@CharlieKelman0

U.S. U-18 forward scores 60-yard screamer on League One debut (video)

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The goal of the weekend in the English Football League is going to go to an 18-year-old United States prospect.

Making his League One debut for Southend United, Charlie Kelman made it one to remember in a 3-2 loss.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Kelman took center stage with Southend trailing Plymouth Argyle 3-1 in stoppage time. Regaining possession in his own half, the England-born forward belted the ball 60-plus yards to catch Kyle Letheren off his line.

Oh my.

League Cup semi preview: Just how stunning an upset?

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We saw what Manchester City’s second unit is capable of doing to a Championship side when Pep Guardiola‘s men deconstructed Rotherham United to the tune of 7-0 in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

[ RECAP: Spurs 1-0 Chelsea ]

So what can City do to a mid-table side from League One? And how unthinkable an upset is a Burton Albion victory, especially since manager Nigel Clough was “staggered” by reaching the semi via a defeat of Middlesbrough?

Well, let’s think on it.

Burton Albion’s only defeat of a Premier League team this season is a 2-1 take down of visiting Burnley, and all five of their League Cup wins have come by single goals.

And while City may have lost to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup last season, that was not in a round on the precipice of a final.

Clough, no stranger to the upper reaches of competition, puts its plainly. From The Telegraph:

“It’s almost a bye to the final for City. I don’t think we can go into it thinking we’ve got a fighting chance of winning it,” he says, deadly serious. “If we beat them over two legs, it will be the biggest shock of all time. I don’t know what Pep’s thinking will be but I would imagine it will be to make the second leg irrelevant. But we’ve got to try and do the opposite to that and try to retain a glimmer of hope.”

What is Pep thinking, then (Let’s keep up the thinking theme)?

“Winning is important,” he said. “The Carabao Cup is the more local competition. Everybody is happy to win and nobody is sad if they go out in the competition. We are here in the semi-final and we want to win.”

Burton beating Man City over two legs would be on par with Leicester City winning the Premier League. Is that too bold to say?

League Cup semis: Spurs host Chelsea, Burton off to Man City

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There will be another London Derby in the League Cup semifinals, as Tottenham Hotspur drew Chelsea.

That means League One minnows Burton Albion draw a big first leg trip to face Premier League monsters Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

[ RECAPS: Chelsea-Bournemouth | Arsenal 0-2 Spurs ]

The two-legged semis will be held Jan. 7 and 21. Some important league dates to consider as the PL sides weigh up who may win the silverware.

  • Man City plays Liverpool on Jan. 3
  • Spurs host Man Utd on Jan. 13
  • Chelsea visits Arsenal on Jan. 19

Man City won the tournament last season, while Chelsea last won in 2015 and Spurs won in 2008.

Burton Albion making League Cup semi “absolutely staggering”

Owen Humphreys/PA via AP
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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.

[ MORE: Steffen wins USMNT award ]


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.