The second night of the Capital One Cup quarterfinals are in the bag now with Manchester United and West Ham now joining Manchester City and Sunderland in the draw for the semifinals.
The weather was the biggest obstacle for the red half of Manchester on Wednesday night, with the players being taken off for a few minutes while a nasty hailstorm passed by. Second half goals from Ashley Young and Patrice Evra were enough to seal United’s progression. The fact that the home side did not even register a shot on target would be the most disappointing thing for Stoke boss Mark Hughes, who had so much success as a player at United.
Meanwhile down in London, the AVB-less Tottenham Hotspur took the lead against West Ham when seldom-used striker Emmanual Adebayor finished well from a Jermaine Defoe cross. Things looked well for caretaker manager Tim Sherwood until 10 minutes from the end of regulation time when Matt Jarvis equalized with his left foot.
Five minutes later, the turnaround was complete as Modibo Miaga scored and put Sam Allardyce‘s West Ham into the semis.
The draw for the semifinals followed at the conclusion of both games, with ex-Manchester City and Sunderland boss Peter Reid and ex-Manchester United and Manchester City striker Andy Cole being given the honors. The ties are to be played over two legs, with the first leg taking place on January 7 and the return leg two weeks later.
The first fixture will see Manchester United take on Sunderland, and you have to go back to 1997 to find the last time when the Black Cats actually beat United in the league even though their cup record is not as bad. In 1976, it went to two replays before United eventually won at the Round 3 stage. That was also the same year that the final took place between Manchester City and another Northeast side, Newcastle.
Over two legs, it should be interesting to see if Gus Poyet and his men can get some distance from the bottom three so they can go for this game as they did against Chelsea.
The other game sees West Ham meet Manchester City in a rematch of the third round in the 1984-85 running of the competition. Again, this was also the season when Sunderland got to their only League Cup Final, lost to Norwich City and got relegated.
I am quite hopeless when it comes to statistics and so due to Manchester City being in the final against Sunderland in prior competition, I have to go with a Manchester City-Sunderland final. What do you think?
Jason Bardwell is a Soccer writer for Rant Sports and The Sports Column. You can follow him on Twitter @PACityboy or on Facebook.