Arsenal’s strikers put pressure on goal-shy Aubameyang as Foden and Minamino get up and running, but Man United’s second string flopped… the WINNERS and LOSERS from this week’s Carabao Cup action
- This week’s Carabao Cup third round action saw some shock midweek results
- Manchester United lost at home to West Ham while Everton crashed out to QPR
- Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City eased through to the fourth round
- Tottenham and Chelsea were taken the distance by Premier League sides
- Sportsmail looks at the winners and losers from this week’s cup action
Fifty-five goals, penalty shootouts galore and Premier League sides crashing out – who said the Carabao Cup was boring?
This week’s third-round action, which saw the English sides competing in Europe enter the competition, certainly did not disappoint. Manchester United and Everton were stung by West Ham and QPR respectively, Tottenham and Chelsea were taken the distance – while Manchester City and Brentford hit a combined total of 13 goals.
There were also comfortable victories for Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester while lower league sides Sunderland, Preston and Stoke City are flying the flag for the EFL clubs in the last-16 stage of the competition.
With plenty of action to cover, Sportsmail looks at the winners and losers from this week’s round three action…
This week saw some dramatic Carabao Cup action including West Ham’s win at Man United
Another shock result saw QPR dump out Everton on penalties in the competition’s third round
Arsenal’s strikers put pressure on Aubameyang
What an easy night for Arsenal. A 3-0 victory over AFC Wimbledon, 10 changes made to the Premier League side and Bernd Leno was not tested once in the Gunners goal.
But while their third round tie was a stroll in the park, Mikel Arteta would have been delighted with the free-scoring nature of his side on Wednesday night.
Gunners captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, rested for the Emirates clash on Wednesday, has not been his usual self over the past 12 months, with the former Premier League Golden Boot winner scoring just 11 top-flight goals since September 2020.
Alex Lacazette scored for Arsenal to raise the pressure on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang has been short of goals recently and the Arsenal captain is now under pressure
Now the Gabon forward must be concerned after watching Alex Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah find the net against the Dons, as the pressure on the 32-year-old’s squad status intensifies.
Lacazette, who is yet to start a Premier League game for the Gunners this season, opened the scoring for Arsenal on Wednesday night by converting from the penalty spot, before Nketiah rounded off the scoring by flicking home late on with a clever finish.
Nketiah and Lacazette were deemed forgotten men at Arsenal at the start of this season, but Wednesday night shows they could yet have good seasons after all.
Fellow Gunners striker Eddie Nketiah also found the net in a 3-0 victory over AFC Wimbledon
Foden up and running at the right time
Another player making a slow start to the season is Manchester City’s Phil Foden, with an injury picked up at Euro 2020 delaying any good form he was hoping to achieve this campaign.
But the 21-year-old appears to have turned a corner after putting in a man-of-the-match display in City’s 6-1 win over Wycombe.
With Pep Guardiola’s side 1-0 down to the League One side, Foden set up Kevin de Bruyne’s equaliser before smashing in a long-range thunderbolt to put his side 3-1 up for his first of the season.
Phil Foden got his Manchester City season up and running in a 6-1 victory over Wycombe
Foden then went on to set up Ferran Torres’ goal for 4-1 to cap off an excellent display for the England man, who is now up and running at an important time for City.
Following the club’s failed attempt to sign Harry Kane and a 0-0 draw with Southampton raising concerns about a lack of attacking options at the Etihad Stadium, Foden needs to become an attacking influence to support the likes of Gabriel Jesus and an out-of-form Raheem Sterling.
Guardiola’s men face a crucial week with daunting trips to Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool. Anything close to some replica performances from Foden would help the Premier League champions out massively.
Foden scored a long-range howitzer and set up two more goals in the Etihad Stadium win
West Ham show they DO have squad depth
There was some concern at the start of the season about West Ham’s squad depth ahead of their first season of European group stage action to deal with.
At the start of the season, goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was the only new face and many predicted that David Moyes’ side would struggle with the workload as they combine the task of improvement in the domestic competitions with Thursday night European action.
But the signings of Kurt Zouma, Nikola Vlasic and Alex Kral have helped ease the pressure on the squad and a near-flawless start to the season shows they are capable of handling the trials and tribulations.
West Ham made 10 changes for their Old Trafford win as their good start to the term continues
Wednesday night’s 1-0 victory at Manchester United came after Moyes made 10 changes to his side, with Jarrod Bowen the only player who began last Sunday’s 2-1 defeat by the Red Devils on Sunday.
The Hammers took an early lead through Manuel Lanzini and were very much in control of the tie against a much changed Man United team. Moyes’ men managed to limit the Red Devils to a handful of chances overall, including very few in the second half.
West Ham will need the squad depth as their Europa League endeavors impact their team, but their second string side have shown they can deliver on the biggest of stages.
David Moyes will be thrilled that his back-up players are capable of competing at a high level
Minamino gets chance to impress
Life has not exactly got well for Takumi Minamino so far at Liverpool.
The Japanese forward went into the Reds’ 3-0 Carabao Cup win at Norwich with just four Liverpool goals to his name despite joining the club at the start of 2020. A loan spell with Southampton at the back end of last season threatened to spell the end of his time at Anfield.
But the 26-year-old added two more to his Liverpool goal tally at Carrow Road to breathe life into his Reds career again. Minamino showed an excellent poacher’s instinct for his first goal before showing patience and precision for his second after half-time.
Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino put a poor spell behind him by netting twice in a win at Norwich
The Japanese striker is yet to play a single minute of Premier League football for the Reds this season but has now thrown himself into the picture to start more games for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Injury problems for Roberto Firmino have slowed his start to the season and with the goals drying up for Diogo Jota in recent weeks, Minamino has done his chances of making a name for himself at Anfield the world of good.
Man United’s second string flop
Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup clash with West Ham was a massive opportunity for some of Manchester United’s players to make a name for themselves.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Premier League line-ups are pretty consistent in terms of personnel, meaning this was a rare chance for some of the Red Devils’ stars to put themselves in contention for more action.
But Man United’s stand-ins flopped massively at Old Trafford on Wednesday and Solskjaer is well within his rights to go back to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane in his bid to get better results.
Manchester United’s stand-in players failed to deliver in their 1-0 defeat by West Ham
Donny van de Beek missed his chance to deliver in a rare start in midfield while Alex Telles was easily beaten for West Ham’s goal in the 1-0 defeat, before being hauled off in the second-half. The left back is very much behind Luke Shaw in the pecking order.
Going forward, Jadon Sancho could not get off the mark for United as his poor start to the campaign carries on following his £73m move from Borussia Dortmund, while Anthony Martial looks no closer to working his way back into favour under Solskjaer.
United need a trophy this season following a brilliant transfer window and pressure is growing on Solskjaer. But the club’s back-up options have blown one of four chances this season, they cannot afford many more slip-ups.
Jadon Sancho (left) and Anthony Martial (right) are struggling for goals at the moment
Rafa struggling to turn the trophyless tide at Everton
Speaking of trophy droughts, Everton’s long wait for any form of title does not look like evaporating any time soon.
Rafa Benitez was brought in to change the record after helping the likes of Valencia, Liverpool, Chelsea and Napoli to domestic and European titles.
But defeat by QPR on penalties on Tuesday night means any Carabao Cup hopes are gone and Benitez will need to mastermind a FA Cup victory if he wants to win silverware this term.
A strong Everton side blew the chance of another trophy shot by going out to second tier QPR
What is very much concerning for Benitez’s Everton is the side who lost at the home of the Championship side was a strong team that indicated a willingness to take the competition seriously.
The likes of Lucas Digne, Andros Townsend and Salomon Rondon, tasked with goalscoring responsibilities while Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are out injured, all started at Loftus Road but failed to inspire a win for the Toffees.
Everton started the season brightly but after a heavy defeat at Aston Villa, injuries and over-reliance on key players, the pressure is building for Spanish boss Benitez after being dumped out of the cup.
Chilwell can’t catch a break
It was meant to be the summer of Ben Chilwell’s life but it turned out to be anything but that.
The left-back was picked for Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020 but was one of a small group of players who didn’t kick a ball at the tournament.
Ben Chilwell (right) failed to deliver in his long-awaited return to the Chelsea line-up
Now Chilwell is behind Marcos Alonso in the left wing-back pecking order at Chelsea, but Wednesday’s Carabao Cup clash with Aston Villa was his chance to remind everybody what he has.
But the 24-year-old’s long-awaited return to the Chelsea starting line-up was a disaster from start to finish. Blues boss Thomas Tuchel was out of his chair within minutes to berate Chilwell for a slack pass early on.
After allowing a cross from the right to meet the head of Cameron Archer for Villa’s equaliser, the left-back ended the match by missing a penalty in the shootout victory for Chelsea.
The left-back (right) was berated by Thomas Tuchel (left) just minutes into his return
Any signs that Chilwell could return to the Chelsea line-up ahead of a big few weeks, where they face Manchester City, Juventus and have a first Premier League west London derby with Brentford, now appear to be non-existent.
The left-back just cannot catch a break at the moment.
Nuno forced to use big names in a big week
The Carabao Cup was probably at the bottom of Nuno Espirito Santo’s priorities this week.
Tottenham are going through an inquest after their 3-0 defeat by Chelsea last weekend and take on Arsenal in Sunday’s north London derby. Spurs also have a Europa Conference League clash against Mura next week, which they need to win if they have any hopes of winning that competition.
Nuno Espirito Santo was forced to use his key players in Tottenham’s shootout win over Wolves
Spurs picked the likes of Harry Kane (left) and Son Heung-min (second right) on Wednesday
But Nuno’s team selection for their penalty shootout victory at Wolves has stretched Spurs’ very thin squad even further.
The north London side have injuries to Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura but Harry Kane started at Molineux and Son Heung-min had to come on to salvage a result on the hour mark.
The use of big names in this competition is not what the Spurs manager needs ahead of a crucial game at Arsenal on Sunday, with the Gunners resting their key stars for their win over AFC Wimbledon.
Injuries and absences have been the name of the game for Spurs so far this season, and while they should be aiming to win this competition to end their 13-year trophy drought, Nuno could be more streetwise in his team selection.
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