the scene of a second consecutive 3-0 defeat as the Red Devils lost their cup tie to Newcastle by the same scoreline as the Manchester derby loss last weekend. A heavily rotated Newcastle side had no problem in dispatching their woeful opposition. Former Chelsea academy players Lewis Hall and Tino Livramento impressed for the Magpies, Hall scoring and Livramento registering an assist.

Newcastle will face Chelsea in the cup semifinal after Chelsea defeated Blackburn Rovers 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. Defender Benoit Badeashile scored for Chelsea in his return from a lengthy injury absence with Raheem Sterling also finding the net against Chelsea’s Championship tier opponent.

Everton will host Fulham in the semifinals after the Toffees defeated Burnley 3-0 and the Cottagers triumphed 3-1 at Ipswich Town. The other semifinal draw matches lower tier Port Vale and Middlesbrough.

The Carabao Cup semifinals take place December 19th and 20th. 

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