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Tootle's 'slug' goal celebration

The Toe Poke

Carling Cup: Holders through, Portsmouth hit four

Manchester United made eleven changes from the side that lost to Liverpool at the weekend and bounced back to beat Barnsley 2-0 in their Carling Cup tie.

United's second string overcame the dismissal of Gary Neville to march into the last eight thanks to goals in each half from Danny Welbeck and Michael Owen. Welbeck headed home Anderson's corner while unmarked in the fifth minute and Owen's neat finish just before the hour-mark put the holders in the clear in front of a sell-out crowd at Oakwell.

Barnsley skipper Stephen Foster hit the angle of post and crossbar in the first half, but even after Neville's straight red card for a high tackle on Adam Hammill, the Championship side were unable to bridge the gulf in class.

Frederic Piquionne provided the inspiration as Portsmouth stormed into the Carling Cup quarter-finals by demolishing Stoke 4-0 at Fratton Park.

The worst scoring record in the Premier League may have left Pompey rooted to the foot of the table, but they had few problems hitting the target in the cup. Piquionne struck twice and set up another for Danny Webber before Kanu completed the rout to make it 11 goals from their three matches in the competition so far.

Tom Huddlestone and Robbie Keane got Tottenham dreaming of Carling Cup glory again after reaching the quarter-finals at the expense of Everton at White Hart Lane.

Spurs reached the final of the competition in the last two seasons, winning it in 2008, and they are two ties from Wembley again after Huddlestone's thunderbolt volley and Keane following up his own saved penalty. They still needed saves from Heurelho Gomes at the start of each half to extend Everton's run of matches without a win to five.

Blackburn booked their place with a comfortable win over 10-man Peterborough at Ewood Park. Peterborough initially made life difficult for their hosts as Chris Whelpdale equalised Martin Gamst Pedersen's early opener, but goalkeeper Joe Lewis was sent off just before half-time for clattering Pedersen and Steven Reid slotted home the spot-kick.

Peterborough managed a second equaliser through George Boyd just after half-time, but Rovers soon made the difference in numbers tell with Michel Salgado, Benni McCarthy and a Nicola Kalinic penalty completing a comprehensive 5-2 victory.

Brad Guzan emerged as the Aston Villa hero as Martin O'Neill's men secured their place in the Carling Cup quarter-finals at Sunderland's expense. The American, an understudy to Brad Friedel at club and international level, saved Kenwyne Jones' late penalty to take the game to extra-time and ultimately penalties.

And he maintained his excellence by saving three of Sunderland's four spot-kicks in the shoot-out with Ashley Young converting the clincher to send Villa into the last eight.


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