The third round of Carling Cup continues on Wednesday night and some memorable moments occurred on the day especially for Manchester City fans as they witnessed the return of injury plagued Owen Hargreaves, who made a memorable comeback with a special goal.
The ex Manchester United player’s goal helped his team to beat the Cup’s defending Champion, Birmingham City, a result which was followed by other top premiership sides, Liverpool and Chelsea, who were victorious as well.
At Etihad Stadium, the match pretty much set up as a special day for Hargreaves, who finally managed to get decent playing time in after around three years’ struggling with injuries at Old Trafford. Having around 55 minutes playing time, the former Bayern Munich man repaid the rich club’s trust with a wonderful goal from outside of the penalty area, curling a vicious strike that slammed Birmingham’s net 17 minutes after the kick of.
Troubling striker, Mario Balotelli added City’s lead few minutes before the first half ended after steering Alexander Kolarov’s cross into the corner of Colin Doyle’s goal, who can’t really do anything about it. The Italian international’s goal pretty much sealed the match for the home team as the second hlaf didn’t produce anymore goal scoring action, allowing the Eastlands to advance from the third round without much trouble.
Meanwhile, Liverpool who had pretty disappointing results in the league recently managed to restore some confidence after picking up a 2-1 victory over home team, Brighton at Amex Stadium. Summer signing, Craig Bellamy opened the scoring for the visitor after only seven minutes with a fine finish despite shooting from a tight angle. Dirk Kuyt secured the Reds victory nine minutes from time but things got a bit tense in the final minutes when the home team pulled a goal back from Ashley Barnes’ spot kick in the 90th minute.
At Stamford Bridge, playing plenty second string players, Chelsea managed to escape Fulham’s challenge in the Cup but not without a fight as the match was resolved by penalty shoot out after both teams ending the 90 minutes plus extra time in a stalemate. The visitor actually had a very good chance in stealing the game in the first 90, if only Pjatim Kasami didn’t missed the spot kick that was awarded to his team in the start of the second half.
Two spot kick misses from Moussa Dembele and Byran Ruiz in the shoot out were the ones penalizing Fulham as Chelsea only failed to convert one penalty, which surprisingly happened to Frank Lampard. It might not be an unconvincing outcome for the home team but still an important result which can be used to regain their motivation after suffering a defeat against Manchester United in the league last weekend.
Carling Cup Third Round Results on Wednesday:
Brighton 1-2 Liverpool
Cardiff 2-2 Leicester – Cardiff win 7-6 on penalties
Chelsea 0-0 Fulham – Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties
Everton 2-1 West Brom – After Extra Time
Man City 2-0 Birmingham
Southampton 2-1 Preston
photo credit: Manchester City FC – Official