Bloomberg News

Liverpool Opens League Cup Defense With Win as United Advances

September 26, 2012

Liverpool beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 to open defense of its League Cup soccer title, while Manchester United defeated Newcastle by the same score to earn a visit to Chelsea in the fourth round.

Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin scored twice as Liverpool rallied for the victory at West Brom last night following Gabriel Tamas’s third-minute opener. Sahin tied it 14 minutes later and got the winner after 82 minutes at the Hawthorns.

The 24-year-old Sahin, who became the youngest player in Germany’s Bundesliga when he appeared for Borussia Dortmund in August 2005 at age 16, was making his third appearance for Liverpool since arriving on a season-long loan from Real Madrid.

“It was an outstanding performance,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told reporters. “It’s great to see the kids playing with confidence.”

Rodgers used the match in England’s second-tier cup competition to give game time to second string players such as Sahin, with midfielder Jordan Henderson the only player in the starting lineup from the team that began a 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United on Sept. 23.

Jerome Sinclair became Liverpool’s youngest player, at 16 years and six days, when he entered the game as a substitute for the last nine minutes.

Liverpool’s record eighth success in the tournament last season couldn’t prevent manager Kenny Dalglish from being replaced by Rodgers during the off-season. First-team coach Steve Clarke also left the Reds to take charge at West Brom and last month guided the Baggies to a 3-0 win over Liverpool on the opening day of the Premier League season.

Swansea Next

Liverpool, which is winless through five league games this season to lie 18th in the 20-team standings, will host Rodgers’s former club Swansea in the last 16.

Anderson opened the scoring for four-time champion Manchester United a minute before half time at Old Trafford and Tom Cleverley made it 2-0 after 58 minutes to get his first senior goal for the club. Substitute Papiss Cisse got Newcastle’s goal four minutes later.

United striker Wayne Rooney returned after sustaining a thing injury a month ago, while midfielder Darren Fletcher began his first match in 10 months for the Red Devils as he continues his comeback from a bowel condition.

“I feel good,” Rooney told reporters. “It’s always difficult in your first game back after a few weeks but it’s great to get the minutes under my belt.”

Arsenal Cruises

England winger Theo Walcott scored twice as Arsenal cruised to a 6-1 home win against Coventry, which is second-to-last in English soccer’s third tier. Olivier Giroud got his first goal for the Gunners since joining in June from Montpellier, which he helped secure a first French league title last season by scoring 21 goals to tie for the most in Ligue 1.

Tottenham won 3-0 at Carlisle and Norwich beat Doncaster 1-0 at home in other matchups between teams from the Premier League and League Two.

Pavel Pogrebnyak scored in the 81st minute as Reading won 3-2 at Queens Park Rangers in a clash between the bottom two clubs in the Premier League.

In the round of 16, Reading will host Arsenal, Tottenham visits Norwich and Southampton travels to Leeds. Sunderland hosts northeast rival Middlesbrough, Bradford travels to Wigan and Aston Villa visits Swindon.

Matches will be played in the week of Oct. 29. The final is scheduled Feb. 23 at Wembley stadium in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dex McLuskey in Dallas at dmcluskey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.


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