Ki sinks Chelsea in League Cup thriller

December 19, 2013 - 9:23:44 am

Bayern Munich’s midfielder Mario Goetze (right) and Guangzhou’s mildfielder Zhi Zheng vying for ball possession during their FIFA Club World Cup football semi-final match, in the coastal Moroccan city of Agadir, yesterday.

LONDON: South Korea’s Ki Sung-Yueng stunned Chelsea as the Sunderland midfielder’s first goal for the club sealed a shock 2-1 win in the League Cup quarter-finals, while Manchester City swept into the last four with a 3-1 victory at Leicester on Tuesday night.

Gus Poyet’s team had been on the verge of defeat at the Stadium of Light after goal-line technology was used for the first time in the League Cup to give Chelsea the lead through Lee Cattermole’s own goal in the opening minute of the second half.

But Fabio Borini equalised for the Premier League’s bottom club in the 88th minute and Ki sent Sunderland into the semi-finals with a cool finish two minutes from the end of extra-time.

It was Ki’s first goal in 13 appearances for the Black Cats since his loan switch from Swansea, with whom he won the League Cup last season, in September.

Ki had never scored in English football since moving to Swansea from Celtic in 2012, and this was his first club goal since he netted for the Scottish giants at Hibernian in February 2012.

“It was just unbelievable, I didn’t expect to score but I am really pleased to help the team go through,” Ki told Sky Sports.

“This was a very hard game for us, but we didn’t give up. The boys played unbelievable.”

It was a dispiriting night for Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who won the League Cup twice in his first spell in charge of the west London club but saw his fears about his shot-shy team confirmed during a lacklustre display.

“We never lost a match because we didn’t play or that the opponent was stronger, it’s just we don’t kill opponents and we give them life,” Mourinho said.

“Every opponent knows they can score a goal against us. We had fantastic chances to score and didn’t score.”

After struggling to find any rhythm in a tepid opening 45 minutes, Chelsea took the lead less than 60 seconds after the break.

Frank Lampard was challenged by Cattermole near the goal-line as the pair competed for Cesar Azpilicueta’s low cross and the ball rolled into the net.

Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone tried to claw the ball out from behind the line, but the goal was correctly given, with referee Anthony Taylor pointing to his watch to indicate goal-line technology had been used to confirm the decision.

It was the first time goal-line technology had been used in the League Cup, although the system was established in the Premier League at the start of this season.

Sunderland equalised when on-loan Liverpool striker Borini fired home from an acute angle after a driving run from Jozy Altidore.

And Ki eventually sealed the win in extra-time with a clinical low strike from Borini’s pass.

At the King Power Stadium, City were effectively through to the semi-finals by half-time as they finally took their free-scoring home form on the road.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men were on top right from the start and took the lead in the ninth minute when Serbian defender Aleksandar Kolarov whipped a fine 25-yard free-kick into the top corner of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal.

There was a setback for City moments later as Argentine right-back Pablo Zabaleta was forced to come off with a hamstring injury. Leicester sit third in the Championship yet they offered minimal resistance and City increased their lead in the 41st minute.

It was a sweeping move as Jesus Navas teed up James Milner and the England winger’s cross picked out Dzeko, who headed home emphatically from close-range.

Bosnian striker Dzeko struck again in the 53rd minute, this time scuffing his shot past Schmeichel from another Milner cross.

Leicester replied in the 77th minute through Lloyd Dyer’s deflected shot, but City, who haven’t reached the League Cup final since 1976, were never in danger of blowing their lead.

“We had a very good first half, and dominated the game,” Pellegrini said.

“It is an important competition, it is important to win every game you play in and to get to the final at Wembley would be wonderful for the supporters.”

Meanwhile, La Liga leaders Barcelona comfortably secured their place in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey with a 3-0 win over third-tier Cartagena on Tuesday night, to seal a 7-1 win on aggregate.

Cartagena threatened to embarrass their illustrous hosts when Zurdo struck the post midway through the first-half. However, any hopes the visitors had of a famous victory were quashed when Pedro neatly swept home Martin Montoya’s cross for his third goal of the tie.

Without a host of regular starters, Barca struggled to create clear-cut openings all evening but they were gifted a second goal 23 minutes from time when Mariano Martinez turned Cristian Tello’s cross into his own net. 

And Neymar rounded off the scoring with his sixth goal in his last three games when he headed home Andres Iniesta’s cross three minutes from time.

AFP

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