Wednesday, 4 November 2015

United, Chelsea and Arsenal all knocked out of the league cup

The Capital One cup was blown wide open this week when three of the teams you’d see as potential winners were thrown to one side, with United and Arsenal both losing to lower league opposition.

Okay, so there are always one or two shocks in any cup competition, but seriously, with the form the Gunners have been in recently – who really saw them getting battered by Sheffield Wednesday?

Whether you thought Arsene Wenger’s men were going to lose or not, the 3-0 score line will have shocked even the most loyal of Wednesday fans themselves.

It was a result that was thoroughly deserved, with Ross Wallace and Lucas João giving the home side a 2-0 lead going into half time, before Sam Hutchinson sealed a historic win for the Hillsborough based side just after the break.

A bad night was capped off when the extent of the injuries during the match to Alex Oxelade-Chamberlain, and the man who replaced him – Theo Walcott – was revealed.

The duo will miss around three weeks of action, but during that time they will miss two crucial Premier League matches against Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur, and the Champions League match with Bayern Munich. The injury will also rule them out of England’s two glamour friendlies with Spain and France next month.

Chelsea’s tragic start to the season continues to break the hearts of fans who were celebrating winning the Premier League title less than half a year ago, whilst creating a rift of laughter amongst the remaining football fans across the country. Sports bookmaker Betway have lengthened their odds on winning the Premier League title to 40/1 – which is an absolute no chance.

Jon Walters of all people gave Stoke a 52nd minute league at the Britannia Stadium, and that goal looked like it would be enough to take the Potters straight through. That is until Loic Remy seemed to have come to the Blues rescue, but sadly for them – he was only delaying the inevitable.

The penalty shoot-out ensued, and once Stoke scored their first five Eden Hazard needed to score to keep Chelsea in the competition – which he didn’t, and more pressure was heaped onto the shoulders of the ‘not so special one’.

Man United were also victims of the wrath of a Championship side in a match which went 90 minutes without a goal, and also needed to be decided on penalties.

10,000 Middlesbrough fans were there to witness their club reaching the quarter finals of the cup as they secured their seventh penalty shoot-out win in nine attempts. United were left ruining missed opportunities, and also the laser pen which shone in Wayne Rooney’s face as he stepped up to take his penalty.

With those teams out it opens up the odds a little, but does mean Man City are now the run away favourites. Sheffield Weds are 33/1, Middlesbrough are 16/1 and Stoke are 8/1. City’s greatest rivals for the cup are Liverpool, who are seen at 5/1 odds.