Manchester United have cruised to the next round of the EFL Cup, as they defeated Manchester City 1-0 on Wednesday night.
It was a tough clash for both teams at the Old Trafford where City’s Kelechi Iheanacho and the Red Devil’s Antonio Valencia got a yellow card before the end of the first half.
Juan Mata subsequently put a smile on the hosts’ faces with his saving goal in the 54th minute while Paul Pogba and Zlantan Ibrahimovic were penalised with another yellow card apiece before the game ended.
At the London Stadium, West Ham United beat their visitors, Chelsea 2 – 1 to qualify for the next round of the competition.
Cheikhou Kouyate and Edimilson Fernandes netted for the East Londoners while Gary Cahill score the Blues’ consolation goal.
The Championship side went into the match looking for their first ever win over the Gunners, but it was an easy win for Arsenal in the end, thanks to a double by the Ox, who seemed to be overcoming his difficult start to the season.
Liverpool are also through to the fifth round courtesy of a brace from another England striker, Daniel Sturridge as they defeated Tottenham 2-1.
The striker opened the scoring early at Anfield after exploiting a Spurs mistake. He doubled the lead in the 60th minute
Super Eagles and Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi, will slug it out with Ghana and Aston Villa’s Jordan Ayew and Senegal/West Ham’s Cheikhou Kouyate, in the January shortlist for the African player of the month in the English Premier League.
Mikel has been impressive in the starting line-up for Chelsea under interim manager, Guus Hiddink, and his club have been unbeaten in 8 games since the departure of former manager, Jose Mourinho.
According to the organisers, the focus is on African players who are making contribution in their own way, in their clubs’ trying times’.
Apart from Kouyate whose West Ham is certainly riding high, getting impressive results, the other two nominees are having a season to forget in their respective clubs.
Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, has refused to single out goalkeeper, Petr Cech, as being at fault for his side’s 2-0 loss at home to West Ham in match day one of the English Premier League.
Wenger however acknowledge that his side lacked defensive organisation in conceding “soft” strikes as their English Premier League campaign began with defeat.
Cheikhou Kouyate put the Hammers ahead late in the first half when he beat Cech to a free-kick and headed into the empty net.
Cech was beaten again in the 57th minute when he was wrong-footed and unable to keep out Mauro Zarate’s shot from outside the box.
The Arsenal Boss also said that the team needs to be on their toes and react in the right direction before the next match at Crystal Palace.
“I knew we had a very difficult schedule from the start, especially with West Ham playing Europa League for their preparation and that is why we have to be on our toes very quickly and respond very well now,” Wenger said..