ANALYSIS: EFL/Carabao Cup Wednesday review.
With six Premier League sides in action tonight in the Carabao Cup there was potential for a few cup upsets and for EPL sides to join Watford, who won’t be in the hat after their 2nd round defeat.
However, West Ham and Burnley both impressed away from home avoiding a potential upset and both came out 2-0 winners against Blackburn and Cheltenham respectively.
First half goals from Robbie Brady and new summer signing Jack Cork were enough for Burnley in the Lancashire derby at Ewood Park. Club record signing, Chris Wood, replaced Johnathan Walters on 43 minutes but was unable to find the back of the net for his new team. Yet, Wood and Dyche alike will be pleased to get 45 minutes under his belt.
Two quick-fire first half goals also were enough for the Hammers away at League 2 Cheltenham. Slaven Bilic’s men dominated proceedings at Whaddon Road and finishes from Sakho and Andre Ayew were enough to see West Ham into the 3rd round draw.
The Bet 365 Stadium, formally the Britannia, saw a whole feast of goals with Stoke running out 4-0 winners over League 1 Rochdale. Two goals from Welshmen Joe Allen, one from Peter Crouch and one from Ramadan Sobhi rounded of a dominate performance for Stoke, who will be looking to push on in the Premier League this week against West Brom after their impressive victory against the Gunners last weekend.
New Premier League boys, Huddersfield got their Carabao Cup campaign off to a flyer to add to their 2 successive victories in the Premier League. With League one side Rotherham taking the lead in the first minute, an upset looked to be on the cards. Yet, a penalty which was despatched by Philip Billing on 52 minutes was quickly followed by a goal from Joe Lolley two minutes later. These goals were enough for the Terriers, who ran out 2-1 winners after 90 minutes.
After being so successful in this competition last year, the Saints suffered an early exit at the hands of championship side Wolves, who themselves have had an impressive start to their respective league. A first half with plenty of chances somehow saw the teams go into the break with the score 0-0. The second half however, was a different story. Southampton failed to register a shot on target in the 2nd 45 and were left to rue their first half misses as Wolves went onto win 2-0, an away victory which deserved an entry into the 3rd round.
Joining Wolves in the 3rd round draw is another Midlands club who have also had a splendid beginning to their league campaign. Extra-time was required at St James’ Park but it was the championship side, Nottingham Forrest, who ended victorious with a 3-2 victory.
A third minute goal from Mitrovic put Newcastle into an early lead yet two goals in two minutes from Jason Cummings but Forrest into a 2-1 lead which was cancelled out by Aarons seconds before the break. The 2nd half was quiet and during extra time Forrest went into the lead and saw the game out comfortably. A huge disappointment for Benitez’s men who are yet to register a competitive win this season.
Joining the 3rd round of the competition will be England’s European representatives this season. No doubt there will be some appealing ties in the 3rd round and with 17 Premier League sides going into the hat, a couple of all Premier League ties will be likely.
Beijing is the location for the 3rd round draw, which will be commencing at 4:15am BST Thursday morning. So, if you’re eager to find out your team’s opponents, you’ll have to set your alarms.
Written by Eamon Kitching.