Rovers inflict cup defeat on Chelsea
Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers reached the League Cup semi-finals on Wednesday at the expense of Arsenal and Chelsea respectively.
Blackburn had goalkeeper Paul Robinson to thank for two penalty saves that sent them into the last four. Robinson saved from Michael Ballack and teenager Gael Kakuta as the hosts defeated Chelsea 4-3 at Ewood Park after a 3-3 draw over 120 minutes.
Benni McCarthy, Brett Emerton, Vince Grella and David Hoilett scored Rovers' penalties, with Nikola Kalinic having his saved. Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda and Yury Zhirkov were successful for Chelsea.
In normal time, Blackburn had taken an early lead through Kalinic but Chelsea hit back after the break, with quick-fire goals from Drogba and Salomon Kalou, before Brett Emerton's cross deceived keeper Henrique Hilario.
But, with Chelsea down to 10 men after Kalou picked up an injury and having used all their substitutes at half-time, Rovers went ahead again through a McCarthy penalty, only for Paulo Ferreira to lash home the equaliser to force penalties. Rovers will now meet Aston Villa for the right to go to Wembley.
City reached their first cup semi-final since 1981 and maintained the dream of ending their 33-year trophy drought by beating the Gunners 3-0 at Eastlands. Carlos Tevez, man of the match Shaun Wright-Phillips and youngster Vladimir Weiss did the damage, sending the Blues over the moon and into League Cup orbit, with genuine hopes of emulating their Wembley triumph in this competition under Tony Book in 1976.
At the same time, Arsene Wenger was left staring at the wreckage of a wretched week. City were drawn to face local rivals Manchester United in the semi-finals, with Mark Hughes' men set to host the first leg. The first legs will be played during the week commencing 4 January, with the return clashes two weeks later.