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Page last updated at 22:05 GMT, Wednesday, 22 September 2010 23:05 UK

Carling Cup as it happened


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By Jonathan Stevenson

2300: With the mental picture of the Cobblers chairman dancing in his car fresh in my mind, I feel that's a pretty good time to wrap up a sensational evening of English cup action. Northampton beat Liverpool on penalties, Newcastle won a thriller at Chelsea and Man City were dumped out too. The League Cup Show is on BBC One and online at 2330 BST (that's half an hour) and Chris Bevan is back on Saturday for more Premier League action. Wow.

Northampton chairman David Cardozo: "I'm in the car park at Anfield, drenched in rain, preparing to drive back home and I'll have a good dance in the car. I thought we were the better side for long periods, the fans were amazing and did us proud and hopefully we did them proud too. I think this has got to be the greatest night in our club's history."

From Ian, Winchester, via text: "Liverpool fan here who probably snapped his cruciate ligament earlier today playing 5-a-side. What a night. Pass the morphine..."
Cor, how's your luck? Wish you a speedy recovery, pal

From OptaJoe on Twitter: "Newcastle ended a run of 30 domestic cup games unbeaten at home for Chelsea... Northampton Town have reached the fourth round of the League Cup for the first time since 1966."

2249: On Saturday, Northampton take on Bradford as 17th plays 19th in League Two. At the same time, Liverpool will be playing Sunderland in the Premier League. Whatever team the Reds picked tonight, this result almost defies belief.

From BarcaGooner on 606: "Sad to see how much LFC has sunk. The fans deserve better, but I can't see things getting better with no buyer, no cash to spend and no young talent coming through. It may take a few years of patient rebuilding and low expectations to resurrect the club."

From Karl, Northampton, via text: "I'm shaking. I'm so happy, I'm actually shaking. This is so surreal."

2242: The Northampton players don't want to leave the Anfield pitch even though it is absolutely bucketing it down in the north-west, and who could blame them? The Cobblers players will go down in history for one of the great results in their club's history, and they are lapping up every single second of the adulation.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Jan Molby: "This was Northampton's night, it was in the stars for this to happen. But for Liverpool to lose, it was absolutely unthinkable before. They were surely always going to make sure they would win this game, weren't they? I think we are seeing the legacy of the Rafael Benitez reign right here, and it's going to take Liverpool a long time to challenge for the top four again."


Liverpool 2-4 Northampton - OSMAN SCORES

2237: If Northampton's Abdul Osman scores, they win...

Liverpool 2-3 Northampton - ECCLESTON MISSES

Liverpool 2-3 Northampton - JACOBS SCORES

Liverpool 2-2 Northampton - AGGER SCORES

Liverpool 1-2 Northampton - DAVIS SCORES

Liverpool 1-1 Northampton - SHELVEY SCORES

Liverpool 0-1 Northampton - THORNTON SCORES

Liverpool 0-0 Northampton - NGOG MISSES

Liverpool 0-0 Northampton - GUINAN MISSES

Someone has won a penalty
2232: Hey gang, we've got a penalty shootout in the third round of the Carling Cup. It's between Liverpool of the Premier League against Northampton of League Two and it's about to take place at Anfield. Here we go...

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Jan Molby: "Roy Hodgson is soaking through, but I think he's probably angrier than he is wet. As for these League Two players, they are absolutely shattered and it will not be easy for them taking penalties at the end of the biggest match of their careers."


2226: By my rudimentary mathematics, we've got a few seconds left of extra-time at Anfield. From a corner, Northampton's Liam Davis somehow manages to head the ball over his own bar.

2224: Twice Martin Kelly hacks brilliantly off the line as Northampton almost go in front yet again. His first one is from Nathaniel Wedderburn and his second from Steve Guinan. Amazing defending.

Liverpool goal: Five minutes away from one of the worst results in their recent history, the Reds might have taken it to penalties. A corner is swung into the Northampton area and after it is headed goalwards by Sotirios Kyrgiakos, David Ngog diverts it with his head and it flies into the Cobblers net.

2222: GOAL Liverpool 2-2 Northampton (Ngog)

From Chris, Washington DC, via text: "As an Everton fan, it was hard to stay positive after yesterday. But this helps."

2219: Roy Hodgson looks on nervously from the touchline at Anfield. He's had a mixed start at the club, but he can ill afford this one the veteran manager. Northampton are almost out on their knees, but Liverpool still cannot find a way through.

2217: Jan Molby on BBC Radio 5 live is wondering why Liverpool didn't play a few of their big guns tonight. Brazilian midfielder Lucas hits one from 25 yards and it flies just wide of Chris Dunn's goal.

From MattSutton91 on Twitter: "Time to start wondering about Hodgson? I'm actually gobsmacked and if we can't beat Northampton then hello Championship."
It's a bad night, but behave.

2212: They don't break for long, back under way at Anfield. Liverpool have 15 minutes left to avoid the most ignominious of all Carling Cup exits.

2210: Half-time in extra-time Liverpool 1-2 Northampton

2209: Jonjo Shelvey has come on for his Liverpool debut and his cross is headed wide by Sotirios Kyrgiakos. Meanwhile, Thomas Ince, son of Paul, comes on for Daniel Pacheco.

From Richard in Cwmbran, via text: "Oh. My. God."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Jan Molby: "Play is going on on the halfway line. What has to happen to Liverpool for them to start to pin Northampton back? They just cannot do it. Ryan Babel's been taken off... don't even ask me to describe his performance. Two months ago he was on the bench for the World Cup final. Dear me."

Northampton goal: Do not adjust your sets, Northampton are indeed winning at Liverpool. Courtney Herbert gets away down the right and flings in a cross that Brad Jones saves, Jones has to be alert to save the follow-up from Kevin Thornton but when the ball finds its way to Michael Jacobs, he slams a shot into the roof of Jones's net. The Cobblers fans go crazy. Absolutely crazy.

2202: GOAL Liverpool 1-2 Northampton (Jacobs)

2200: So, Northampton have made their three changes already, including bringing on ex-Forest and Hereford striker Steve Guinan. Liverpool still have two to make, with Nathan Eccleston on for Milan Jovanovic their only sub at this juncture.

2158: They are back under way at Anfield, by the way. It's Liverpool 1-1 Northampton and it's the only Carling Cup tie third round tie of the night in extra-time.

From BBC Sport's Dan Roan on Twitter: "Supporting Northampton Town has not easy been over the years - but tonight everything is forgiven - come on lads one last push now - believe... Saints top of the league. Cobblers on verge of ridiculous cup shock over Liverpool. Am I dreaming? This simply doesn't happen to Northampton."

2154: Full-time West Brom 2-1 Manchester City

From blueboy83 on 606: "Fair play to Newcastle, they deserved their win overall but I've got to feel a bit proud of the effort of Chelsea team to get back into it at 3-1 down and with 10 men. McEachran looks like he'll turn into a top player."

Full time
2150: Full-time Liverpool 1-1 Northampton
There are a few jeers around Anfield - the closest either team came in injury time was Northampton's Michael Jacobs having an effort cleared away by Martin Kelly. Stay tuned for another half an hour, and possibly penalties.

2147: They are into injury time at Anfield, where League Two Northampton - 17th in League Two, mind - are holding Liverpool. Three minutes of stoppages then we'll have an extra half an hour.

2145: West Brom are still the better of the two teams at The Hawthorns, though Manchester City are doing their utmost to try and get back into it. The visitors have thrown on David Silva and James Milner to that end.

From Phil, via text: "There was a Bebe playing for Man Utd and an Amoebi scored for Newcastle. Remarkable times."

2143: To clarify, then: the two games we are still playing in are Liverpool 1-1 Northampton and West Brom 2-1 Man City. Not long left in those, potential extra-time at Anfield in what could be the story of the night.

2141: Full-time Chelsea 3-4 Newcastle

2140: Paulo Ferreira pumps the ball into the Newcastle box, but Yuri Zhirkov cannot control at the far post and that might be Chelsea's last opportunity.

2139: Full-time Aston Villa 3-1 Blackburn

2138: There are seconds left for Chelsea and Blackburn to keep their Carling Cup hopes alive.

2136: Full-time Scunthorpe 2-5 Manchester United

2136: Full-time Wigan 2-1 Preston

Iron goal: Scunthorpe have had a quiet second half but Martyn Woolford stabs in a consolation to get it back to 5-2. They've got about 10 seconds to score three times to stay in the Carling Cup.

Magpies goal: In the last minute of normal time and seconds after Paulo Ferreira had slashed a shot against the Newcastle post, the visitors might have gone and won it. A corner from the left is met by Shola Ameobi, who glances into the corner of the net. Stunning.

2135: GOAL Scunthorpe 2-5 Manchester United (Woolford)

2135: GOAL Chelsea 3-4 Newcastle (Ameobi)

Wigan goal: Preston have a corner, Wigan break and seconds later the Championship side are in real trouble. Charles N'Zogbia counters with pace, plays a one-two with James McCarthy and fires it home.

2132: GOAL Wigan 2-1 Preston (N'Zogbia)

Chelsea goal: Don't forget, they are playing with 10 men - but the Blues are level. It's a soft penalty as Alex goes down under a challenge from Mike Williamson, but Nicolas Anelka, without any run up or care in the world at all, knocks in his penalty like it's a 5-a-side game.

2130: GOAL Chelsea 3-3 Newcastle (Anelka, penalty)


Wigan goal: Preston have hit the post twice and Wigan do not deserve to be level. Jordi Gomez cuts in from the right and scores at the near post and we might be heading to extra-time there.

2128: GOAL Wigan 1-1 Preston (Gomez)

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Jan Molby: "Since the Northampton goal, they have been all over Liverpool, putting them under all sorts of pressure. They are the better team at the moment, I cannot believe it."

From mcrabb60 on Twitter: "Let's see if Patrick van Aanholt tweets that Chelsea shouldn't have bothered to turn up."

2123: By the way, in among all those goals, a certain Portuguese striker by the name of Bebe stepped out on to the pitch at Glanford Park to make his Manchester United debut.

Villa goals: That's how to wrap a game up in double-quick time. Ashley Young puts Blackburn to bed first by heading in at the near post from Nathan Delfouneso's cross and then by running clear down the left and firing past Mark Bunn. Glee for Gerard Houllier.

2121: GOAL Aston Villa 3-1 Blackburn (Young)

2120: GOAL Aston Villa 2-1 Blackburn (Young)

WBA goal: The game has turned on its head at The Hawthorns. With Manchester City still reeling from the Baggies' equaliser, Simon Cox cuts inside and tucks away a precise shot past Shay Given to give the home side the lead.

2118: GOAL West Brom 2-1 Man City (Cox)

Chelsea goal: Chelsea's 10 men are back in it at Stamford Bridge. Patrick van Aanholt crosses from the left and Nicolas Anelka steers a first-time shot into the far post. Still 20 minutes to go.

Man Utd goal: Ji-Sung Park drives towards the penalty box and after his shot is half-saved by Joe Murphy, who better to have on hand to tap in the follow-up than Michael Owen. 5-1. All gone a bit quiet at Glanford Park.

WBA goal: Shay Given has been impressive for Manchester City tonight but he could do nothing to keep out Gianni Zuiverloon's fierce drive. City players claim Zuiverloon pushed a defender in the build-up but referee Neil Swarbrick is happy for the goal to stand.

Northampton goal: This isn't Cobblers - Northampton are genuinely level at Anfield and the visiting supporters have just gone absolutely mental. Billy Mckay slots in from close-range after being set up by Kevin Thornton and what a shock we could have on our hands.

2114: GOAL Chelsea 2-3 Newcastle (Anelka)

2114: GOAL Scunthorpe 1-5 Manchester United (Owen)

2113: GOAL West Brom 1-1 Man City (Zuiverloon)

2113: GOAL Liverpool 1-1 Northampton (Mckay)

2111: Quick update from Wigan, who are piling on the pressure against Preston but have so far been let down by some poor finishing, with Franco di Santo and Jordi Gomez both making a hash of decent chances. There's a definite edge to the game and Hendry Thomas was just flattened by a meaty challenge. Preston still lead 1-0.

2110: A free-kick hits the Newcastle wall at Chelsea and from the rebound Alex hammers a shot against Tim Krul's right-hand post with the goalkeeper struggling to get across. Seconds later Newcastle's Peter Lovenkrands is fed in by Shola Ameobi, but he screws badly wide from the edge of the box.

2108: Back under way at Liverpool 1-0 Northampton and West Brom 0-1 Man City, not incidentally. Yossi Benayoun limps off at Chelsea and the hosts have made their three changes, so they will play the rest of the game with 10 men, 3-1 down against Newcastle. As if to rub it in, the Magpies promptly make two changes.

2106: Newcastle are doing a cracking job on Chelsea this evening - they have had a fair few chances, have taken three of them and are now breaking the game up to deny the Blues a way back in. Now Yossi Benayoun goes down with an injury - they're dropping like flies.

Villa goal: First Michael Owen, now Emile Heskey... Gerard Houllier probably thinks nothing's changed in English football since he's been away. The Frenchman with the tactical knowhow brings Heskey on for John Carew at Villa and 30 seconds later the big man takes two touches before driving a shot into the Blackburn net.

2104: GOAL Aston Villa 1-1 Blackburn (Heskey)

From Graham in County Durham, via text: "Oh goodness, this is going to lead to more Toon delusion, isn't it?!"

2100: Salomon Kalou is stretchered off at Stamford Bridge, sad scenes there, with 17-year-old Josh McEachran coming on in his place.

2058: Chelsea's Salomon Kalou runs at the Newcastle defence but pulls up suddenly, looks like a hamstring or groin problem and that is bad news for the Ivorian as well as for Carlo Ancelotti, he's been in fine form recently.

Man Utd goal: It's all a little bit too easy for the Premier League side now. A corner from the right is headed back across goal by Michael Owen and it falls at the feet of Park Ji-Sung 16 yards out, the South Korean drilling a low shot into the corner and wrapping things up.

2057: GOAL Scunthorpe 1-4 Manchester United (Park)

Magpies goal: Chelsea's Paulo Ferreira gives the ball away to Shola Ameobi and the Newcastle striker takes it 10 yards before hitting a low 25-yard drive that Ross Turnbull gets his left hand to but cannot prevent from going in. He really should have saved that.

2054: GOAL Chelsea 1-3 Newcastle (Ameobi)

Man Utd goal: Class is permanent and all that chat. Federico Macheda plays Michael Owen through and the striker's pace takes him clear, Owen opening up his body to shoot into the far corner and give Joe Murphy no chance.

2052: GOAL Scunthorpe 1-3 Manchester United (Owen)

From graduatefast on 606: "Bring on Bebe & Obetran for Owen & Park. That way we'll have genuine width and better defensively. With Valencia out we need to push Obertan to perform."

2049: Chelsea bring Alex and Salomon Kalou on at half-time, with John Terry and Gael Kakuta making way. Back under way at Scunthorpe 1-2 Man Utd, Chelsea 1-2 Newcastle and Aston Villa 0-1 Blackburn.

2047: Half-time West Brom 0-1 Man City

2047: Half-time Liverpool 1-0 Northampton

2046: You lot never stop, do you? Back under way at Wigan 0-1 Preston.

From DC, via text: "Come on Stevo, a near second-string Newcastle side at Stamford Bridge and you aren't reporting on the Toon having a few good chances apart from the goals. Pull your finger out son."

2042: Roman Bednar has just wasted a gilt-edged chance for West Brom against Man City, Graham Dorrans floating the ball into the box and the big striker somehow missing the target with a header.

2041: Liverpool are struggling too - that earlier goal from Milan Jovanovic is about the only bit of quality they have produced in the first half against Northampton of League Two. Roy Hodgson is not a happy camper.

2038: Man City are hanging on a bit at The Hawthorns, where Shay Given has just shown he is still match-sharp with a superb double stop, first to keep out Somen Tchoyi's effort and then, seconds later, from Roman Bednar's snap-shot.

2036: Don't be fooled by all those half-time scores, we are very much still in the thick of the action in the Liverpool 1-0 Northampton and West Brom 0-1 Man City matches.

2033: Half-time Aston Villa 0-1 Blackburn

2033: Half-time Scunthorpe 1-2 Manchester United

2033: Half-time Chelsea 1-2 Newcastle

2032: Eddie Nolan lets fly with another powerful 20-yard drive for Scunthorpe, this time Tomasz Kuszczak parrying the ball away and not trying to catch it.

2031: Golden chance for young Federico Macheda at Scunthorpe, but the Man United striker can only head over from a decent Javier Hernandez cross from the left.

2030: Half-time Wigan 0-1 Preston

From PanAtSea on Twitter: "Wouldn't Chris Hughton look amazing dressed as a Roman Centurion? I'm not sure why it struck me or whether it's interesting..."

2026: What the... Now don't get me wrong, Jonathan Forte hits this left foot shot from 20 yards like he means it, but I'm not sure that quite accounts for Tomasz Kuszczak parrying the ball almost into his own net - the Pole is only saved in the end by the bounce of the spinning ball that takes it away from goal. Close run thing.

2024: It's not dull, is it?

Rovers goal: Not the start Gerard Houllier was looking for as Aston Villa boss. Morten Gamst Pedersen's throw-in is only cleared as far as the edge of the area, where Gael Givet is waiting to smash home a superb first-time strike that flies into the bottom corner of the net.

United goal: The noise at Glanford Park just took a massive hit. United work the ball cleverly down their right with Wes Brown feeding Park and the South Korean's cross is converted from close-range by Chris Smalling for his first goal for United.

2021: GOAL Scunthorpe 1-2 Manchester United (Smalling)

2021: GOAL Aston Villa 0-1 Blackburn (Givet)

City goal: Moments after Shay Given saves well from Graham Dorrans, City take the lead. Jo turns smartly on the edge of the area and rifles a low shot past Boaz Myhill to get Roberto Mancini's boys in front.

2019: GOAL West Brom 0-1 Man City (Jo)

2018: Heck of a chance for Scunthorpe, but from a corner from their left Cliff Byrne can only head over at the back post.

Magpies goal: Free-kick, 20 yards out, just left of centre - it's as good as a penalty for a man of Ryan Taylor's calibre. He steps up and rifles a right-foot shot into the left-hand corner of Ross Turnbull's net, giving the keeper very little chance. What a turnaround.

2017: GOAL Chelsea 1-2 Newcastle (Taylor)

From Gurmeet Sahni, London, via text: "So if Bebe gets on the pitch tonight that means Fergie still will not have seen him play..."

2014: Quite an open start to the game at The Hawthorns. West Brom's best effort has seen Somen Tchoi curl a shot narrowly wide, while Man City also went close when Roque Santa Cruz found Jo, and his pull-back just eluded John Guidetti - wearing number 60 tonight - in front of goal.

Magpies goal: The visitors are back on level terms at the Bridge as Shane Ferguson sends over a cross from the left and big Nile Ranger, acrobatically on the slide, forces the ball in at the far post.

2012: GOAL Chelsea 1-1 Newcastle (Ranger)

Reds goal: They haven't started off too well, but Liverpool are in front at home against the League Two side. Milan Jovanovic has scored his first goal for the club from six yards, after a cross from Daniel Agger.

2011: GOAL Liverpool 1-0 Northampton (Jovanovic)

United goal: That didn't last long (three-and-a-half minutes). Chris Smalling plays a long ball over the top and Darron Gibson, inside the area at an angle on the right, lifts a beautiful effort over Joe Murphy and into the net. Great finish, all level now.

2008: GOAL Scunthorpe 1-1 Manchester United (Gibson)

Preston goal: Pretty good few moments for the Championship against the Premier league, you'd have to say. North End get a free-kick 20 yards out and Keith Treacy fires it low into the Wigan net past Ali Al Habsi.

2006: GOAL Wigan 0-1 Preston (Treacy)

Iron goal: Stunning, stunning Scunny. The hosts go in front and they deserve every bit of that lead. Martyn Woolford runs at the United defence down the left and cuts inside - when he gets into the box he meets traffic and lays it back to Josh Wright, the 20-year-old taking a touch and slamming it into the top corner of the net. Sensational.

2004: GOAL Scunthorpe 1-0 Manchester United (Wright)

2001: Chelsea are bossing it at the Bridge without having to play anywhere near at their best and Tim Krul has to be alert to save from Nicolas Anelka at the byeline. At Aston Villa, Blackburn's Mark Bunn saves from Ashley Young.

2001: Under way in the games at Liverpool and West Brom as well now.

From Abu Fahad on 606: "Ramires was mightily impressive against Blackpool. Another solid performance today should mean Lamps remains on the bench at the weekend!"
Bench? Lampard? Are you joking me?

1955: The ball sits up nicely for Josh Wright on the edge of the Man Utd area and he spanks a volley wide of Tomasz Kuszczak's left-hand post. Moments later, Eddie Nolan's drive is beaten away by Kuszczak, good save by the Pole. Very good start from Scunthorpe.

1953: Not long after conceding, Sol Campbell flashes a header wide of the Chelsea goal. There's nothing else happening. It's like Sulzeer Campbell o'clock.

Chelsea goal: First goal of the night goes to the free-scoring Blues, doesn't seem to matter which team they put out. Sol Campbell concedes possession far too easily, Gael Kakuta seizes on to the ball and he squares for Patrick van Aanholt to side-foot with power into the net via Tim Krul.

1951: GOAL Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle (Van Aanholt)

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor: "Scunthorpe have started very well, they aren't giving Manchester United any room on the ball at all. The visitors seem to be playing 4-3-3 instead of 4-4-2, with Michael Owen up top and Federico Macheda on the left and Javier Hernandez on the right."

1948: Ooh, it's a classic cup tie at Glanford Park, cracking noise emanating from the Scunny regulars as they watch their team take on the mighty Manchester United. I wonder where ex-boss Nigel Adkins is watching this?

1946: Here we go - they are under way at Scunthorpe, Chelsea, Wigan and Aston Villa. By the way, if you refresh your page, you will be able to watch a midweek special of Final Score at the top of your page.

From OliverKayTimes on Twitter: "Chelsea sub Nat Chalobah was born in December 1994, the same month that David Beckham scored his 1st goal for MUFC."

1941: Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier marks his first game in charge by making eight changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Bolton at the weekend, bringing in old heads like John Carew and the fit-again Steve Sidwell as well as youngsters like Scottish midfielder Barry Bannan and United States defender Eric Licha. Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce also juggles his squad, making seven changes for the re-run of last season's epic semi-final that Villa won 7-4 on aggregate, and handing Benjani his first Rovers start.

1939: Wigan make six changes for the visit of Preston. Jordi Gomez, Ben Watson and James McArthur come into midfield, while Mauro Boselli starts in attack. Defenders Ronnie Stam and Steven Caldwell are the other two players brought in. Preston make three changes. Danny Mayor comes into midfield in place of Paul Parry, fellow midfielder Paul Coutts starts, with Jon Parkin dropping to the bench, and Chris Brown replaces Paul Hayes in attack.

Liverpool v Northampton line-ups:
Jones, Kelly, Kyrgiakos, Agger, Wilson, Pacheco, Lucas, Spearing, Jovanovic, Babel, Ngog.
Subs: Hansen, Shelvey, Eccleston, Ince, Amoo, Wisdom, Robinson.
Northampton: Dunn, Johnson, Holt, Tozer, Davis, Rodgers, Gilligan, Thornton, Osman, Jacobs, Mckay.
Subs: Walker, Guinan, Wedderburn, Herbert, Harris, Slowe, Kaziboni.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

West Brom v Man City line-ups:
West Brom:
Myhill, Zuiverloon, Meite, Pablo, Shorey, Tchoyi, Reid, Dorrans, Barnes, Bednar, Cox.
Subs: Carson, Olsson, Brunt, Odemwingie, Fortune, Scharner, Jara.
Man City: Given, Vidal, Boyata, Mee, Cunningham, Adam Johnson, Vieira, Ibrahim, Jo, Santa Cruz, Guidetti.
Subs: Taylor, Kompany, Zabaleta, Milner, Silva, Kay, Veseli.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

From Sam, Chicago, via text: "Fifteen-year old Nathaniel Chalobah on Chelsea bench... Could make history for CFC should he appear. Youngest player in history by MANY days if he debuts."

1931: Chelsea retain only midfielder Ramires in their side from Sunday's 4-0 league win over Blackpool. John Terry starts in central defence alongside Jeffrey Bruma, with Patrick van Aanholt at full-back. Gael Kakuta joins Daniel Sturridge and Nicolas Anelka in attack. Newcastle hand a debut to defender Sol Campbell in a side that also sees 10 changes from the weekend. Alan Smith starts in midfield alongside Haris Vuckic, while Nile Ranger and Shola Ameobi spearhead the attack.

Aston Villa v Blackburn line-ups:
Aston Villa:
Guzan, Lichaj, Cuellar, Clark, Warnock, Ashley Young, Reo-Coker, Sidwell, Bannan, Agbonlahor, Carew.
Subs: Friedel, Delfouneso, Davies, Salifou, Heskey, Beye, Osbourne.
Blackburn: Bunn, Chimbonda, Givet, Nelsen, Olsson, Emerton, Nzonzi, Jones, Pedersen, Mwaruwari, Hoilett.
Subs: Fielding, Samba, Kalinic, El-Hadji Diouf, Linganzi, Morris, Mame Diouf.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

1929: Manchester City, semi-finalists in the Carling Cup last year, seem to have Saturday's showdown with Chelsea in mind for their trip to The Hawthorns tonight. Boss Roberto Mancini makes 11 changes from his side's weekend win at Wigan, including a recall for Shay Given in goal and debuts for defensive duo Javan Vidal and Ben Mee as well as 18-year-old Swedish wonderkid John Guidetti in attack. James Milner, Vincent Kompany and David Silva are the big names on the bench. West Brom make 10 changes themselves, with only Nicky Shorey retained.

1927: Michael Owen and Anderson both get their first competitive starts for Man United since February, Chris Smalling and Federico Macheda make the first XI with 20-year-old Portugal forward Bebe on the bench. Sir Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, is watching Valencia v Atletico Madrid in Spain this evening.

Chelsea v Newcastle line-ups:
Turnbull, Ferreira, Terry, Bruma, Van Aanholt, Ramires, Benayoun, Zhirkov, Kakuta, Anelka, Sturridge.
Subs: Cech, Kalou, Alex, McEachran, Clifford, Mellis, Chalobah.
Newcastle: Krul, Ryan Taylor, Campbell, Coloccini, Ferguson, Ranger, Gutierrez, Vuckic, Smith, Ameobi, Lovenkrands.
Subs: Soderberg, Nolan, Williamson, Barton, Carroll, Tiote, Ben Arfa.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Scunthorpe v Man Utd line-ups:
Murphy, Byrne, Mirfin, Canavan, Nolan, O'Connor, Togwell, Josh Wright, Woolford, Dagnall, Forte.
Subs: Slocombe, Andrew Wright, Jones, Raynes, Grant, Collins, Godden.
Man Utd: Kuszczak, Brown, Ferdinand, Smalling, Rafael Da Silva, Park, Anderson, Gibson, Hernandez, Owen, Macheda.
Subs: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Obertan, De Laet, Corry Evans, Bebe, Eikrem.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

Wigan v Preston line-ups:
Al Habsi, Stam, Alcaraz, Steven Caldwell, Figueroa, Gomez, Watson, Thomas, McArthur, Di Santo, Boselli.
Subs: Kirkland, Gohouri, McCarthy, N'Zogbia, Moses, Diame, De Ridder.
Preston: Lonergan, Gray, St. Ledger, Wayne Brown, Jones, Mayor, Coutts, Russell, Treacy, Chris Brown, Barton.
Subs: Arestidou, Morgan, Hayes, Parry, Parkin, McLaughlin, Wright.
Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

From OptaJoe on Twitter: "Manchester United have lost three of their last six Carling Cup matches against sides from a lower division... Only one lower-league side has ever won at Anfield in 51 attempts in the League Cup (Grimsby 2-1 in 2001)."

1918: Apparently, there aren't that many people at Wigan so far tonight. It might improve, but the chances are that it won't.

From Zippy_George and Bungle on 606: "Perhaps the rumours that United are looking to re-sign Ronaldo are true? The only player Ferguson would miss a match day for is him."

1915: Talking of talking points, here's how you can put the boot in yourself: by texting to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide), by Tweeting me @Stevo_football and by furnishing the 606 thread with your infinite wisdom.

From Jamie and Danny, now outside Anfield, via text: "Jonathan, early shout for the super Northampton Town, only League Two team left in the cup against Liverpool tonight? C'mon the mighty Cobblers!!"

1909: On Tuesday we saw the good and the bad side of the Carling Cup. There was a stunning shock at Brentford, an upset coated with revenge at Turf Moor and a thoroughly enjoyable north London derby to boot. But on the other hand, we had an upsetting incident for Everton fans, a much worse one for Notts County supporters and an enraged Mark Hughes fuming at a tackle on Moussa Dembele. It might not be the trophy everyone wants to win, but my word it gives us talking points.

From DTguardian on Twitter: "Fergie not at the MUFC match tonight. Trying to find out why. Rumour he is in Spain."

1904: Turns out the golden oldies are gonna get their chance to shine tonight as well. It's part two of our midweek Carling Cup spectacular, and here's the plan for the evening:
1945 BST: Aston Villa v Blackburn
1945 BST: Chelsea v Newcastle
1945 BST: Scunthorpe v Man Utd
1945 BST: Wigan v Preston
2000 BST: Liverpool v Northampton
2000 BST: West Brom v Man City

1900: Michael Owen? Sol Campbell? Shay Given? Hang on, wasn't the Carling Cup supposed to be a breeding ground for youngsters?

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see also
Man Utd defend Ferguson absence
23 Sep 10 |  Man Utd

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