Stevens and Maguire on target, Everton dumped and Man City hit six

Carabao Cup round-up

PRESTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: Sean Maguire of Preston North End celebrates with team mates after scoring their side's third goal during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Preston North End and Cheltenham Town at Deepdale Stadium on September 21, 2021 in Preston, England. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

Preston 4 Cheltenham 1

Sean Maguire and Emil Riis struck late as Preston put the seal on a 4-1 win over Cheltenham in the Carabao Cup.

It was the first ever meeting between the two teams and a first appearance in a Preston shirt for Connor Wickham but his debut lasted only seven minutes before he limped off the park, replaced by Maguire.

Despite few early chances, Preston’s Riis always looked a threat. With his team-mates looking to find him at every opportunity, he was disappointed with an air-shot on the volley with his first real effort after being found by Maguire.

When Joe Rafferty had a drive parried by Owen Evans just before the half-hour – followed by a flurry of other chances – it looked like the pattern of the night may be set.

And that was reaffirmed only a minute later when North End’s Andrew Hughes nodded home the opener from Ben Whiteman’s in-swinging corner.

They added a second 10 minutes later when captain Greg Cunningham swung in a ball that fell at the feet of Rafferty who managed to poke it into the bottom corner from close range.

Just before half-time Whiteman should have made it three in a move that started when Cheltenham’s Dylan Barkers was shrugged off the ball and Whiteman fired just wide after a deflection.

Another debutant in Preston’s Ali McCann was immaculate, the home faithful purring with his quick feet and sharp movement in the middle of the park transferring his form south of the border from St Johnstone.

As the game was drifting towards an inevitable conclusion, out of nowhere the Robins gave themselves a shot.

Kyle Vassell had been on the pitch only three minutes when he pounced on a loose ball and smashed a volley into the roof of the net from the angle.

And the number nine, who enjoyed an earlier spell at Blackpool, was thriving and two near misses and a pinpoint through ball later he had revived the Robins who were much improved in the final third.

But the Championship side responded with Maguire, Whiteman and Riis all going close before the former drilled into the bottom corner on the turn to send North End into the next round.

Riis then underlined the gap in divisions between the sides by driving a high-quality finish into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Sheffield United 2 Southampton 2 (AET Southampton win 4-2 on pens)

Fraser Forster was Southampton’s penalty hero as Saints edged past Sheffield United to reach the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

The big goalkeeper saved spot kicks from Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie as the Premier League club progressed 4-2 on penalties, following a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes at Bramall Lane.

Enda Stevens marked his return from injury and first appearance of the season with the opening goal after eight minutes but strikes from Ibrahima Diallo and Mohammed Salisu turned the game on its head.

McBurnie levelled things up for the Championship side and a superb save from Wes Foderingham to deny Che Adams late on saw the tie go to penalties.

Foderingham also saved a penalty from Armando Broja in the shoot-out but it was not enough for the Blades, with Brewster and McBurnie missing either side of the on-loan Chelsea youngster’s kick.

Lyanco made his debut for a much-changed Southampton side. The Brazilian defender was one of nine changes made by Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, with only Nathan Redmond and Oriol Romeu retained from the team that started Saturday’s goalless draw at Manchester City.

The Blades made 11 changes, with recent signing Adlene Guedioura named in the starting line-up for his full debut. Left-back Stevens made his first appearance of the season after recovering from a knee injury.

United beat Southampton en route to the semi-finals in 2014 under Nigel Clough, and history looked to be repeating itself early on.

Jayden Bogle got free down the right and his low cross into the penalty area was steered into the bottom corner by Stevens.

Guedioura lifted a shot over the crossbar after some good work by Iliman Ndiaye as the hosts looked to double their advantage.

Southampton got themselves back on level terms midway through the first half when Diallo headed home Romeu’s cross to make it 1-1 with his first goal for Saints.

It should have been 2-1 to the Blades but, after doing all the hard work by getting passed his marker down the left side of the penalty area, Ndiaye got his angles wrong and rolled his shot wide of the far post.

Hasenhuttl brought on Ward-Prowse for the second half, with Redmond making way at half-time.

Ward-Prowse was quickly involved as he linked up down the right with Yan Valery, whose cross was turned in from close range by Salisu to give the visitors the lead.

It was level again before the midway point of the second half as McBurnie scored at the far post with a lovely finish on the volley from Ben Osborn’s cross after Southampton had been guilty of over-playing in defence.

Foderingham produced a great save to deny Adams from point-blank range with six minutes remaining, before Southampton won the shoot-out.

Man City 6 Wycombe 1

Cole Palmer’s first senior goal for Manchester City put the final flourish on a comfortable 6-1 Carabao Cup win over Wycombe as key players shook off some rust and young debutants made their mark.

Sky Bet League One side Wycombe snatched a shock 22nd-minute lead through Brandon Hanlan but that was a distant memory by the final whistle, with Riyad Mahrez scoring twice alongside strikes from Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Ferran Torres to banish some frustrations from Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Southampton.

Guardiola had promised to give youngsters their chance as injuries hit ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Chelsea, but though he was true to his word there was a clear imbalance in the side he fielded to begin the pursuit of a fifth straight League Cup.

Five teenagers – Conrad Egan-Riley, Finley Burns, Luke Mbete, Josh Wilson-Ebrand and Romeo Lavia – started, but all in defensive roles, while captain De Bruyne led a powerful attacking unit also comprising Foden, Mahrez, Torres, and Raheem Sterling.

The early signs were promising but there was plenty of rust too – Sterling, Foden and Torres were all guilty of taking too long when finding space in the box.

At the other end, Wycombe’s veteran powerhouse Adebayo Akinfenwa looked ready to feast on City’s young back four – none of them born when the 39-year-old was collecting his first honours in Lithuanian football.

The threat from set-pieces was obvious, and Wycombe took the lead when City failed to deal with a 22nd-minute corner.

American goalkeeper Zack Steffen – fit to start after recovering from Covid-19 – could only punch the ball as far as Sulley Kaikai, whose shot was deflected, spinning into the path of Ryan Tafazolli who squared it for Hanlan to side-foot home.

City were level seven minutes later. It started with superb work from Foden in midfield, side-stepping two before hitting a defence-splitting pass to De Bruyne on the left, with the Belgian calmly passing the ball into the far corner of the net.

Guardiola’s side were getting into a groove as the manager enthusiastically applauded the efforts of his younger players pushing forward. Sterling and then Mahrez both bent shots on to posts before two quick goals put them in control before the break.

Mahrez got the first with a crisp finish, but much of the credit belonged to the young Wilson-Ebrand, who teased Wycombe full-back Jason McCarthy before pulling an inviting ball back to the penalty spot.

And moments later Foden underlined City’s superior class, collecting a short corner and unleashing a thunderbolt from 25 yards, leaving David Stockdale unable to do more than help the ball in.

City’s teenagers might have been grateful to see Akinfenwa withdrawn just after the hour, replaced by Sam Vokes, but Wycombe could still threaten and Steffen did well to close down and block Jordan Obita’s shot.

But City effectively killed the tie off moments later as Torres capped a sweeping move, side-footing home as Foden sent a low ball across goal.

It was the Spaniard’s last touch – with Guardiola already preparing a double substitution which saw him replaced by Palmer while another teenager, Jason McAtee, became the sixth debutant on the night in place of Wilson-Esbrand.

QPR 3 Everton 2

Everton crashed out of the Carabao Cup after losing on penalties to Sky Bet Championship side QPR.

After the 90 minutes ended 2-2, Rangers scored all their spot-kicks, prevailing 8-7 in the shoot-out.

Defender Jimmy Dunne thumped in the winning penalty after Tom Davies’ kick had been saved by goalkeeper Seny Dieng.

In an entertaining third-round tie, Charlie Austin netted twice for QPR in the first half, opening the scoring and then restoring their lead after Lucas Digne’s equaliser.

Andros Townsend hauled Everton level again a couple of minutes into the second half.

The experienced Austin led the line superbly for Rangers and gave them a deserved lead in the 18th minute.

After Ilias Chair and Chris Willock combined nicely on the left, Sam McCallum’s cross was palmed by keeper Asmir Begovic towards Austin, who headed in from close range.

Everton then had to withstand more pressure as QPR dominated. But the Premier League team were gifted a chance to equalise when Yoann Barbet’s slip let in Alex Iwobi, who was denied by Dieng.

Shortly afterwards, on the half-hour mark, Everton did draw level.

Digne drifted in from the left and met Townsend’s ball into the box with a first-time strike which beat Dieng at his near post.

But Austin restored QPR’s lead with a glancing header into the far corner of the net four minutes later.

Chair swung the ball in from the left and Austin got in front of Ben Godfrey to score his second goal of the night and third of the season.

However, for all Rangers’ enterprising football under boss Mark Warburton, they have often been vulnerable at the back.

Their defensive shortcomings were evident again when they made a mess of trying to clear Andre Gomes’ low corner and Townsend was able to hook the ball home from the edge of the six-yard box.

Everton came on strong in the final stages of the 90 minutes and appealed in vain for a penalty when Abdoulaye Doucoure went down under a challenge from Rob Dickie as he tried to reach Jonjoe Kenny’s cross.

Michael Keane then missed a great chance for the visitors, heading over when unmarked shortly after coming on as a substitute.

In the shoot-out, Mason Holgate, Keane, Townsend, Demarai Gray, Anthony Gordon, Doucoure and Godfrey all scored for Everton.

For Rangers, Austin, Dominic Ball, Barbet, Willock, Albert Adomah, former Everton youngster Stephen Duke-McKenna and Luke Amos, who was making his return after a long-term knee injury, all converted before Dunne clinched victory.

At 6-6, Dieng saved Godfrey’s kick but was deemed to have moved too soon, and the defender put away the retaken penalty.

But there was no doubt about Dieng’s subsequent save from Davies – or Dunne’s emphatic strike.

The fifth goal came from familiar sources with De Bruyne releasing Sterling to pull the ball back for Mahrez to bag his second of the night.

But the biggest cheer came in the 89th minute as Palmer got City fans off their feet. The 19-year-old picked up the ball inside his own half and ran at the tiring Wycombe defence before curling a shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net – the highlight of an encouraging night for City’s future.


Norwich 0 Liverpool 3

Brentford 7 Oldham 0

Burnley 4 Rochdale 1

Fulham 0 Leeds 1

Preston 4 Cheltenham 1

Watford 1 Stoke 3

Wigan 0 Sunderland 2