Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 28th 2015 Contents LONDON---Branislav Ivanovic
headed Chelsea into the League
Cup final with a 1--0 victory over
Liverpool yesterday, settling an
enthralling semifinal in extra
After a 1--1 draw in the first leg,
Ivanovic rose to meet Willian s free
kick in the 94th minute at Stam-
ford Bridge to secure Chelsea s
The Premier League leaders were
fortunate to complete the heated
and compelling game with 11 men
after Diego Costa avoided punish-
ment for stamping on Liverpool
duo Emre Can and Martin Skrtel.
By denying Brendan Rodgers a
first final as Liverpool manager,
Jose Mourinho can now prepare
for the first of his second spell at
Chelsea, which won the com-
petition in 2005 and 2007 under
Mourinho, will discover its oppo-
nent for the March 1 final at Wem-
bley Stadium today. Tottenham
leads Sheffield United 1--0 heading
to Bramall Lane.
If there was any doubting the
significance of England s second-
tier knockout competition it came
with the teamsheet. Unlike on Sat-
urday when a weakened Chelsea
was humiliated 4--2 here by third-
tier Bradford, Mourinho was taking
this trophy more seriously.
Chelsea was back at full
strength, with top-scorer Costa
restored to the line-up. The Spain
striker made his mark early on, by
leaving a mark on Can s right
ankle. The stamp came in front of
the benches and fourth official Phil
Dowd, but Costa avoided even a
Costa was the aggrieved player
in the 22nd minute when he was
tripped by Skrtel and referee
Michael Oliver dismissed the
penalty appeal. Mourinho was rag-
ing as the game became increas-
It was Mourinho s goalkeeper,
Thibaut Courtois, who preserved
parity. The sprawling Belgian saved
from Alberto Moreno and used his
outstretched left leg to deny
Liverpool was exhibiting the
attacking verve that was the hall-
mark of last season s run to second
in the Premier League, but had
been lacking in the opening
months of this season. The visitors,
however, could find no way past
The second half witnessed
another flare-up involving Costa,
which Oliver seemed to miss. After
Skrtel s sliding tackle, Costa
stepped on the defender s left boot.
Costa then used his boot for
shooting not stamping, but a
scrappy shot was blocked by goal-
keeper Simon Mignolet s left leg.
Mignolet, who was dropped in
December before regaining his
place after Brad Jones was injured,
then tackled Costa as the striker
tried to round him.
In the search for a winner,
Rodgers brought on misfiring strik-
er Mario Balotelli for Lazar
Markovic. But the Italian s main
contribution was allowing Ivanovic
to evade him to head in the winner.
Away goals only count after 120
minutes, but Ivanovic s third goal
of the season ensured Chelsea is
back in the League Cup final after
a six-year absence.
There was time for one last
flare-up, though. Both Liverpool
captain Steven Gerrard and Costa
were booked after tangling. For
Gerrard, defeat reduces his chances
of ending his Liverpool career in
May with a trophy. (AP)
League Cup final
MILAN---Ten-man Lazio held on
to beat struggling AC Milan 1--0
yesterday and reach the Italian Cup
semifinals, putting Rossoneri coach
Filippo Inzaghi s job in jeopardy.
In Serie A, Milan is tenth with a
five-match winless streak and was
beaten 3--1 by Lazio on Saturday.
Inzaghi, a former standout striker
for Milan, is in his first season as a
top-division coach, having previously
managed the Rossoneri s youth side.
Lazio took the lead in the 38th
with a penalty from Lucas Biglia after
a hand ball by Michelangelo Alber-
Lazio defender Lorik Cana was sent
off for fouling Jeremy Menez from
behind in the 45th.
Milan had a goal from Giampaolo
Pazzini waved off for a hand ball by
the forward in the 69th.
Lazio then nearly doubled the lead
when Keita Balde Diao hit the post in
the 78th and another potential goal
from Milan s Alessio Cerci was waved
off for offside in added time.
In the semifinals, Lazio will face the
winner of next week s match between
Inter Milan and Napoli.
In the other quarterfinals, it s Juven-
tus vs Parma and Roma vs Fiorenti-
na.At the San Siro, Lazio was in control
from the start.
Nine minutes in, striker Miroslav
Klose took advantage of an errant pass
from Ignazio Abate but missed the
Another defensive mistake set up a
chance for Keita in the 15th but Milan
goalkeeper Christian Abbiati charged
forward to break the play up.
Earlier Tuesday, Milan defender
Philippe Mexes was banned for four
matches for grabbing Lazio captain
Stefano Mauri by the neck on Sat-
On Monday, Milan reported that
forward Stephan El Shaarawy broke
a bone in his right foot at the end of
Saturday s loss.
The Italy striker will have to wear
a brace for six weeks before beginning
rehabilitation and could miss the rest
of the season. (AP)
AC Milan woes
extended with 1--0 Cup
loss to ten-man Lazio
on course for its maiden Asian Cup
title after defeating United Arab Emi-
rates 2--0 in a semifinal at Newcastle
Stadium on a wet yesterday.
Playing in Newcastle for the first
time in almost 20 years, the Socceroos
took a firm grip on the contest when
defenders Trent Sainsbury and Jason
Davidson punched in their first inter-
national goals inside the first 15 min-
"Our intention was we wanted to
start really strong," Australia coach
Ange Postecoglou said.
"We thought if we can get through
that early period with not conceding
and possibly with the bonus of scoring,
then we could control the game after
Australia march on to the final
against South Korea at Sydney on Sat-
urday, when the host hopes to go one
step better than its 2011 final loss to
Japan. South Korea beat Australia 1--0
in the group stage ten days ago.
UAE, which knocked out defending
champion Japan 5--4 on penalties in
the quarterfinals, couldn t find a break-
through to spark a fightback, despite
another leading performance by star
UAE faces Iraq in the third-place
playoff at the same venue on Friday.
Australia and the UAE had never
met in a competitive match, and their
last two friendlies ended in scoreless
draws, but the host needed only three
minutes to make a dream start.
Massimo Luongo s corner was met
by Sainsbury, who took advantage of
some slack marking to guide in his
Australia s eagerness to dominate
midfield in the first half was best epit-
omised by Robbie Kruse, who dispos-
sessed Abdulrahman while missing
one of his boots.
Kruse created the next Australia
chance when the winger s dinked cross
fell close to Tim Cahill.
In the ensuing scramble, Mathew
Leckie s shot was blocked, but David-
son s follow-up shot slid past goal-
keeper Majed Naser to double their
advantage in the 14th.
Davidson became Australia s tenth
different scorer of the tournament.
Ahmed Khalil, who was UAE s most
impressive player in the first half, fired
a warning of UAE s strength in attack
when his shot from a low cross hit
the outside of the post.
UAE started the second half better
than the first, with Abdulrahman get-
ting on to the ball increasingly more
in threatening areas, but Australia
goalkeeper Mat Ryan was rarely test-
ed.Cahill, who was largely contained
by the defense, was withdrawn for
Tomi Juric just after the hour by
Postecoglou, who may have had
thoughts of keeping his talisman fresh
for the final.
A concern for Postecoglou, though,
will be the fitness of left back Ivan
Franjic, who appeared to injure his
groin late, when Australia had already
used its three substitutions. (AP)
Australia beats UAE
2--0 to reach final
LIVERPOOL---Everton says strik-
er Samuel Eto o has completed a
transfer to Serie A club Sampdo-
ria on a two-and-a-half-year con-
Eto o, 33, joined Everton on a
free transfer last August, and scored
four times in 20 appearances before
moving back to Italy, where he
used to play for Inter Milan.
Everton manager Roberto Mar-
tinez says, "we thank Samuel for
his efforts" and "he passed on
some of his terrific experience to
all of the young players in partic-
Eto o has won the Champions
League with Barcelona and Inter,
and has also been named African
footballer of the year four times.
Eto'o completes transfer
to Sampdoria from Everton
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, centre, battles for the ball between Liverpool's Alberto Moreno and Lucas Leiva,
right, during the English League Cup semifinal second leg football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at
Stamford Bridge stadium in London, yesterday. Chelsea won 1--0 in extra time. AP PHOTO
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