Carling Cup Quarter Finals: Part II




Carling Cup

Carling Cup

December 3, 2010: The other two quarterfinals of the Carling Cup 2010 were played between Birmingham City and Aston Villa; and Ipswich Town and West Bromwich Albion. The winners of these two matches would make it to the semi-final rounds to join Arsenal and West Ham United who had already won their respective quarterfinal matches. Below are post-match analyses of the two games:

Birmingham City 2-1 Aston Villa

Birmingham City hosted Aston Villa at the St. Andrew’s stadium on Wednesday evening. Amongst the stain of hooliganism, the home side entered their first ever Carling Cup semi-final when they beat the visitors 2-1, with goals on either side of halftime by Sebastian Larsson and Zigic.

The match started in a high-tempo fashion, with the home side creating the better chances. They were rewarded almost immediately as during another attack, Richard Dunne brought down Lee Bowyer in the penalty area, and Larsson had no difficulty in slotting the ball home. Birmingham were unlucky not to have gone 2 goals ahead when the referee disallowed a perfectly valid goal in the 28th minute. Gabriel Agbonlahor put Villa back on level terms when his right-footed shot beat goalkeeper Ben Foster.

The second half saw more determination from Villa, but the ball remained in the middle of the park. The match seemed destined for extra time, but for Zigic who haphazardly put the ball in the net in the 82nd minute inviting loud cheers from the home fans.

A day as historic as this for the home side was marred by the crowd frenzy after the full-time whistle, as the fans threw flares and raced on the pitch. The decision of the FA, to penalize Birmingham or not for pitiable crowd control is pending.

Ipswich Town 1-0 West Bromwich Albion

Ipswich Town were the only Championship side left in the Carling Cup Quarter-final draw, and they pulled off a major upset by beating Premier League side West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at home. Coming off a poor league form which saw them lose four successive matches, Ipswich manager Roy Keane blew off some of the ire by winning this one.

The only goal was scored from the penalty spot by Grant Leadbitter for the home team, after Graham Dorrens had felled Carlod Edwards at the edge of the box in the 68th minute. The visitors played throughout with a lack of desire from the players, and they were suitably punished.

Semi Final Draws

The draws for the semi-finals were held later that day. The semi-finals will be held in two legs beginning in January. The draws are as follows:

Ipswich Town vs Arsenal

West Ham United vs Birmingham City

The first leg will be held on 10th January, and the second leg on 24th January.

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Aastha Dua

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