EFL Carabao Cup 2023-24: Manchester United and Arsenal stumble, Liverpool and Chelsea advance
Round-up of EFL Carabao Cup 2023-24 matches including Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Everton's performances, as well as upcoming quarter-final matchups.
Manchester United's defense of the League Cup came to an underwhelming conclusion with a 3-0 home defeat by Newcastle, while Arsenal was outplayed 3-1 at West Ham on Wednesday night. Liverpool overcame Bournemouth 2-1 to advance to the quarter-finals, and Chelsea comfortably saw off Championship side Blackburn 2-0.
Erik ten Hag's and the opposing manager fielded significantly changed line-ups in a repeat of last year's final, where ten Hag's team emerged victorious with a 2-0 win at Old Trafford. Newcastle's depth was on display as they demonstrated dominance over a faltering United, who suffered their eighth defeat in 15 games across all competitions this season, marking their worst start to any campaign since 1962/63. Ten Hag took responsibility for the poor performance, expressing remorse for the below-par standards that led to the defeat and emphasizing the need to rectify the situation.
"This is not good enough. We have to take responsibility, I have to take responsibility," said Ten Hag. "I feel sorry for the fans, it is below our standards and we have to put it right."
Tino Livramento and Lewis Hall, who had been awaiting their chance, shone brightly for Newcastle. Livramento's powerful run set up Miguel Almiron for the opener, followed by Hall's impressive volley from outside the box. Joe Willock's brilliant solo effort further solidified Newcastle's victory and quashed any hopes of a United comeback. Despite eliminating both Manchester City and United, Newcastle's reward is a challenging away fixture against Chelsea in the last eight.
West Ham defeat Arsenal 3-1
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta lamented his decision to leave Declan Rice out during his return to the London Stadium, as the England international was among the star-studded Gunners' bench, which also included Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, and William Saliba.
Aaron Ramsdale, given a rare start after being dropped in favor of David Raya, experienced a forgettable night in goal for Arsenal. Ben White inadvertently headed Jarrod Bowen's dangerous in-swinging corner into his own net just 16 minutes into the game, resulting in an early setback.
The situation worsened as Mohammed Kudus extended West Ham's lead to 2-0 on the 50-minute mark with a skillful touch and a precise finish from Nayef Aguerd's long pass.
Rice was later brought into the game, receiving a varied response from the West Ham supporters. However, any possibility of an Arsenal comeback was dashed by Bowen's strike from the edge of the box, a shot that Ramsdale should have ideally saved.
Arteta shouldered responsibility for the defeat, acknowledging that Arsenal's exit from the cup was a result of their desire to play a different style of game.
In the dying moments of stoppage time, Martin Odegaard managed to secure a consolation goal for Arsenal, but it was too little, too late, extending Arsenal's 30-year wait to win the League Cup.
Liverpool, Chelsea progress
Liverpool had to overcome a determined effort from Bournemouth amid challenging weather conditions brought on by Storm Ciaran at the Vitality Stadium. Despite the adversity, Justin Kluivert managed to equalize Cody Gakpo's opener with his first goal for Bournemouth. However, it was the introduction of Darwin Nunez from the bench that tilted the balance, as he secured victory with a spectacular long-range strike.
Liverpool's manager, Jurgen Klopp, acknowledged the arduous journey back north by bus due to the stormy weather but found solace in the team's progress to the next round. Klopp expressed that while it would be a long trip, advancing to the next stage made it a more satisfying journey home.
In the quarter-finals, Liverpool is set to host West Ham next month.
Chelsea secured a rare home win under Mauricio Pochettino to advance to the last eight, with goals from Benoit Badiashile and Raheem Sterling.
Everton's positive run continued with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Burnley. On a night marked by remembrance for the late former chairman Bill Kenwright, goals from James Tarkowski, Amadou Onana, and Ashley Young sealed the win for the Toffees.
Fulham secured their spot in the next round by avoiding an upset and triumphing 3-1 against Championship high-flyers Ipswich. Their win ensures they will travel to Goodison Park to face Everton in the subsequent round.
The League One side Port Vale is set to host Middlesbrough in the other quarter-final fixture.