Hargreaves leads City to win

2011-09-21 23:12

London - Debutant Owen Hargreaves scored his first goal for more than three years and Mario Balotelli grabbed his first of the season as Manchester City beat holders Birmingham City 2-0 in a League Cup third round tie at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Liverpool, who have won the competition a record seven times, welcomed back skipper Steven Gerrard as a late substitute after six months out with a groin injury with a 2-1 away win at Championship (second division) side Brighton & Hove Albion.

Chelsea progressed under dramatic circumstances against Fulham in west London after Fulham's Pajtim Kasami missed a second half penalty, awarded after Alex, who was sent off, brought down Kerim Frei. The match eventually finished goalless after extra time with the Blues winning the subsequent penalty shoot-out 4-3.

Hargreaves, making his debut for City, scored their opener after 17 minutes with a rasping shot from outside the penalty area, his first goal since April 2008 when he scored Manchester United's winner in a 2-1 victory over Arsenal.

Hargreaves last played a full 90 minutes of competitive soccer exactly three years ago on September 21 2008, but has battled back to fitness after a series of career-threatening injuries.

Balotelli virtually wrapped up the victory with a low strike after 38 minutes, sending Birmingham, fielding just Keith Fahey from the side that won the trophy last season, out of the competition.

Liverpool endured a tough match on the south coast against Gus Poyet's championship high fliers, but an early goal from Craig Bellamy, and a second from Dirk Kuyt after 81 minutes put them in control. Ashley Barnes replied for Brighton with a 90th minute penalty.

In other matches Southampton beat Preston North End 2-1, Everton needed extra time beat West Bromwhch Albion 2-1 and Cardiff City beat Leicester City 7-6 on penalties after the two sides were level at 2-2 after extra time.

English League Cup results on Wednesday:

3rd round

Brighton 1 (Barnes 90-pen) Liverpool 2 (Bellamy 7, Kuyt 81)

Man City 2 (Hargreaves 17, Balotelli 38) Birmingham 0

Southampton 2 (Hooiveld 27, Lallana 66) Preston 1 (Barton 52)

Everton 2  (Fellaini 89, Neville 103) West Brom 1 (Brunt 57-pen) aet

Cardiff 2 (Cowie 33, Gestede 82) Leicester 2 (Howard 40, Dyer 66) aet, Cardiff won 7-6 on penalties

Chelsea 0 Fulham 0 aet, Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties

Played on Tuesday

Aldershot 2 (Rankine 47, Hylton 78) Rochdale 1 (Grimes 45)

Arsenal 3 (Gibbs 33, Oxlade-Chamberlain 58, Benayoun 78) Shrewsbury 1 (Collins 16)

Aston Villa 0 Bolton 2 (Eagles 54, Kakuta 77)

Blackburn 3 (Roberts 44-pen, Rochina 71, Vukcevic 75) Leyton Orient 2 (Mooney 64, Cox 86)

Burnley 2 (Trippier 59, Amougou 89) Milton Keynes Dons 1 (Powell 6)

Crystal Palace 2 (Zaha 18, Andrew 52) Middlesbrough 1 (Zemmama 55)

Leeds 0 Man Utd 3 (Owen 15, 32, Giggs 45)

Nottingham Forest 3 (Findley 46, Derbyshire 66, Tudgay 114) Newcastle 4 (Lovenkrands 39, 60-pen, Simpson 93, Coloccini 120) aet

Stoke 0 Tottenham 0 aet, Stoke won 7-6 on penalties

Wolves 5 (Edwards 3, Hammill 7, Elokobi 38, Spray 77, Guedioura 88) Millwall 0

* Click HERE for the latest English Premier League odds on BET.CO.ZA


  • AjAxxxx - 2011-09-22 08:28

    I am totally convinced that City signed him just to piss off united. And he scores a cracker on his deput. LOL!

      A(N)ON - 2011-09-22 10:08

      Mancini probably did buy him to piss Fergie off but realistically speaking can you see him playing in an important fixture for City this season?

      AjAxxxx - 2011-09-22 10:53

      No. That is exactly why I say, spiteful, pointless signing.

  • Deon - 2011-09-22 11:17

    I don't think so he did it to annoy SAF. Hargreaves offered to play for free and was told he shouldn't do that and can go else where to play. With the 25 man squad rule in place "signing" Hargreaves isn't out of spite. As you should know Hargreaves doesn't fall into the home grown talent bracket and counts as a foreign signing which takes up a position another player could who is younger and fitter could use. After all his speeding Mancini was only able to sign loan players.

      A(N)ON - 2011-09-22 12:34

      Thanks - correct me if I'm wrong but was Hargreaves not and England international

      Bob - 2011-09-22 12:42

      Deon as YOU should know Hargreaves DOES fall into the home grown talent bracket.

      AjAxxxx - 2011-09-22 13:25

      haha. boys. he doesnt count as ''homegrown'' because he spent his earlier years in Germany. Its rediculous that he is not classed as a home grown player, being English and all. Fact is, he isnt homegrown. Didnt spend more than 3 years playing under the age of 21 for a English or a Welsh Club

      Bob - 2011-09-22 14:29

      Ajax, I beg to disagree, the guy played for England you can't get anymore home grown than that.

      AjAxxxx - 2011-09-22 14:43

      You can disagree, but under the new home grown policy, he's not home grown. I fully agree that it is rediculous. Under this policy fabio and rafeal are more English than an actual Englishman!

      Deon - 2011-09-22 19:30

      Thank you Ajaxxx, he was already at Bayern by the time he was 18 so he is classified as a "foreign" player. "A home grown player is defined as one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Welsh Football Association for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21)." In practice this means that Cesc Fabregas, who joined Arsenal when he was 16, counted as one of the Gunners' home-grown quota.

  • Bob - 2011-09-22 12:44

    Enough of this blabber about Hargreaves, we should be talking about my magnificent teams victory over Brighton.

      AjAxxxx - 2011-09-22 13:26

      haha, you're great.

      A(N)ON - 2011-09-22 13:43

      Yeah well done to the (Cess)pool - practically full strength against a team couple hundred places below - what a result!

      Man U - 2011-09-22 14:19

      I suppose it was a surprise win! Or Shocking loss for Brighton

      Bob - 2011-09-22 14:33

      Anon couple of 100 places ? they are near the top of the second division, you know the league the scum were sent to by Dennis Law, I don't know much about it myself it's so long ago Liverpool were in it.

      Deon - 2011-09-22 19:34

      Ya we were sent down to the second division, now it would be the 1st though. Thats a myth; Laws goal didnt send United down. At the start of that final Saturday, we were 21st with 32 points and, in order to stay up, not only needed to beat City but had to hope Birmingham lost; they won; therefore, even if United had beaten City we would still have been relegated.

  • Deon - 2011-09-22 19:18

    Thank you Ajaxx, He sent was already at Bayern by the time he was 18, so he isn't classifed as a homegrown player.

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