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Severe weather accounts for both Carling Cup semis

The Carling Cup semi-final first leg ties between Manchester City and Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa have both been postponed due to adverse weather conditions in north-west England.

Tuesday night's game between Blackburn and Villa at Ewood Park was called off in the morning. The pitch was playable but with snow continuing to fall heavily, the club, following consultation with Police and the Football League, took the decision to call off the game.

It was later confirmed that Wednesday's Manchester derby had also fallen victim to the weather with Roberto Mancini now having to wait to pit his wits against Sir Alex Ferguson for the first time. The first leg has been rearranged for January 19 with the second leg at Old Trafford coming on January 27.

A Blackburn club statement confirmed the news that the game at Ewood Park would not go ahead: "Since first thing this morning we have been in constant contact with both the Met Office and Police and have been monitoring both the weather and road network conditions in our area.

"Some roads around Ewood Park are currently inaccessible and even the motorways have only been passable with extreme care, with many travellers having already experienced lengthy delays and disruption.

"It is still snowing heavily in Blackburn, as it has been all morning, and advice locally is not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary and in addition severe weather warnings have been issued throughout the country.

"Whilst the Ewood Park pitch is playable we believe it would be unadvisable to expect fans, staff etc to attempt to get to the match. Even if fans are able to get to Ewood park we would not like to speculate on what type of journey home they may face at 10.00pm tonight when temperatures will be sub-zero."

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