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EFL Cup roundup: Spurs rout Gills; Palace, Stoke, Swans knocked out

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The field is set for the EFL Cup’s fourth round after the eight remaining third round matches went in the books.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s EFL Cup roundup ]

Manchester United received a slight scare from Northampton Town before their subs helped spur a 3-1 road win, while Man City had a lot less trouble than expected from Swansea City, and Spurs cruised past the Gills.

The fourth round draw begins shortly. Stay tuned.

Swansea City 1-2 Manchester City

Day Glo orange lifted Gael Clichy to a rare goal as the holders opened up a lead at the Liberty Stadium, and Villarreal import Aleix “Nacho” García made it 2-0 in the 67th minute. Gylfi Sigurdsson nabbed a cosmetic goal in the stoppage time to give us the final score line.

Northampton Town 1-3 Manchester UnitedRECAP

Michael Carrick‘s 17th minute goal was no illusion of dominance, as the Red Devils had nearly 80 percent of the ball, but 33-year-old Alex Revell converted a penalty to level things heading into halftime.

Jose Mourinho had seen enough and, after 55 minutes, Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimovic entered the fray, and the former supplied an assist to Ander Herrera as United moved back ahead in the 68th minute.

Herrera nabbed an assist off an awful blunder from Northampton keeper Adam Smith, as Rashford just danced onto a ball in the box and dribble to the doorstep before slamming it home.

Here’s the moment that had the home faithful believing, at least for a short time…

Southampton 2-0 Crystal Palace

Charlie Austin‘s 33rd minute penalty made sure Saints went into the break with a deserved lead, and diminutive midfielder Jake Hesketh extended the advantage in the 63rd.

West Ham United 1-0 Accrington Stanley

Halftime sub Dimitri Payet spared West Ham both energy and blushing by scoring in the sixth minute of second half stoppage to give the Irons passage into the quarterfinals.

Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Gillingham

Christian Eriksen scored in the 31st and 48th minutes, and Vincent Janssen converted a 51st minute penalty to ensure that ex-Spurs player Justin Edinburgh didn’t have too enjoyable time managing against his old side. Josh Onomah and Erik Lamela rounded out the scoring at White Hart Lane.

Stoke City 1-2 Hull City

Marko Arnautovic and new Tigers man Ryan Mason traded goals as the teams sailed into halftime at 1-1. The sides looked set for extra time, but AZ loanee Markus Henriksen victimized the Stoke back line to pour more misery on Mark Hughes‘ leaky defense.

Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Sunderland

Sandro‘s second half goal broke QPR through, but Paddy McNair had an answer for David Moyes‘ Black Cats. Well, two. The ex-Manchester United back scored twice in 10 minutes to move Sunderland past the R’s.

Fulham 1-2 Bristol City

Chelsea loanee Lucas Piazon opened the scoring for Fulham, but Bristol tied it up through veteran Aaron Wilbraham and found their spirits buoyed when Austrian keeper Ivan Lucic stopped a penalty attempt from Cauley Woodrow.

Another Chelsea loanee, Tammy Abraham, continued his red-hot performance for Bristol and provided the winner.

Pique: Copa-losing Barca still “really hurting” from UCL exit

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Barcelona was the favorite to win La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, and the Copa del Rey for the majority of the season, but only claimed one.

Liverpool’s amazing comeback to beat Barca in the second leg of the UCL semifinals met Saturday’s loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey Final to give Barca a league title alone.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Even with that La Liga advantage being decisive — Barca carried the table by 11 points over Atletico Madrid and finished 19 ahead of Real Madrid — there’s a very dour mood and promised change for the Camp Nou set.

And Gerard Pique says it all traces back to the loss against Liverpool. From The Liverpool Echo:

“I believe that if we had gotten through at Liverpool, we would have won the treble. We would have come here [to the Copa del Rey final] with a different mood, and I’m convinced we would have won the Champions League final, but that is football. We are really, really hurting.”

There are hints of a massive clear-out at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi and Pique two of the only safe bets to stay. When will Barca get over it?

Brazilian team tangles in locker room futmesa (video)

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It was defense versus attack in the Brazil dressing room.

Neymar and Gabriel Jesus squared off with international teammates Filipe Luis and Ederson in a game of futmesa/table soccer this week.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Neymar and Filipe Luis are used to be on different sides of the field from their time in La Liga, while Jesus and Ederson are teammates at Manchester City.

Brazil is hosting this summer’s Copa America and is the favorite to win its first tournament since 2007, when it claimed its fourth in five tries.

It’s really impressive stuff for us normal to subpar athletes, even if standard for those with such deft talent.

Quite a winner from Man City’s young striker.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

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Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.

From Goal.com:

“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).

Report: Chelsea, Real $38M apart on Hazard

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How much for Hazard?

Real Madrid are willing to pay $127 million, no small fee, to bring Eden Hazard from Chelsea, but that’s well off the Blues’ evaluation according to Sky Sports.

Chelsea sees Hazard’s price as $165 million. Belgian writer Kristof Terreur told Sky that Hazard wants his future sorted by June 4.

[ MORE: Bayern wins double ]

The Blues’ superstar is entering the final year of his contract, and could begin negotiating with other clubs in January and leave on a free transfer.

Hazard turns 29 in January. He recorded 19 goals and 16 assists in 51 matches this season, his best output in a Blues uniform.

The report says Chelsea feels no pressure to sell Hazard, but it would be a surprise if it dug in its heels too deeply considering the state of the Belgian’s contract.

Even for Chelsea, letting over $100 million walk out the door is wild, and for all Hazard’s won with Chelsea there’s also been consternation under several managers and a more than occasional habit of disappointing on the table.