By Toby Davis
Manchester City reached the quarter-finals of the League Cup after they finally broke down a resilient Newcastle United to win 2-0 after extra time on Wednesday, while Tottenham Hotspur needed penalties to get past Hull City.
City, who made 10 changes from the team that played Chelsea in the league on Sunday, were far from fluent but came through a testing encounter with goals from substitute Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko in the first period of extra time.
Tottenham earned a late reprieve when Harry Kane made it 2-2 in extra time and then booked a place in the last eight when Hull’s Ahmed Elmohamady missed his penalty to hand Spurs an 8-7 win.
It was Tottenham’s first penalty shootout victory in eight attempts since they beat Peterborough in the FA Cup in 1994.
Gylfi Sigurdsson had put them ahead after 16 minutes with a rocket finish before a Brad Friedel own goal ensured the tie went to extra time.
Paul McShane put Hull, who lost 1-0 to Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday, in the box seat nine minutes into the additional period, but Kane levelled with a precise finish.
Manchester City dug deep into their near endless squad of reserves but still fielded a full side of internationals.
Goalkeeper Joe Hart was one of those relegated to the bench after his error of judgement on Sunday allowed Chelsea to win at Stamford Bridge, but the wholesale changes produced a stilted first-half display.
It was Newcastle who should have been ahead at the interval with their best two chances falling to Papiss Cisse.
He first lifted an early effort over City’s stand-in keeper Costel Pantilimon but wide of the post on nine minutes, before scuffing another good chance across the face of goal.
That effort was poked in by Shola Ameobi from close range but ruled out for offside.
City picked up the pace after the interval and should have won the match in normal time with James Milner scooping an effort over the bar and Negredo failing to convert a one-on-one with just over 10 minutes to play.
After Pantilimon pulled off a fantastic smothering save to deny Cisse in extra-time, City struck a killer blow when Negredo stole in front of his marker to sidefoot home a cross from Dzeko.
The Bosnian got on the scoresheet himself when he rounded the keeper to make the game safe just before the halftime interval in extra-time.
At any other club, goalscoring strikers might expect to retain their places but Dzeko was quick to point to the embarrassment of riches at City manager Manuel Pellegrini’s disposal.
“We are good together, but we have Sergio Aguero and Stevan Jovetic too and any of the four of us can play,” he told the BBC. “It’s still three more games to the final but we want to get there, that’s definitely the aim.”
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas had pleaded with fans to turn up the volume after Sunday’s league fixture against Hull and he was granted his wish.
The decibel levels soared when Sigurdsson put Spurs in front early on with a rifled shot from distance that went in off the underside of the bar.
The atmosphere was subdued however when Hull drew level on the back of a howler from keeper Friedel, who fumbled a ball that was going wide into his own net.
That misery was compounded in extra-time when McShane headed in George Boyd’s corner to give the visitors hope of reaching a maiden League Cup quarter-final.
Kane, however, came to the rescue, scoring his first goal in 22 months with a low finish across goal.
That provided the platform for Friedel to make up for his earlier mistake and he duly obliged by saving Elmohamady’s spotkick with his knees.
“To a man my players were magnificent,” Hull manager Steve Bruce said. “They didn’t deserve to go out of the cup but it wasn’t our day today. We had the better chances.”
Tottenham will host West Ham United in the last eight, while Manchester City travel to second tier Leicester City.
Stoke City play Manchester United and Sunderland or Southampton take on Chelsea in the other quarter-finals.
By Toby Davis