By Toby Davis
Tottenham Hotspur strolled into the English League Cup semi-finals with a 4-0 rout of Premier League rivals Newcastle United on Wednesday and Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling netted a sharply-taken double in a 3-1 win over Bournemouth.
Nabil Bentaleb, Nacer Chadli, Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado were on target for Spurs against Newcastle who conceded four times for the second match in succession after they were beaten 4-1 by Arsenal in north London on Saturday.
Sterling, who wasted chances as Liverpool slumped to defeat against Manchester United on Sunday, looked a sharp-eyed goal-getter as he produced a clinical display that will lift the pressure on his manager Brendan Rodgers.
Tottenham had lost their last two home clashes with Newcastle, but the threat of a third was eased when a blunder from visiting keeper Jak Alnwick, who made a complete mess of corner, presented Bentaleb with the chance to hook home from four metres.
Chadli doubled the lead with a measured effort from 25 metres, Kane netted with a slightly scuffed finish and Soldado added his name to the scoresheet when he pounced on a loose ball with 20 minutes to play.
At Bournemouth, the hosts’ hopes of an upset were scuppered by their own profligacy against eight-times winners Liverpool, who were far more clinical.
A glaring early miss from the hosts’ Callum Wilson was punished on 20 minutes when Sterling headed the visitors ahead from close range.
Liverpool, who had won only two of 10 matches since they last played in the League Cup and spurned six good chances against United on Sunday, seemed to have rediscovered their scoring touch when Lazar Markovic doubled the lead seven minutes later.
The Serbian wide player, who has been labelled one of Rodgers’ transfer mistakes after failing to break into the side following a 20 million-pound move from
Benfica in the close season, walloped home a rebound from the edge of the area.
Sterling finished precisely when through on goal six minutes after the break, before Dan Gosling grabbed a consolation when his shot beat keeper Brad Jones, who should have done better.
Chelsea and Sheffield United had booked spots in the semi-finals after winning their last-eight ties on Tuesday.