x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

English League Cup results round-up: Mancini angry at Lambert

Manchester City manager had sideline spat with Aston Villa counterpart, while West Ham United players "blew" their chance at staying in the first team and Terry plays in Chelsea win.

Manchester City and manager Roberto Mancini were knocked out the Capital One Cup.
Manchester City and manager Roberto Mancini were knocked out the Capital One Cup.

Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, believes his touchline row with Aston Villa counterpart Paul Lambert is typical of the attitude many opposition managers have towards him.

The pair exchanged heated words in the second half of City's 4-2 Capital One Cup defeat at the Etihad Stadium after the Italian complained to the fourth official about a tackle by Joe Bennett on Gareth Barry.

"I am tired with these managers," said Mancini, who has had his fair share of touchline confrontations during his time in England.

"I didn't say nothing to him [Lambert]. There are some managers it is better to shut up.

"I asked only if there was a yellow card - without moving my hands [Mancini has been guilty in the past of waving imaginary cards] - with the fourth official and he comes over to me.

"I didn't speak with him. I asked the fourth official if it was a yellow card because I thought the referee had forgotten his yellow cards in the dressing room.

"I don't know what is the reason. I can understand if I was talking to him but I didn't say nothing."

Mancini added: "I am very tired with their behaviour. Sometimes these managers go to the big stadiums and the other manager says everything and they say nothing.

"When they go to [Old] Trafford, they say nothing. When other managers talk about the referee they always sit on the bench.

"I don't like this type of behaviour."

Lambert brushed aside Mancini's complaints, saying: "If that's what he said then fine.

"I respect him as a manager and an ex-player.

"It wasn't really a spat. It was nothing."

Mancini may well have been trying to deflect attention from his side's third-round exit, having reached the semi-finals in two of the last three seasons.

Despite making 10 changes from Sunday's 1-1 draw with Arsenal, the City boss was still able to field a team with combined value well over £150million (Dh890m), even with teenagers Abdul Razak and Denis Suarez in the line-up.

However, they twice threw away leads given to them by Mario Balotelli and then Aleksandar Kolarov after Villa old boy Gareth Barry's own goal had made it 1-1.

Gabriel Agbonlahor took the tie to extra time and added a second after Charles N'Zogbia had put Villa ahead for the first time.

"It was a difficult match because Aston Villa were a good team," added Mancini.

"We didn't play well and we had some unlucky moments but I think they deserved to go through."

Lambert, in his first season at Villa Park having taken over in the summer, was delighted with the performance.

"It is a massive result for us. I thought the way we played was excellent," he added.

"It was a brilliant response from the team. It was a huge effort.

"We didn't deserve to go a goal behind but we showed real character to come back."

Chelsea thrashed Wolverhampton Wanderers 6-0, with John Terry, the club captain, a late inclusion into the squad. Terry is currently involved in a hearing with the English Football Association over a charge of using racist language towards Anton Ferdinand.

But Chelsea assistant manager Eddie Newton said:

"We wanted John to start. Obviously, with everything happening with the FA, we had to see how it panned out.

"We had a phone call he was making his way back from the FA nice and early so it wasn't last-minute-dot-com.

"We'd covered all the bases, all the scenarios, and the best one happened."

Asked if Terry played last night to prove a point, Newton said: "Knowing John, he's a positive person who loves the club.

"He's very enthusiastic about playing, just as he was as a young man.

"He just wants to play."

Newton was prevented from reacting to Terry's decision to quit England over the FA's handling of his case but admitted it could ultimately benefit Chelsea.

Gary Cahill, Ryan Bertrand, Juan Mata, Oriol Romeu, Fernando Torres and Victor Moses scored the goals in Chelsea's win last night, which also saw impressive performances from a number of debutants, including Cesar Azpilicueta and Lucas Piazon.

How many of them played their way into the frame for Arsenal could depend on the fitness of Daniel Sturridge (hamstring) and Frank Lampard (ankle), both of whom sat out last night's game.

Sam Allardyce has told the fringe players who played in last night's "embarrassing" loss to Wigan Athletic that they have blown a big chance of breaking in to the West Ham United starting XI for Monday's clash against QPR.

Allardyce made nine changes to the team that drew with Sunderland, allowing the likes of James Tomkins, George McCartney and Jordan Spence to prove that they deserved a call-up to the first XI, but the Hammers defence put on a terrible performance to allow Wigan to cruise to a 4-1 win.

The Hammers back four marked poorly, backed off Wigan attackers and gave the ball away all too easily to leave Allardyce fuming at the final whistle.

He said: "I made lots of changes to see what the squad looks like and what some of the young ones are doing. They are doing well in the under-21s league but unfortunately from 15 minutes onwards they weren't good enough and in the end we have got beat 4-1 and it was very disappointing for me to sit there and watch that.

"It was an embarrassing defeat. They can't come knocking on my door about not playing now. They've got to take responsibility for their performance.

"They should have given me a lot more value for my money than they did."

Poor marking from Spence allowed Mauro Boselli to equalise Modibo Maiga's opener and the Hammers defence backed off Ivan Ramis to allow the Spaniard to make it 2-1.

Yet more loose marking gave Boselli room to chip home a wonderful third and Stephen Henderson's foul on James McArthur in the dying minutes meant Jordi Gomez sealed the rout.

"We couldn't defend a fish supper tonight," the West Ham boss said. "There were howling errors from our defenders in all four goals, it was comical.

"I never expected us to defend so poorly. It was really poor defending and all the good work we might have done with the ball meant nothing in the end because out of possession we were just rubbish."

Martinez cut a much happier figure at the end of the game, with Boselli's performance the main source of joy for the Latics boss.

Derided for scoring two goals in two years at the Lancashire club, the Argentinean did little to appease his critics when he missed a sitter in the club's 2-1 defeat to Fulham on Saturday.

The 27-year-old, who has been shipped out on loan to former club Estudiantes and Italian side Genoa during his time with Wigan, showed great predatory instincts to steal ahead of Spence for his first and the chip over Henderson from 12 yards was a sublime finish.

Martinez said: "He looked strong, he looked very sharp with his build-up play and then that clinical finishing in front of goal.

"I was very, very pleased with his work. It is now a matter of allowing him to settle into the Barclays Premier League.

"He showed mental strength and how focused he is to be a success this season and to enjoy his football. If he is at his best he will be a real asset for us."

Leeds United fans should not worry about losing El-Hadji Diouf in the January transfer window following another stellar display, according to his manager, Neil Warnock.

The Senegal international was once again at the top of his game last night as Leeds bloodied the noses of Everton and sent the Premier League high-flyers packing at the third-round stage.

Goals from Aidy White and Rodolph Austin ensured the that Sylvain Distin's late header was nothing more than a consolation in a 2-1 defeat for Everton, but it was the showing of Diouf that got many talking.

He has rarely been a popular figure during his decade-long stay in England, with Warnock himself once comparing him to a sewer rat.

The pair have formed an unlikely double act at Elland Road, though, and even though Diouf could walk away from Leeds in January, Warnock is sure that they will remain as football's odd couple.

"Dioufy will not go anywhere else, he's promised me certain things and I'm happy with that," Warnock said.

"He's obviously not doing it for money, he's one of the lowest-paid players at the club. He's not going to get a stage like this again is he? He's a matador and you need something like that.

"It's no good going to Saudi Arabia or Dubai or wherever he was going for six or seven times the wages. He's better off with me, isn't he? He's given me his word, if that's worth it. He's been straight up with me and I've been straight up with him."

But while Warnock was left to purr about Diouf and claim that any side - including his own - left in the competition could win it, opposite number David Moyes headed back to Merseyside reflecting on another missed chance.

Despite the sterling work the Scot has done in his decade in charge at Goodison, a losing appearance in an FA Cup final is the nearest they have come to winning some silverware.

Assistant manager Steve Round spoke in the build-up to last night's tie about how this season could be Everton's time, but they failed to deliver, with a much-changed line-up simply not turning up.

Six players were rested from the side which beat Swansea 3-0 on Saturday, but Moyes was adamant that a poor start - White scored after four minutes - was to blame for the loss and not the alterations.

"We were not very good in the first half, but we got better in the second, but not as good as we've been playing," he said.

"We started terribly, gave them the initiative and lost the game in the opening 20 minutes due to the way we started. We gave away a really poor first goal and left ourselves trying to get back into the game."

On whether or not his decision to rest players was key, he added: "These boys are in the squad and have to be able to show they can come in and play. If you don't use them, what's the point in having them? The players want to play and be involved."

Michael Laudrup described the Capital One Cup as a "very important" part of Swansea City's season after they booked their place in the fourth round with a 3-2 victory over Crawley Town.

Trailing 2-1 at one stage, they finally saw off their npower League One opponents with a 90th-minute goal from Gary Monk, who nodded home Wayne Routledge's corner.

It ended Swansea's two-match losing streak and, just as importantly for manager Laudrup, keeps alive a genuine chance of winning silverware.

"The more games we have the better it is for everyone because you never know what can happen in the cup," Laudrup said.

"You get through one round, then the second and third. Suddenly you're in a quarter-final.

"Especially for smaller clubs like us, this cup is very important."


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