Chelsea Tops Arsenal in League Cup as Manchester United Advances

Chelsea beat London rival Arsenal 2-0 to advance to the quarterfinals of English soccer’s League Cup along with Manchester United, which routed Norwich City 4-0.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Juan Mata scored at Emirates Stadium last night as four-time champion Chelsea extended its winning run to four matches against Premier League leader Arsenal in England’s second-tier cup competition.

“The win is very important for our confidence,” Mata said in a televised interview. “After beating Manchester City and now Arsenal this week, we feel strong because they are very good teams.”

Chelsea’s sixth straight victory in all competitions sent the Blues into the last eight of the League Cup for the seventh time in the past 10 seasons. The quarterfinal draw will be made after tonight’s two fourth-round games.

Javier Hernandez scored a goal in each half and Phil Jones and Fabio added the others for Manchester United in yesterday’s only other all-Premier League matchup. West Ham won 2-0 at Burnley, Leicester defeated Fulham 4-3 and Stoke beat 10-man Birmingham in a penalty shootout after their match finished 4-4 following extra time.

Chelsea and Arsenal made multiple changes to their lineups after the weekend’s Premier League matches and Azpilicueta pounced on Carl Jenkinson’s weak back header in the 25th minute to put the visitors ahead. It was the Spanish right-back’s first goal for Chelsea.

Mata sealed the victory with 24 minutes left with a right-foot shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Hernandez’s Double

At Old Trafford, Hernandez put Manchester United up 1-0 from the penalty spot in the 20th minute and doubled the lead with a second-half header. Jones volleyed in the third goal with three minutes remaining, before substitute Fabio closed the scoring in the fourth of 11 added minutes following a head injury to Norwich forward Robert Snodgrass.

West Ham converted two late penalty kicks by Matt Taylor and Jack Collison to win at Burnley. Fulham was the only Premier League team to lose to lower-tier opposition as Lloyd Dyer’s 89th-minute goal secured Leicester’s upset win with the game set for extra time at 3-3.

Stoke overcame a comeback by 2011 champion Birmingham to advance 4-2 on penalties. Birmingham played with 10 men after Wade Elliot was red-carded for fighting just before halftime, and rallied from 3-1 down to tie 3-3 and force extra time. Kenwyne Jones then put Stoke ahead for the third time in the game before Olly Lee scored to set up the shootout.

The fourth round continues tonight as Manchester City visits Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur hosts Hull.

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