Thursday, December 21, 2023


Liverpool are the clear EFL Cup favorites after the Reds defeated West Ham 5-1 at Anfield on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals. Curtis Jones scored twice in the Liverpool rout of a Hammer side which fell apart in the second half. West Ham Manager David Moyes has still never won at Anfield in 21 attempts and could not have enjoyed seeing Liverpool find the net five times against the Hammers at Anfield for the first time in 25 years. Liverpool moves on to face Fulham which needed penalties to get past Everton on Tuesday.

Everton pushed the Cottagers to the penalty shootout when the Toffees’ Gomes Betuncal scored in the 85th minute to equalize a match which had seen an own goal by Everton’s Michael Keane give the Cottagers a first half lead. There was to be no happy ending for Everton, however, as Tosin Adarabioyo converted his penalty try after a miss by Everton’s Idrissa Gueye. Fulham’s 7-6 advantage on kicks sent the Cottagers into their first domestic cup semifinal in 22 seasons.

Chelsea also advanced on penalty kicks Tuesday after a mistake filled match which saw Newcastle eliminated from the EFL Cup. Chelsea defender Benoit Badiashile gifted Newcastle a goal in the 16th minute on a confused bit of slapstick where he lost his dribble to Newcastle’s Callum Wilson who deposited the ball in Chelsea’s net. Newcastle was quite happy to defend from that point onward and seemed home free as the match entered final stoppage time. Unfortunately for the Magpies, Newcastle defender Kieran Trippier returned Chelsea’s earlier favor by losing control in his own box. Chelsea’s Mykhail Mudryk was quick to pounce on the loose ball and tie the match with his goal. Trippier then helped finish off the disappointment for Newcastle by missing the net on his penalty kick try in the subsequent shootout. Chelsea goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic also made a save on the Magpies’ Matt Ritchie to give the Blues a 4-2 kick advantage and send them into the semifinals. Chelsea will meet Middlesbrough, managed by former Manchester United player Michael Carrick, in the semifinals after the Championship division side easily put aside Port Vale 3-0 on Tuesday.

The two leg EFL Cup semifinals will be played  on January 9th and January 23rd.

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