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No surprises during Wednesday's Carabao Cup action

Friday 22nd September 2017
Five of the English Premier League top teams saw action in the Carabao Cup this past Wednesday. And even though the tournament is bound for upsets, there were no surprises this time around. All of the favourites clinched berths in the fourth round, although some suffered far more than others.

The League Cup is one of the oldest tournaments in England, and it involves teams from several categories facing each other. As such, top teams always tend to be favourites, but there is always the potential of an upset. After all, anything can happen over the course of 90 minutes.

Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton, Manchester United, and Manchester City saw action this past Wednesday. All of them advanced, but here is a quick recap of how these Premier League giants fared in their Carabao Cup debut.

Arsenal 1 - 0 Doncaster Rovers

The Gunners hosted Doncaster Rovers at the Emirates Stadium. While they were heavy favourites to clinch a berth in the next round, that difference wasn't very noticeable once the ball started rolling. Arsene Wenger fielded a relatively alternative squad, but as it has been a tendency in cup matches for Arsenal, the starters once again saved the day for the London-based side.
The game's only goal came in the first half when Theo Walcott scored following a delightful assist from Alexis Sanchez. It is worth noting the Chilean looked impressive - albeit against a lower level of competition - and could start in the Premier League next Monday against West Bromwich Albion. But even though Arsenal did not shine, a win is a win. And it should be a decent morale booster for a team that hasn't begun the campaign in the best form.

Chelsea 5 - 1 Nottingham Forest

If there was one London side that impressed on Wednesday night - it was Chelsea. They looked amazing in their Carabao Cup debut against Nottingham Forest and cruised their way to a 5-1 win at Stamford Bridge. Antonio Conte's men only needed 20 minutes to build a lead. They didn't relinquish and dominated the game from start to finish.

Michy Batshuayi was the star of the game with an impressive hat-trick. He certainly proved to Conte he has enough talent to gain more minutes in the first-team on a regular basis. Kenedy and Charly Musonda also scored during the first half, while Tendayi Darikwa scored the lone goal for Nottingham in second-half stoppage time.

Everton 3 - 0 Sunderland

Everton has been struggling of late and they were coming off a disastrous 4-0 loss against Manchester United in the Premier League this past weekend. However, the Toffees bounced back in front of their fans at Goodison Park. They looked far improved in this match and won 3-0 against Sunderland, courtesy of a convincing effort at both ends of the pitch.

Ronald Koeman fielded several non-regulars, and apparently, the gamble paid off. Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted a brace in a strong 65th-minute shift, and Omar Niasse - who replaced Calvert-Lewin - scored the final goal in the 83rd minute. The win won't erase Everton's struggles in both the Premier League and the UEFA Europa League. But there is no question it will boost the team's morale for the upcoming matches.

Manchester United 4 - 1 Burton Albion

If we talk about teams that are on top form in Europe, it is impossible not to mention Manchester United. Jose Mourinho rested most of the regular starters, but it did not matter. The Red Devils dominated the Old Trafford encounter and demolished Burton Albion, 4-1.
Marcus Rashford contributed with two goals and one assist, while Anthony Martial added a goal and an assist of his own. Jesse Lingard also found the net. But the best example of how easy this game was for United is the fact that Joel Pereira entered the match during the second half to replace Sergio Romero. Honestly, despite conceding in stoppage time to Burton's Lloyd Dyer, the Red Devils produced another impressive display. They have been absolutely dominant so far this season.

West Brom 1 - 2 Manchester City

Manchester City was the lone team that faced a Premier League opponent on Wednesday night, and they were also the only top division side that played away from home. The Citizens travelled to the Hawthorns to take on West Brom, and while the game was quite complicated, they ended winning 2-1, courtesy of a late goal from Leroy Sane.

The German winger was the star of the match after scoring both goals: one in the first half and the game-winning strike in the 76th minute. On the other hand, Claudio Yacob scored West Brom's equaliser in the second half. Pep Guardiola used several non-regulars for this Carabao Cup tie and secured a huge win, proving that his team has enough depth to compete in not only two but three competitions simultaneously this season.
Juan Pablo Aravena

29-year-old sports analyst and journalist with over three years of experience in the industry. Writes about all kinds of sports from football to golf, but there is no question his biggest passion in life is football. Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Colo Colo fan.

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