Chelsea, London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham and Liverpool all made it into the last eight of the English League Cup on Wednesday, avoiding the fate of Manchester United in their fourth round clashes.
A day after United crashed out at the hands of Championship outfit Southend, Chelsea established themselves as firm favorites for the trophy with a 4-0 win over Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.
It was not so easy for Arsenal, who had to wait until five minutes from time before Emmanuel Adebayor struck the winner against ten-man Everton, or Tottenham, who needed extra-time before overcoming Port Vale 3-1.
Liverpool were always in control of their match against Birmingham, which was sealed by Danish defender Daniel Agger's goal in first-half stoppage time.
Chelsea bounced back impressively from Sunday's defeat at Tottenham, thanks to a superb display from stand-in skipper Frank Lampard.
The England midfielder headed the opener in the 32nd minute and laid on the second for Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko in the 65th, who was making his return to the side after four games out.
Ghana midfielder Michael Essien made it 3-0 in the 82nd minute before Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba completed the rout two minutes later.
Referee Graham Poll was in the headlines again after sending off Everton's James McFadden after 18 minutes, apparently for a remark the Scotland international made to him after the official had turned down the home side's appeals for a penalty over a challenge on striker Andy Johnson.
Poll, who has been attacked for his handling of Chelsea's defeat on Sunday, had no hesitation about brandishing the red card.
But despite his action Everton stayed in the contest until five minutes from the end, when Adebayor rose to head home Mathieu Flamini's corner.
Birmingham regained a measure of self-respect against Liverpool, who had beaten them 7-0 in an FA Cup clash last season, but still bowed out of this competition.
Agger's strike proved decisive, the defender lashing the ball into the roof of the net after Birmingham had failed to deal with a corner from Jermaine Pennant, who spent a season on loan at the club before moving from Arsenal to Liverpool on a permanent basis this summer.
Liverpool went on to carve out enough chances to have won at a canter with Craig Bellamy, who had a second half penalty saved by Maik Taylor, particularly profligate.
Despite the win, it was a tough night for Liverpool with key midfielder Mohammed Sissoko stretchered off midway through the first half with what appeared to be a dislocated shoulder.
Defender Tom Huddlestone scored twice for Spurs, including a precious equalizer 10 minutes from the end of regulation time after Leon Constantine had given Port Vale the lead.
A deflected long-range shot from Huddlestone in the first half of extra time gave Spurs the edge and England forward Jermain Defoe made sure of the outcome, finally finding the net after squandering a string of earlier chances.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
EXPENDITURE: Tokyo Games organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said that ‘additional expenses are going to be quite massive’ to reschedule the Olympics The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with sports bodies to arrange a July-to-August window next year for the postponed Tokyo Olympics and hopes to confirm the schedule within a month, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday. John Coates, head of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics, told the newspaper that the Games would have to be held between the tennis Grand Slams of Wimbledon, scheduled to end in mid-July, and the US Open, which starts in late August. “We want to more or less finalize the dates in four weeks’ time,” the newspaper quoted Coates as saying. Coates, who is also
PROUD, BUT BOWING OUT: The Dallas center missed all of 2018 due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, but Travis Frederick returned to be a standout again last season Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick on Monday stunningly announced his retirement. Frederick, who turned 29 on Wednesday last week, was a Pro Bowl selection in five of his six NFL seasons. Frederick revealed his retirement in a lengthy letter, beginning it by writing: “After much consideration, discussion, and reflection, I have decided to retire from football. This was not an easy decision.” Frederick cited his bout with autoimmune disease Guillain-Barre syndrome as a factor. He missed the 2018 season due to the illness in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system, but he returned to be a standout again last
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, whose positive COVID-19 test prompted the NBA to shut down its season, says that the coronavirus has caused him to lose his sense of smell. The Frenchman, whose defensive talents have earned him the nickname “Stifle Tower,” tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11, the result bringing the NBA season to an abrupt halt. In social media posts since then, the 27-year-old had said he was feeling better, but on Sunday he tweeted that he was experiencing one of the lesser-known symptoms of the illness. “Just to give you guys an update, loss of smell and taste is