Twelve English football teams were in action on the evening of Wednesday 21st September 2011, to compete in the Third round of the 2011/12 Carling Cup competition.
Brighton 1-2 Liverpool
Steven Gerrard returned to competitive action for the first time in six months, as Liverpool collected a 2-1 away victory at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Criag Bellamy who returned to Liverpool from Manchester City on a free deadline-day transfer, opened the scoring on 7 minutes, but the result was never secured until the 81st minute when Dirk Kuyt added a second. The two goal margin was needed when, in the 90th minute, Brighton won a penalty, which was converted by Barnes. Despite getting a goal back, and playing some good football throughout, Liverpool played out the remaining time for a deserved win which puts them into Round Four.
Cardiff 2-2 Leicester (Cardiff win 7-6 on pens)
Cardiff and Leicester cities played out a thrilling match in Wales, as, following a 2-2 draw, and a goalless period of extra time, Cardiff went through after winning a shootout 7-6.
Cardiff had taking the lead on 33 minutes through Cowie but Howard levelled the half-time scores at 1-1 with a goal coming on 40 minutes.
In the second half, Leicester City took the lead, through Dyer on 66 minutes, but the home side were equal to that, adding a goal of their own through Gestede on 82 miutes, setting up a tense final ten minutes of normal time, which failed to produce any further goals.
In a very even contest, Extra Time was unable to split the two sides, so the dreaded penalty shootout began. 12 penalties in a row found the target, before Leicester’s Gelson Fernandes missed with a high shot flying over the bar, setting up Cardiff’s Paul Quinn to hammer home the winning strike and cue celebrations from the Welshmen in blue.
Chelsea 0-0 Fulham (Chelsea win 4-3 on pens)
Chelsea had a local derby with near-neighbours, Fulham FC in their Third Round fixture, which went right to the wire following a 0-0 draw. Chelsea eventually won 4-3 in a penalty shootout.
Chelsea had been forced to play for more than an hour with ten men after Alex was sent off for a professional foul – which resulted in a penalty – in the first minute of the second half. Pajtim Kasami stepped up to hit the spot-kick, but the ball struck the crossbar and bounced clear. The score remained locked at 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes, and, despite Fulham’s numerical advantage, there was to be no change after half an hour of Extra time.
Chelsea then just edged the shootout between these considerably second string teams. Lampard missed for Chelsea, as did Moussa Dembele for Fulham, before Fulham’s new centre forward, Bryan Ruiz, saw his spot-kick bounce off the underside of the bar, onto the goal-line, then out, giving Chelsea the victory.
Everton 2-1 West Brom (After Extra Time)
A period of Extra Time was also needed to split the two Premier League sides, Everton and West Brom at Goodison Park, where the home side managed to come through with a 2-1 victory.
West Brom had taken the lead in the 53rd minute, when Brunt scored a penalty, and this goal looked like taking the Baggies, slightly against the run of play, through to the next round, until Fellaini scored a last minute equaliser with the clock reading 89 to set up an additional 30 minutes of cup football. Fellaini had struck a fine shot home from the edge of the area, sending home fans, some of whom were heading for the exits, into celebrations.
Phil Neville provided a touch of class to curl the winning goal into the top corner from ditance on 103 minutes, a goal to which West Brom could find no answer.
Man City 2-0 Birmingham
Another old head proved to be cooler than most, as Owen Hargreaves marked his return to first team football in Manchester – albeit in a different coloured shirt – with a fine goal. The naturalised Englishman hammered home the first of two goals which helped Man City through to Round Four with a 2-0 victory over last year’s League Cup champs, Birmingham.
Hargreaves slammed home from 22 yards, showing that his shooting power has not been diminished by his extended layoff from the game, on 17 minutes. Balotelli added a second on 38 minutes making the half time score 2-0 to City, a score-line that would persist throughout the second half.
Southampton 2-1 Preston
Southampton continued their fine form, which has seen them burst to the top of the Championship with their best season start for many a year, with a 2-1 victory over Preston at St Mary’s.
Hooiveld got the hosts off the mark with a 27th minute strike, but Preston found their way back into the match with a 52nd minute goal coming from Barton.
Southampton prevented any extra time, however, when Lallana‘s 66th minute goal took the score to 2-1, as the match finished.
Carling Cup 2011/12 Results, Wednesday 21 September 2011
- Brighton 1-2 Liverpool
- Cardiff 2-2 Leicester (Cardiff win 7-6 on pens)
- Chelsea 0-0 Fulham (Chelsea win 4-3 on pens)
- Everton 2-1 West Brom (After Extra Time)
- Man City 2-0 Birmingham
- Southampton 2-1 Preston