Manchester United’s second string overcame the dismissal of Gary Neville to march into the last eight of the Carling Cup thanks to goals in each half from Danny Welbeck and Michael Owen to beat Barnsley 2-0.
Welbeck headed home Anderson’s corner while unmarked in the fifth minute and Owen’s neat finish just before the hour-mark put the holders in the clear in front of a sell-out crowd at Oakwell. Barnsley skipper Stephen Foster hit the angle of post and crossbar in the first half, but even after Neville’s straight red card for a high tackle on Adam Hammill, the Coca-Cola Championship side were unable to bridge the gulf in class.
Frederic Piquionne provided the inspiration as Portsmouth stormed into the quarter-finals by demolishing Stoke 4-0 at Fratton Park. The worst scoring record in the Barclays Premier League may have left Pompey rooted to the foot of the table, but they had few problems hitting the target in the cup. Piquionne struck twice and set up another for Danny Webber before Kanu completed the rout to make it 11 goals from their three matches in the competition so far.
Tom Huddlestone and Robbie Keane got Tottenham dreaming of Carling Cup glory again after reaching the quarter-finals at the expense of Everton 2-0 at White Hart Lane. Spurs reached the final of the competition in the last two seasons, winning it in 2008, and they are two ties from Wembley again after Huddlestone’s thunderbolt volley and Keane following up his own saved penalty. They still needed saves from Heurelho Gomes at the start of each half to extend Everton’s run of matches without a win to five.
Blackburn booked their place in the quarter-finals with a comfortable 5-2 win over 10-man Peterborough at Ewood Park. Peterborough initially made life difficult for their hosts as Chris Whelpdale equalised Martin Gamst Pedersen’s early opener, but goalkeeper Joe Lewis was sent off just before half-time for clattering Pedersen and Steven Reid slotted home the spot-kick. Peterborough managed a second equaliser through George Boyd just after half-time, but Rovers soon made the difference in numbers tell with Michel Salgado, Benni McCarthy and a Nicola Kalinic penalty completing a comprehensive 5-2 victory.
U.S. keeper Brad Guzan was the hero for Aston Villa as they beat Sunderland on penalties at the Stadium of Light. Guzan saved three penalties after the match finished goalless after extra time.