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.

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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.

Burnley 1-0 Southampton: Heaton saves PK, Barnes a hero at Turf Moor

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Ashley Barnes’ 73rd minute shot took a deflected left turn into the Southampton goal, as Burnley shocked the suddenly-reeling Saints in a 1-0 match at Turf Moor on Saturday.

The Clarets leap out of the relegation zone and into 17th for the moment, while Southampton sinks to fifth place. Both could fall a spot depending on latter results.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Eighteen-year-old Jake Hesketh got the start for Southampton, but his day lasted just over a half an hour. Hesketh was involved in a pair of tough collisions and subbed off for James Ward-Prowse.

The second half at Turf Moor brought a downpour of rain, and the game got sloppy and a bit testy.

A 61st minute penalty for usual Southampton hero Dusan Tadic was hit low and saved by a diving Tom Heaton.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

And Barnes became the ultimate hero when he dribbled into the 18 before ripping a shot off a defender and past Fraser Foster, who still probably could’ve made the save.

Lineups

Burnley: Heaton; Mee (Lafferty, 74′), Shackell (c), Keane, Trippier; Boyd, Jones, Marney, Arfield; Barnes, Ings

Goal: Barnes (73′)

Southampton: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Bertrand, Alderweireld, S. Davis, Wanyama, Hesketh (Ward-Prowse, 37′), Tadic, Mane (Long, 78′), Pelle