BREW­ING NICELY

We take a look back at the mid­week Carabao Cup ac­tion

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By John Lyons

THERE will def­i­nitely be EFL rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the semi-fi­nals of the Carabao Cup – thanks to Bur­ton Al­bion and Mid­dles­brough.

Bur­ton took the scalp of Not­ting­ham For­est to reach the quar­ter-fi­nals for the first time in their his­tory, while Boro beat Pre­mier League Crys­tal Palace – then they were drawn against each other.

Bur­ton turned in a ter­rific per­for­mance to down For­est 3-2 at the Pirelli Sta­dium. They might have feared it wasn’t go­ing to be their night when Liam Boyce blazed a penalty over the bar in the first half, but they put that dis­ap­point­ment be­hind them in stun­ning fash­ion in the sec­ond pe­riod.

Scott Fraser’s shot looped off For­est de­fender Saidy Janko for an own goal to break the dead­lock on 52 min­utes and the Brew­ers dou­bled their lead 12 min­utes later through Fraser’s clin­i­cal fin­ish.

Sub Lewis Grabban pulled one back with 20 min­utes left, but any Bur­ton nerves were eased when Jake Hes­keth slammed home a stun­ning far post vol­ley with eight min­utes left.

There was still time for For­est to re­duce the ar­rears in stop­page time through 17-year-old sub Arvin Ap­piah, with his first goal for the club, but the bat­tling Brew­ers held on.

Spe­cial

De­lighted boss Nigel Clough said: “To get to the last eight as a League One club is pretty spe­cial.

“If we had fin­ished our chances in the first half the game would have been over, but we showed great char­ac­ter to come out and do it again.”

For­est boss Aitor Karanka, who made ten changes, couldn’t hide his frus­tra­tion at his team’s exit.

“I’m re­ally an­gry be­cause a team from League One, a team which has played four games in ten days, has looked much bet­ter than us. They were much stronger and they wanted ev­ery­thing more than we did.

“I just feel em­bar­rassed and sorry for the sup­port­ers who trav­elled this evening be­cause we all came here think­ing we could achieve some­thing good.”

Bur­ton can now look for­ward to a quar­ter-fi­nal at Mid­dles­brough, who dis­patched Roy Hodg­son’s Palace at the River­side.

It was by no means a clas­sic but at least a goal of the high­est qual­ity won it. Mid­fielder Lewis Wing, 23, who joined Boro from North­ern League out­fit Shildon in the sum­mer of 2017 and had a spell on loan at Yeovil last term, smashed a 25-yard rocket into the roof of the net to earn a hard-fought 1-0 vic­tory.

“It takes a won­der goal from Wingy to give us that lead,” said Boro boss Tony Pulis. “He’s signed a new con­tract and I’m re­ally pleased he’s with us.

“He’s got a long way to go and there’s things that he needs to im­prove on, but his en­thu­si­asm to play and to want to play and to learn is first class. We’ve got to make sure we en­cour­age that.”

Bur­ton boss Clough knows his side will face a ma­jor chal­lenge when they travel to the north-east in the quar­ter-fi­nals.

Chance

“The one thing is that it gives us a chance,” he said. “They have knocked out a Pre­mier League side tonight so that tells you how dif­fi­cult it will be but we will give it ev­ery­thing to try and make the last four.”

Else­where, EFL hopes bit the dust – but not with­out a real fight.

Frank Lampard took his Derby side to his old club Chelsea and saw them give the Blues a real run for their money, leav­ing him a proud man.

Freak own goals from de­fend­ers Fikayo To­mori, iron­i­cally on loan with the Rams from Chelsea, and Richard Keogh gave Chelsea a leg up, but twice Derby hit back to stun Stam­ford Bridge. For­mer Peter­bor­ough striker Jack Mar­riott clin­i­cally drove home the first equaliser be­fore Martyn Waghorn tapped home at the far post af­ter good work from Ma­son Mount. Cesc Far­bre­gas put Chelsea back in front be­fore the break to wrap up the scor­ing, though Derby were curs­ing their luck when David Nu­gent hit the in­side of the post late on. League One out­fit Black­pool put in a ter­rific dis­play at Arse­nal, go­ing down to a nar­row 2-1 de­feat. Goals from Stephan Licht­steiner and Emile Smith Rowe seemed to have the Gun­ners coast­ing at the Emi­rates, but the dis­missal of mid­fielder Mat­teo Guen­douzi for his sec­ond book­able of­fence on 56 min­utes gave the Seasiders a life­line.

Life­line

And they were right back in it ten min­utes later when de­fender Paudie O’Con­nor, on loan from Leeds, headed in from a cor­ner.

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