Jake Hesketh

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Burton Albion making League Cup semi “absolutely staggering”

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Burton Albion has never finished higher than 20th in the Championship, so getting to the League Cup semifinals followed a 1-0 defeat of Middlesbrough is pretty darn sweet to manager Nigel Clough and his men.

The Brewers were relegated to League One last season, finishing 23rd in the 24-team Championship.

[ MORE: Leicester 1-1 (1-3 pens) Man City]

Now, manager Nigel Clough has the club within a win of the League Cup Final. It’s their best major cup performance in a 68-year history.

From BurtonAlbionFC.co.uk:

“The scale of the achievement is absolutely staggering – for Burton Albion to get to the semi-final of a major cup competition. It’s very difficult to describe the feeling at this point.”

Sure the luck of the draw is involved — Burton has only drawn one Premier League team, and it was Burnley — but winning five cup matches is winning five cup matches.

Clough, the son of legendary manager Brian Clough, also sung the praises of Southampton loanee Jake Hesketh. The 22-year-old won the match with the game’s loan goal.

“We got the goal through Jake Hesketh. The most impressive thing was to win the tackle on the edge of the box and he was one of the few players tonight not to hit his shot over the bar, We bang on in training about hitting the bottom corners and he did.”

Whether or not Burton can hang with Premier League opposition in the final, this is a pretty monumental moment for the Brewers. Sitting 15th in league play, it will likely be the most memorable moment of the season.

League Cup: Man City wins in PKs; Burton upsets Boro

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It took penalty kicks to separate Leicester City and Man City, while Middlesbrough was booed off the pitch after 90 minutes of an upset loss as the first two quarterfinals of the League Cup were played Tuesday in England.

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Leicester City 1-1 (1-3, PKs) Man City

A bungling batch of penalties ended an entertaining quarterfinal at King Power Stadium, and the reigning champions are alive for their third League Cup in four years.

Christian Fuchs airmailed Leicester City’s second attempt of penalty kicks, but Raheem Sterling chipped his ensuing panenka over the bar for Man City.

It was three-straight misses when Man City’s Arijanet Muric saved James Maddison‘s tame low effort and then nabbed Caglar Soyuncu’s shot to cue up Oleksandar Zinchenko for the winner.

Before that, we learned that Kevin De Bruyne can ball.

Okay, that’s not news, though we haven’t been able to see it in sometime thanks to a pair of knee injuries.

De Bruyne had played just 251 minutes heading into Tuesday’s League Cup quarterfinal at Leicester City, though he’s looking plenty sharp.

Watch the Manchester City midfielder cut his mark with a clever back leg move, then sweep a shot through a defender’s legs and past the reach of Leicester backstop Danny Ward.

It’s delightful stuff. Watch it here.

No sooner had De Bruyne left the contest after 70 minutes, Leicester City restored the stalemate via Marc Albrighton. The veteran midfielder collected a Wilfred Ndidi over-the-top pass with style before lashing past Arijanet Muric.

Middlesbrough 0-1 Burton Albion

There goes Tony Pulis‘ Boro outfit thanks to a strike from Southampton loanee Jake Hesketh, as Burton Albion trumped the ol’ West Bromwich Albion coach at his own game.

The League One side is the only non-Premier League team left in the tournament, and will now face either Man City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, or Bournemouth in the semifinals.

League Cup wrap: Burton Albion, Bournemouth advance

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Burton Albion is a League Cup quarterfinalist for the first time.

Relegated from the Championship last season and a Conference team as recently as 2009, the Brewers built a lead and held on Tuesday to make the final eight of the EFL Cup.

[ MORE: To Real Madrid from the NCAA ]

It was one of two matches played Tuesday, as Leicester City and Southampton was postponed following the tragic death of their owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others in a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium last Saturday.

Bournemouth 2-1 Norwich City

Junior Stanislas gave the Cherries a first half lead, and the Canaries’ equalizer was answered by Steve Cook within two minutes when the defender restored Bournemouth’s advantage at the Vitality Stadium.

The Cherries avoided the fate of Cardiff City, depriving Norwich City a second Premier League upset of the tournament.

Burton Albion 3-2 Nottingham Forest

Saidy Janko and Scott Fraser helped the hosts build a 2-0 lead after a scoreless first half, and Jake Hesketh answered Lewis Grabban‘s goal to restore to two-goal lead with eight minutes to play. Andrew Appiah scored in the first minute of stoppage time, but it wasn’t a prelude to an equalizer.

The two sides had a moment of silence for Srivaddhanaprabha before the match.

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.