Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez ruined Luis Suarez’s long-awaited return from suspension as the Mexican clinched a 1-0 win against Liverpool in the League Cup third round on Wednesday.
Suarez was making his first appearance of the season following the completion of his 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League clash last season.
However, the controversial Uruguayan’s presence in the Liverpool starting lineup was not enough to galvanize his team to victory at Old Trafford as Hernandez bagged the winner for United less than two minutes into the second half.
David Moyes’ team were on course to bounce back from Sunday’s painful 4-1 derby defeat at Manchester City and also avenge a 1-0 loss against Liverpool in the league this season, when Wayne Rooney’s corner picked out the unmarked Hernandez to volley home in the 46th minute.
Suarez, who had angered Liverpool with his failed attempt to engineer a move to Arsenal during his suspension, hit the bar with a free-kick in the closing stages and also went close when his powerful strike rippled the side-netting, but United held on to move into the fourth round.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said: “I thought Luis Suarez was excellent. You could tell he’d been out for a long time as he tired at the end, but he’s obviously a threat.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s young guns held their nerve to win 4-3 on penalties after 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion.
Denmark forward Nicklas Bendtner returned to the Arsenal team for the first time in more than two years as manager Arsene Wenger made nine changes, giving game time to a host of youngsters.
Wenger’s side took the lead when Bendtner’s defense-splitting pass gave Thomas Eisfeld a clean run on goal and the German youngster slotted home in the 61st minute.
However, Burundi-born England under-21 striker Saido Berahino rose to head the equalizer from Steven Reid’s cross 10 minutes later.
In the shoot-out, Arsenal’s German teenager Serge Gnabry saw his spot-kick saved by Luke Daniels, but Craig Dawson and Morgan Amalfitano both missed the target for Albion and Nacho Monreal drove in the winner.
League Cup holders Swansea City suffered an embarrassing exit as Championship side Birmingham won 3-1 at St Andrews.
Michael Laudrup’s side routed Bradford at Wembley Stadium last season to clinch the first trophy in the Welsh club’s 100-year history.
On-loan Fulham centerhalf Dan Burn headed Birmingham in front in the 57th minute before striker Matt Green, who was playing non-league soccer with Mansfield last season, got across his marker to slide in a Chris Burke cross four minutes later.
Tom Adeyemi added the third in the 81st minute and Wilfried Bony’s stoppage-time strike was no consolation for Swansea.
Newcastle United eased through with a 2-0 win over Championship side Leeds United at St James’ Park.
Stoke City midfielder Stephen Ireland scored his first goal for the club in a 2-0 win over League One strugglers Tranmere Rovers. Former Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur striker Peter Crouch notched the second in the 90th minute.