Manchester City 4-1 Hull City
Hull City travelled to the Etihad Stadium looking to claim the scalp of the League Cup’s reigning champions having knocked out Premier League opposition (Leicester and Swansea) en route to the last 8.
Manager Steve Bruce elected to rotate the team with players frequented as substitutes in the league with regulars Allan McGregor, Tom Huddlestone, Abel Hernandez and Sam Clucas dropping to the bench.
Manuel Pellegrini didn’t take the same approach with record-signing Kevin De Bruyne scoring a late brace in a 4-1 defeat for the Tigers.
Hull slipped behind in the opening stages of the match with Wilfried Bony pouncing on a shot that rebounded off the post on 12 minutes. Bruce’s men stayed within touch of the home side until the 80th minute when Kelechi Iheanacho turned in Sterling’s cross to make it 2-0. De Bruyne make it a three-goal flurry in 87th minute when he guided a free-kick from 22 yards out past goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic.
Tigers fans were able to cheer a late consolation through a superb team goal that was delicately finished off by Andrew Robertson in stoppage time.
Bruce said after the game: “If we needed a reminder how cruel it was to play against the big boys, we just had one.
“After 80 minutes we just had our best spell of the match and after 87 minutes it was 4-0. It was never a 4-1.
“Defensively, apart from the goal, I can’t remember them creating a chance in the first half even though they had huge possession.”
Middlesbrough 0-2 Everton
It was the battle of spanish minds at the Riverside as Aitor Karanka’s title challengers took on Roberto Martinez’s Everton side.
Gerard Deulofeu proved pivotal in Everton’s progress to the semis by scoring the opener and setting up the goal that clinched it for the visitors.
The former Barcelona man carved his way through the centre of the pitch to unleash an 18 yard strike into the corner in a remarkable solo effort to give the Toffees’ the lead.
Everton followed this up eight minutes later with a 28-pass team goal that saw the Spaniard turn provider for Romelu Lukaku to dampen Middlesbrough’s hopes.
In the second half joint top goalscorer Christian Stuani (4 goals in League Cup) had the best chance to get Boro back in it but failed to convert a free header.
Karanka was complimentary of Everton’s ability saying: “It reminds me of playing against Arsenal last season.
“They played with their best starting 11 and Everton did the same, I take that as a compliment. They were better than us, really good players in a really good team with a really good coach.
Stoke 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Sheffield Wednesday provided the upset of the season when they put Arsenal to the sword in a 3-0 win but exit the League Cup after defeat at the Britannia Stadium.
The Owls’ were limited in shooting opportunities by a strong Stoke team that took the lead through Ibrahim Afellay on the half-hour mark.
After the break Daniel Pudil capped a decent spell from the visitors with a shot that went close, only for Phil Bardsley to get the home fans back on their feet with a long range strike that Joe Wildsmith was unfortunate not to get to.
Like Hull and Middlesbrough, Wednesday can look back fondly on their cup run where they also beat Premier League Newcastle United and now turn their attentions back to the Championship promotion race.
Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal said after the game:”I’m not unhappy with the team, I thank the fans who pushed the team all the way. The fans are amazing. They are unbelievable. We give everything for them on the pitch.”