PREMIER BIG GUNS STUNNED BY CUP HAT-TRICK
CHAMPIONSHIP clubs celebrated a momentous clean sweep of Premier League big guns this week as all three remaining sides took their places in the last eight of the Capital One Cup – against all odds.
Perhaps the most unlikely triumph came at Old Trafford on Wednesday night where over 10,000 travelling Middlesbrough fans watched Aitor Karanka’s Boro topple Manchester United in a penalty shoot-out.
Stewart Downing’s rasping drive was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Sergio Romero, while Daley Blind put the ball into the own net, only for striker Kike to be flagged offside.
England trio Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Ashley Young all missed in the shootout, while Grant Leadbitter, Downing and Ben Gibson all held their nerve to earn Boro a last-eight home clash with Everton.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday night, Sheffield Wednesday enjoyed their own giantkilling act as they swept past a lacklustre Arsenal 3-0 at Hillsborough.
The Gunners lost both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott to injury inside the opening 15 minutes before goals from Ross Wallace, Lucas Joao and Sam Hutchinson wrapped up a memorable night for the Owls and earned a quarterfinal trip to Stoke City.
The clean sweep was completed by Steve Bruce’s Hull City, who did what many Premier League sides are struggling to do at present, and beat Leicester City – again after a shootout.
David Meyler struck the winning fifth penalty as the Tigers scored with all of their efforts, while Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez hit the post with his.
After 90 goalless minutes, Mahrez put the Foxes in front in the first half of extra-time before Abel Hernandez equalised six minutes later.
Bruce’s men now make the daunting trip to cup favourites Manchester City.
CUP KING: Aitor Karanka