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West Brom, Watford out of English League Cup

West Brom, Watford out of English League Cup

LONDON: West Bromwich Albion and Watford were beaten by third-tier opposition in the English League Cup on Tuesday, while fellow Premier League sides Liver­pool and Everton enjoyed big wins in the second round.

Chelsea were pushed hard by third-tier Bristol Rovers before also advancing to the third round, with Stoke City, Crystal Palace, Swansea City and Hull City also progressing.

West Brom lost 4-3 on penalties to League One side Northampton Town following a 2-2 draw and Watford were beaten 2-1 at home after extra time by Gillingham Town.

Northampton famously ousted Liverpool in the 2010-11 competition, but the Reds easily avoided a so-called “giant-killing” this time round by thrashing Burton Albion 5-0.

Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino gave Liverpool a 2-0 halftime lead at Burton before a Tom Naylor own goal and two late strikes by substitute Daniel Sturridge completed the rout.

“This was a very serious, professional display from our side,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told Sky Sports.

“There were nice goals — nothing to criticise. It was humid today — not easy for either team. We gave a few players match-time because that’s important. Some only got minutes in pre-season.”

Everton also had a substitute striker scoring a late double, with Arouna Kone’s goals sealing a 4-0 home win over fourth-tier Yeovil.

Chelsea looked set to cruise into the third round when goals by Michy Batshuayi and Victor Moses gave them a 2-0 lead against Bristol Rovers.

But Peter Hartley pulled one back and although Batshuayi restored the hosts’ two-goal advantage before the interval, Ellis Harrison’s second-half penalty for third-tier Rovers ensured a tense finale.

Devoid of European football this season, Liverpool and Chelsea will likely take the League Cup seriously. They are two of the most successful clubs in the competition’s history, having won it 13 times between them.

The top-flight teams qualified for European competition — Manchester United, holders Manchester City, Arsenal, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton and West Ham United — will all enter the competition in round three.

Elsewhere, Peter Crouch scored a hat trick — including one goal from a scissor kick — in Stoke’s 4-0 win at Stevenage, Oliver McBurnie scored twice on his debut for Swansea in a 3-1 win at Peterborough, Hull beat Exeter 3-1 away and Palace were 2-0 winners at home to Blackpool.

Derby beat Carlisle 14-13 on penalties to equal the most goals scored in a shootout in the competition’s history.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2016

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