Liverpool, City secure Carling Cup semifinal berths

November 30th, 2011 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Arsenal London, Nov 30 (IANS) Chelsea’s slump in form continued as they went down 0-2 at Stamford Bridge to Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup while Manchester City beat Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium to secure semifinal berth.

Cardiff City also paid a fitting tribute to Welsh manager Gary Speed, who committed suicide Sunday, with a 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers Tuesday at the Cardiff City Stadium, the same venue where Speed last took charge of the national team November 12 with a 4-1 win over Norway in a friendly.

Kenny Miller gave Cardiff the lead and celebrated by pointing to his black armband worn in memory of Speed while the packed crowd chanted ‘There’s only one Gary Speed’. Anthony Gerrard headed in five minutes after the break to make it 2-0.

At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea coming at the back of an impressive win against Wolverhampton in the Premier League were expected to put up a fight against Liverpool but an inspired performance by Welshman Craig Bellamy, who was spurred on by the death of his friend Speed, proved to be the undoing for the Blues here Tuesday.

Bellamy set up both goals in his first game since the shock suicide by his close pal Speed. Maxi Rodriguez and Martin Kelly scored Liverpool’s second-half goals as Liverpool extended their unbeaten run to 11 games.

Chelsea’s nemesis from the previous encounter in the Premier League, Rodriguez was again on the score sheet as he slotted home Bellamy’s pinpoint ball to give the Reds the lead in the 58 minutes. Bellamy’s free kick found Kelly, who sealed the deal for the Liverpool in the 63rd minute.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalgish praised emotionally charged Bellamy for his performance.

“Craig is a fantastic footballer who had a hugely disappointing day on Sunday. He regarded Gary Speed as a mentor,” Dalgish was quoted saying by ESPN. “It was great for the wee man, making the first goal. For the second, he took the free-kick.”

A hugely disappointed Chelsea manager Andre Villas Boas begged the fans to support their team in these dire times.

“Away from home we have been more solid statistically and as a team. At home we just haven’t been good enough,” he said. “We need to get our fans behind us and get the emotions right. You can feel Stamford Bridge has become anxious.”

Manchester City overcame a trip to Arsenal and continued their unbeaten record in domestic competitions.

Both managers made sweeping changes to their teams for this fixture, and for a while it seemed Arsenal’s young boys would hold out the stars from City but Argentine Sergio Aguero showed his class by coming off the bench and scoring the winner in the 83rd minute to take Manchester through to the semi-finals.

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