Gareth Bale will boost the bid from the UK and Ireland to host Euro 2028 by joining the Welsh delegation in Geneva next month.

Bale, the Wales men’s team’s most capped player and record goalscorer, retired from football in January after an illustrious career that saw him win five Champions League titles and three FIFA Club World Cups at Real Madrid.

The 34-year-old has now offered a helping hand for Wales to become a Euro 2028 co-host alongside England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Republic of Ireland.

Turkey are also in the running to stage the tournament, with the final decision to be made in Geneva on October 10 when Bale will be present.

Football Association of Wales chief executive Noel Mooney said: “We are hoping for a successful bid and Gareth is very much part of the FAW and what we do. He has been identified as one of the faces of the bid presentation.

“Gareth is globally famous. You can get into a taxi in Sydney or Peru and if you mention you are from Wales they will say ‘Gareth Bale’. It is an instant reaction.

“When I go home to the west of Ireland the first thing people say to me is ‘how is Gareth Bale?’

“Gareth is so good for us. We went to him and asked him if he would get involved in the Euro ’28 bid and he just said: ‘What can I do for Wales?’

“It was instant – ‘how can I help you get the bid over the line?'”

Ten stadia across the five nations would host matches if the Euro 2028 bid is successful – Wembley, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Etihad Stadium, Everton’s new Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium, Villa Park and St James’ Park being the venues in England.

A redeveloped Casement Park in Belfast, the Dublin Arena in the Republic, Hampden Park in Scotland and the Principality Stadium in Wales – the 74,500-capacity home of Welsh rugby – would also stage matches.

The Principality Stadium would be referred to as the Cardiff National Stadium during the tournament due to UEFA rules over sponsorship.

Wales hope to stage as many as six matches if the bid is successful, with Mooney having said last October that Cardiff could be in line to stage the opening game of the tournament.

Mooney said: “Six games for Wales has been mentioned before, but it is ultimately up to UEFA to decide on the division of games, qualification from the five host nations and things like that.

“We’re lucky in that we have a fantastic stadium to offer in a magnificent city. Cardiff hosted a very successful Champions League final in 2017 and UEFA were very happy with it.

“But we feel we can get more out of hosting a series of games than from a stand alone match.

“There were tens of thousands of Spanish and Italian fans in Cardiff for Real Madrid against Juventus, and they all had a great time. But they were gone the next day.

“What the 2016 Euros did for France as a brand, and 2024 will do for Germany, was fantastic.

“The Covid-hit Euros weren’t the same and the World Cup in Qatar was a different experience.”

Mooney is confident that work on upgrading the Principality Stadium to meet UEFA standards will be completed should the bid from the UK and Ireland prove successful.

He said: “Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government are backing the bid and are happy with the projected return on investment.

“Millions of pounds will need to be spent on the Principality Stadium to get it up to scratch. It needs new floodlights and a scoreboard.

“There are also issues over hospitality numbers and the TV compound. But these are all things that will be resolved.”

Rangers manager Michael Beale hailed a “good night” after his side beat Livingston 4-0 at Ibrox to reach the semi-finals of the Viaplay Cup.

After a bright start to the game, Abdallah Sima fired the hosts ahead just 10 minutes in before a brilliant solo effort from Ridvan Yilmaz doubled the lead in the second half.

They capped the match off with two quickfire goals in the final 10 minutes as Sima found the net from a deflection before Ryan Jack struck in stoppage time.

The win came on the back of a lacklustre 1-0 win against Motherwell in the cinch Premiership at the weekend, and Beale was pleased with how his side played.

“We won a third game in seven days, another clean sheet, we’re in a semi-final so it’s a good night for us,” he said.

“We just stayed with the ball a bit more first half, we were a bit more patient, I thought at times we could speed up a little bit, but in terms of our general possession it was much better than the weekend.

“Abdallah showed the way with his running off the ball, we need to do a bit more of that and by the end of the game we did.”

Beale also provided an injury update on Yilmaz, who was substituted shortly after scoring, and Kemar Roofe, who came off at half-time.

He said: “Ridvan was cramp and Kemar is a groin problem so we’ll know more tomorrow.”

Rangers will now meet with Hearts in the semi-final at Hampden Park in November.

Yilmaz’s stunning solo effort in the second half was arguably the pick of the goals after he made a great run from his own half down the centre of the pitch before firing the ball into the bottom corner.

He said: “(I’m) delighted for him because he’s had a rough first year and a bit to his Rangers career because he’s showed moments and flashes of why the club invested in him and why he was such a big talent in Turkey, in the national team so young, but obviously injuries have held him back.

“Hopefully that’s the start of him showing what he can do more regularly.”

Defeat knocked Livingston out of the competition, with Rangers’ victory kicked off by Sima’s finish in the first half.

The forward appeared to nudge Jamie Brandon off the ball before cutting inside to smash in the top corner and Livi manager David Martindale believes it was a foul.

“Disappointed because I did think it was a foul, I’ll be honest,” he said.

“Never got it but I thought we were spooked the first 15 minutes, I thought we struggled to get to grips with our shape.

“Then the second half, the second part of the first half I thought we managed to build ourselves back into the game, we limited them to very few chances because the first maybe 20/22 minutes something along those lines, there was a lot of chances going behind us quite a bit.

“I thought the second part of the first half we managed to build ourselves into the game, get ourselves in at half-time 1-0, had a chat, had a reshape and I thought we started the second half really well.

“I thought we were doing OK then we gave away a cheap goal, individual errors within that phase of play which was disappointing.”

Eddie Howe was delighted to finally get the better of Pep Guardiola as he steered Newcastle past Manchester City into the Carabao Cup fourth round.

Last season’s beaten finalists triumphed 1-0 at St James’ Park, and then saw themselves drawn against City’s derby rivals Manchester United – their conquerors at Wembley in February – at Old Trafford.

For Magpies head coach Howe, it was a first win in 14 attempts against Guardiola as a manager, but that was not his main cause for celebration.

Howe said: “Yes, my record against him isn’t good, so it’s nice to win, but most importantly it’s not about that it’s about trying to progress in the competition and I’m delighted with the players, delighted with the efforts that they gave.

“It was a very difficult game for us in that first half, I thought they played very well. I thought we defended very well – we had to because we struggled, didn’t have much rhythm.

“But then the second half was a totally different performance. The balance of of the team was much better and I’m delighted with everyone’s commitment to the game.”

While Howe chose to rest 10 of the men who started Sunday’s 8-0 Premier League demolition of Sheffield United, opposite number Pep Guardiola made eight changes, although it was the way in which they used their respective benches which ultimately proved decisive.

The Spaniard kept star striker Erling Haaland in reserve and asked substitute Phil Foden to try to rescue the tie for him, while his opposite number changed the pattern of the game by sending on Bruno Guimaraes and Anthony Gordon at the break and reaped the rewards.

Newcastle have already lost to City and Liverpool in the league this season, so victory over one of the big boys was all the more welcome.

Howe said: “The only way you go into these games with more belief is by winning, so hopefully that will serve us well for the future. It shows that we are capable.

“Yes, both teams made changes, but all you can do is try to win the game and we did, and I’m delighted with the players.”

The game was settled by Alexander Isak’s 53rd-minute finish at the end of a powerful run by Joelinton, although City were left kicking themselves for not capitalising on their domination before the break and their failure to mount a fresh charge after it.

Asked if he was disappointed that his side could no longer win a quadruple to go with the treble they landed last season, a bemused Guardiola said: “You think the target was to win the quadruple? Honestly, it’s not.

“We competed really well and we are more than satisfied to win the treble. Our expectations are high, but not high enough to not be satisfied with that.”

Guardiola opted not to throw Haaland into the mix as time ran down, and was happy to defend that decision.

Asked if he considered sending the frontman on, he said: “No. I thought Kyle (Walker had played) a lot of minutes, Erling a lot of minutes. We have a lot of games ahead of us.

“Maybe the last 10-15 minutes, but I decided not to do it.”

Jurgen Klopp praised the impact of Dominik Szoboszlai at Anfield after the summer signing came off the bench to fire Liverpool into the last 16 of the Carabao Cup.

Liverpool had to come from behind to beat Championship leaders Leicester 3-1 after Kasey McAteer silenced Anfield just three minutes in.

But after Cody Gakpo equalised early in the second half, Szoboszlai struck an unstoppable shot in the 70th minute, moments after coming on, with Diogo Jota wrapping it up with a late goal of his own.

Szoboszlai’s rocket from the edge of the D was his second goal since his £60million summer switch from RB Leipzig and another marker into the impressive start the Hungarian has made on Merseyside.

“I don’t have to tell him to shoot, he knows that better than me,” Klopp said.

“He has a pretty good skill. The next (shot) he had which was slightly over was another grenade as well. It was a super goal.”

The ease with which Szoboszlai has made himself at home at Anfield has been key to the strong start Liverpool, second in the Premier League, have made in all competitions as they look to have solved many of the midfield problems that dogged them last season.

Asked if Szoboszlai had settled quicker than expected, Klopp said: “It’s so long ago that he’s here that I’ve forgotten what I thought but since the first minute of training it was pretty impressive.

“That’s how it is. He’s a top bloke, a top guy and it’s easy to step into the team and the dressing room and stuff like this.

“He’s a very naturally confident boy and that helps but it’s super hard work as well and that’s what you see today.”

The night started badly for Liverpool when Konstantinos Tsimikas’ early free-kick was cleared and the Greece defender was then left on the deck by Marc Albrighton as Leicester raced away to score.

But Klopp said what stood out to him was the way his players responded.

“The headline is that we are 1-0 down but it was a completely different goal – I’m not sure if it was a foul or not but we could have defended a bit better in that first moment, and then it’s a good pass and a good finish.

“Then it is all about the reaction. Our players responded well. We created massive chances that were difficult to miss, but we did, and the goalkeeper saved some and we hit the crossbar.

“How (we didn’t score) I have no clue but at half-time it was clear we were going to make sure we didn’t get frustrated. We were not really chasing the game but playing the game and that’s what the boys did. It was a top performance.”

It was only a second defeat of the season for Leicester as they chase an instant return to the top flight and Enzo Maresca said the performance was more important than the result.

“I’m very, very proud of the players because to come to this stadium against this opponent and to continue playing in the way we want to play I think they showed they were very brave,” he said.

“Even after 45 minutes when we were 1-0 up I was not focused on the result, it’s always important of course, but I told them before the game the focus for us is to go there and continue to play in the way we want.”

Sean Dyche insists Everton cannot rush their recovery after the Toffees’ impressive Carabao Cup win at Aston Villa.

James Garner and Dominic Calvert-Lewin fired the visitors into the fourth round – and a home tie with Burnley – following their 2-1 victory.

Boubacar Kamara pulled a late goal back to spark a Villa rally but any comeback would have been undeserved for the awful hosts.

Everton lost 4-0 at Villa Park in the Premier League just five weeks ago but have secured back-to-back wins for the first time in a year as their season splutters into life.

Investment firm 777 Partners is also waiting for approval on its takeover and Dyche knows the process to revive the club takes time.

“The story of Everton has been a two-to-three season story, the cloud hanging over it a little bit. The only people who can change that story is us,” he said, after four defeats from their opening five league games.

“The team starts the process, bonding the club together, bonding the fans. You want that bond.

“We want a strong connection with the fans, the rest I can’t control, but a strong connection is something we can get with the way the players go about their business.

“We are trying to work with things on and off the pitch, there’s so much alignment which needs to be done from top to bottom. You can’t just fast track everything. The last couple of seasons have not been where Everton want to be.

“Now it’s step-by-step, building a team which is more competitive and gets more wins. The rest of it takes care of itself.”

Everton’s press unnerved Villa and earned them the opener after 15 minutes when they forced a mistake.

Robin Olsen’s poor clearance under pressure landed for Amadou Onana on the edge of the area, with Calvert-Lewin and Arnaut Danjuma returning the ball.

Onana slipped a clever pass through to Garner to smash in his first Toffees goal from 10 yards.

Olsen stopped a comical John McGinn own goal and thwarted Calvert-Lewin but was powerless to stop the striker adding a second five minutes after the break.

Youri Tielemans’ poor pass left Ezri Konsa short and Calvert-Lewin darted in to run through and beat Olsen.

It was all the visitors deserved yet they needed Jordan Pickford to stop Moussa Diaby pulling a goal back immediately.

Calvert-Lewin tested Olsen but Kamara gave Villa faint hope when his strike from the edge of the box deflected in off Michael Keane.

Diaby and Douglas Luiz went close to forcing penalties but poor Villa slumped to their first home defeat since February.

“It’s not (about being) tired,” said boss Unai Emery, who made five changes from Sunday’s 1-0 win at Chelsea which lifted Villa to sixth in the Premier League.

“I don’t want to use all our effort with the players each match. We are trying to keep a balance with some different players but trying to be competitive.

“We’re disappointed with the start and mistakes we made but we are trying to go forward and building the team.

“We made the second mistake quickly (in the second half) and it was difficult to come back.

“We have to move on quickly, try to recover the players for Saturday (against Brighton) because we need the best performance.”

Mauricio Pochettino hailed the character and personality of his players after watching Chelsea end a three-game winless run by beating Brighton in the Carabao Cup third round.

Home supporters witnessed a victory at Stamford Bridge for just the third time since March as Nicolas Jackson’s goal proved the difference between the sides and set up a fourth-round meeting with Blackburn.

Jackson struck five minutes after half-time with a composed finish into the corner from Cole Palmer’s pass, becoming the first Chelsea player to score since Enzo Fernandez netted in the second round against AFC Wimbledon on 30 August.

Pochettino has repeatedly claimed in recent weeks that performances have been better than the team’s results, and he was relieved to finally see the tide turn in what he called a deserved win.

“Very pleased with the performance again,” he said. “(I am) happy for the victory and (it is) important to go through and build our momentum. I hope to build momentum for the future from today.

“Very pleased when the strikers score, it’s important. He needed to feel the net, it was an important game for him.

“All the team was really good. If we assess, all the players were in a very good level.

“Cole is a very talented player, he was key in this victory. He’s still young, he still needs to settle in the club and the city but we saw today how good he is.

“I think they (the players) showed character and personality.”

Chelsea’s night was slightly blighted by uncertain first-half performances from former Brighton pair Robert Sanchez and Marc Cucurella.

Sanchez in goal endured a particularly torrid night, with poor distribution gifting chances to Joao Pedro and Ansu Fati, while he also repeatedly hit passes into touch.

Pochettino would not be drawn into criticism of the two.

“The first half sometimes we didn’t provide Robert and Marc good angles to play and have continuity,” he said.

“After half-time I think we fixed that and were much better. But in a difficult moment they showed character. It’s never easy to play in these circumstances. Today was a must-win, we needed to win this game.

“Sometimes the pressure to win, you can’t be perfect. In the second half we dominated the game and we deserved the victory.”

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi defended his selection, with a number of first-team regulars having been rested following Sunday’s win over Bournemouth.

“We played good enough to win the game but to win you have to score,” he said.

“We didn’t score in the first half when we had many chances to score. Not difficult chances. We were not able to score, then you keep the game open.

“I am sorry, I’m disappointed for the result because I want to compete in four competitions. I think the first XI was enough to win the game.

“We have to adapt, we have to improve, The young players have to progress, but quickly, because in football we don’t have time.

“I don’t want to make any excuses. It was the right first XI to win the game.”

Real Madrid returned to winning ways at home to Las Palmas but Girona are the new surprise leaders of LaLiga after they made it six league victories in a row.

Girona had moved up to second at the weekend with a thrilling 5-3 success over Mallorca, but they trailed after 49 minutes at Villarreal.

Daniel Parejo put the hosts ahead from 12 yards but Artem Dovbyk produced an equaliser only seven minutes later.

Five minutes after the leveller and Girona had completed the turnaround when ex-Manchester City defender Eric Garcia headed home a cross by Alex Garcia.


It proved enough to earn the Catalonia outfit, who are part-owned by City Football Group, a 2-1 victory to overtake Barcelona at the LaLiga summit.

Real Madrid were made to work hard for their 2-0 victory over Las Palmas but Brahim Diaz’ first goal for the club in the third-minute of first-half stoppage time broke the deadlock at the Bernabeu.

It was 2-0 soon after half-time when Joselu continued his fine form with a 54th-minute header from Rodrygo’s centre.

Athletic Bilbao are fourth but they had to settle for a point following an entertaining 2-2 draw at home to Getafe.

Yuri Berchiche opened the scoring for Bilbao in the fifth-minute but Oihan Sancet was sent off at the end of the first half and Gaston Alvarez levelled for Getafe in the 51st-minute after an assist by Manchester United loanee Mason Greenwood.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Getafe C.F. (@getafecf)


Inaki Williams put 10-man Athletic back in front before Juanmi Latasa had the final say on proceedings with an 83rd-minute leveller at San Mames.

Real Sociedad are fifth thanks to a 32nd-minute effort by Carlos Fernandez in a 1-0 win at Valencia, who finished the match with a numerical disadvantage after Selim Amallah was sent off.

Meanwhile, Cadiz and Rayo Vallecano played out a goalless draw with Abdul Mumin given his marching orders for Vallecano late on.

Inter Milan’s perfect start to the new Serie A season ended after Sassuolo came from behind to clinch a 2-1 win at the San Siro.

Denzel Dumfries put Simone Inzaghi’s men in front before half-time and they looked on course for a sixth straight victory, but Nedim Bajrami silenced the home crowd with a 54th-minute equaliser.

It got worst nine minutes later when Domenico Berardi rifled home from the edge of the area to put Sassuolo ahead.

Inter’s city rivals AC Milan were indebted to English duo Fikayo Tomori and Ruben Loftus-Cheek after they claimed a 3-1 win at Cagliari.

Zito Luvumbo put Cagliari ahead before the half an hour mark, but Noah Okafor scored for Milan in the 40th minute and Tomori fired home from a corner on the stroke of half-time.

Loftus-Cheek extended Milan’s lead on the hour mark when he arrowed home an effort from 25-yards after good play by Christian Pulisic out wide to help Stefano Piolo’s team move level with leaders Inter on 15 points from six games.

Napoli returned to winning ways with Victor Osimhen able to put his social-media storm to one side to score in a 4-1 win over Udinese.

Osimhen had threatened legal action against Napoli over a post on the club’s TikTok which appeared to mock the forward but he let his football do the talking with a smart 39th-minute finish in Naples.


Piotr Zielinski, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and substitute Giovanni Simeone were also on target while Lazar Samardzic grabbed a late consolation for Udinese.

Matias Vecino and Mattia Zaccagni struck in the second half to earn Lazio a 2-0 triumph over Torino while Atalanta are up to fourth following a hard-fought 1-0 win at Verona.

Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola is sweating on Dominic Solanke’s fitness after the striker limped off with an ankle injury late on in the 2-0 win over Stoke at the Vitality Stadium.

Striker Solanke was brought on at half-time to reinvigorate Bournemouth and put his side ahead six minutes after coming on.

Joe Rothwell smashed in a free-kick to confirm the Cherries’ spot in the fourth round – where they will host Liverpool – but Solanke was replaced with five minutes to go to sour the evening.

“Dom has played well,” said Iraola, of his top scorer. “We needed a change of energy and the whole of the team had a different attitude in the second half.

“Unfortunately, he couldn’t finish the game, that was probably the worst part of the evening.

“We will see tomorrow if the ankle is swollen or not but we have a very tight schedule so it will be tough for him to play at the weekend.”

Former Liverpool forward Solanke controlled a low cross from Adam Smith before finishing with a neat swivel for his fourth goal of the season.

Three minutes later, the Cherries were in complete control when Rothwell’s free-kick from the left side of the box escaped everyone’s touch and bounced into the bottom corner.

It was the midfielder’s first goal since arriving from Blackburn before last season.

Iraola was happy to progress but not to be up against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds in the next round.

The Spaniard said: “We wouldn’t have chosen Liverpool, for sure, but I think we have to make them play a good game and come here and beat us. It isn’t an easy draw.”

Stoke manager Alex Neil was angered by some naivety before Solanke’s goal.

The Scot said: “I thought we competed really well for the majority of the match.

“First half there wasn’t a lot in the game which is summed up by them bringing two strong attacking players on at half-time.

“You could see at the start of the second half that they visibly upped the tempo and the lads that came on are naturally good players and got the fans behind them.

“I think the biggest disappointment is that when you are playing Premier League players you can semi-accept that you can get undone by quality play but the first goal for us is so frustrating.

“We gave the free-kick away and then after that we kicked the ball back to them, we weren’t set and the ball ends up in the back of the net.

“All the hard work we’d done in the first half was wasted because of the lapse of concentration and naivety.

“If you take the game in its entirety in terms of just playing I thought we competed and was good in spells.”

Marco Silva called for Fulham to be more ruthless in front of goal after their narrow 2-1 win over Norwich in the Carabao Cup third round.

Goals from Carlos Vinicius and Alex Iwobi sealed victory for the Cottagers despite Borja Sainz’s 75th-minute effort for the visitors.

Manager Silva believes Fulham need to convert more chances after they nearly paid the price for their earlier missed opportunities.

“We had some good moments but we missed many chances to kill the game before and to score more goals,” Silva said.

“Until the moment (Iwobi’s goal) we did not take the goal and against this type of team who have enthusiasm in this competition the game was tough and was always open.

“We created a big number of chances but we need to be more ruthless and effective.

“We have to finish moments when the ball is inside the box. We had it from the right and from the left so many times.

“We need to be more assertive in those moments because we created enough.”

Iwobi’s memorable second-half strike was his first Fulham goal since his reported £22million move from Everton on deadline day.

Silva lauded the Nigerian and mentioned the reasons behind signing the midfielder.

“As you know he’s a player I know really well and I was responsible for him to sign for Everton as well,” Silva added.

“I know what he can do as a player for ourselves in different positions on the pitch.

“He has qualities, he’s dynamic and his energy as well is going to make him an important player for us.”

Norwich manager David Wagner credited his side’s performance on a night where they narrowly avoided drawing level and forcing the game to penalties.

He said: “It was good to see us play by our structure and principles. We are a side who can be good against a Premier League side which is still the case even though we made changes.

“It was good and it will give us a major boost for what is in front of us.”

Manager Nick Montgomery praised the character of his players after Hibernian came from behind to defeat St Mirren 4-2 and land a Viaplay Cup semi-final tie against Aberdeen.

Two late goals from Martin Boyle settled a compelling quarter-final that flowed from end to end.

The Paisley side had taken the lead through Scott Tanser, fell behind to quickfire second-half strikes from Elie Youan and Dylan Vente before Keanu Baccus made it 2-2.

Boyle’s double continued Montgomery’s positive start to life at Easter Road and he now has his first working trip to Hampden to look forward to.

He said: “It’s all about getting through to a semi-final at Hampden so I’m really proud of everyone involved.

“I was at Scotland versus England a couple of weeks ago and thought the atmosphere was amazing – apart from the boos!

“But I never went there as a player or coach, so I’m really looking forward to that.

“The boys thoroughly deserved it, so I’m really proud of their effort.

“I thought it was a really good game of football, a good cup tie under the lights.

“I saw great character from the boys and I thought we deserved to win the game.

“We created more than enough chances to win two games. But fair play to St Mirren, they came as the form team in the league.

“They’ve had a fantastic start to the season but we saw that as an opportunity to put an end to that run. I’m really proud of the boys’ effort because it has been a big couple of weeks.

“I thought that performance epitomised everything in terms of team spirit. And in the second half we played some great stuff.”

St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson felt it was a chance missed for his team, who lost for the first time in 11 games.

He said: “It’s an opportunity missed. We were superb in the first half. We had total control of the game and it should have been 2-0.

“But then it was as if we went ‘that was really good, let’s not do that again’ for the first 15 minutes of the second half. Ultimately, we conceded goals that we don’t concede.

“If you lose four goals you’re going to lose football matches. But I can’t be too hard on the players because they showed good fighting spirit and quality.

“Individual errors and bad decision making have cost us. We didn’t deserve to go through but we won’t feel sorry for ourselves. We will reset and come out fighting again on Saturday.”

Barry Robson’s only frustration after sealing a place in the Viaplay Cup semi-finals was that his side allowed Ross County a route back into the match.

Aberdeen were two goals to the good in Dingwall before County scored a late penalty, setting up a tense finale as each side battled to get back to Hampden.

The Dons had been in control of the match, helped along by an early red card for Staggies skipper Jack Baldwin and Robson felt his side could have been out of sight long before County pulled a goal back.

“When you come up against 10 men it’s not the easiest, so we changed shape,” Robson reasoned.

“I thought we were comfortable in the game, because Kelle (Roos) never had a save to make.

“That one ball over the top when we were 2-0 up for their penalty, it was always going to be a tough last five or 10 minutes.

“For me, we probably shouldn’t have had to go through the last five or 10 minutes, because we were in real control at 2-0 up.

“We should have had a couple of penalties too, so I thought the game could have been done.”

Malky Mackay, meanwhile, was left frustrated by injuries to his players that he felt should have been more strongly punished.

However, he was proud of the effort his players put in to remain competitive, even with playing over 75 minutes with 10 men.

“I’m really disappointed. We lose to a really fantastic goal, he couldn’t hit it any sweeter, so I have no qualms about that,” Mackay explained.

“I think VAR would have looked at the sending off, but you’re thinking it could have become a long night and we turned it into a real cup tie.

“There were balls flashing across the box with 10 minutes to go, so I’m disappointed for our players but really proud of them.

“There seemed to be an awful lot of bookings for a period and then a few bizarre ones that don’t become bookings.

“Josh Sims is away to hospital. His leg is split wide open like a banana and when you look at it again it’s really not good by Ryan Duncan, so I really don’t understand why that wasn’t a booking.

“Then at the end Josh Reid gets wiped out and the foul is given but no booking, so it’s a bit of consistency that’s needed and a bit of dialogue I suppose.”

Jon Dahl Tomasson praised “intelligent” Andrew Moran after the 19-year-old loanee netted his first goals in English football to help Blackburn beat Cardiff 5-2 in the Carabao Cup third round.

The Irishman, on loan from Brighton, lit up a pulsating encounter that started with Jake Garrett’s third cup goal of the season giving Rovers the lead before Callum Robinson’s piledriver levelled matters.

Moran’s influence began when setting up Arnor Sigurdsson to score for the second consecutive game before Kion Etete’s turn and finish brought Cardiff a second equaliser.

Rovers pulled away in the second half with Moran confidently slotting home in the 49th minute before winning a penalty that Runar Alex Runarsson saved to deny Sigurdsson.

Moran curled in a brilliant fourth before setting up Dilan Markanday to stroke home the fifth.

Blackburn boss Tomasson said: “(Moran is) a great player, first of all.

“He scores goals, he can give assists.

“He’s intelligent, his flair on the ball is extremely good, to carry the ball, he’s good to play one or two touches. He works hard for the team.

“A young boy, young man, who is also very driven. He wants to become better, he is very ambitious. So we are very pleased with Andy.”

On his team’s display, Tomasson added: “Great result, great performance. Some of the attacking football we saw today was exceptional, on a high level.

“We scored five great goals. Probably could have had 10. Great to see some of the players who haven’t played that much getting opportunities to get minutes as well. We don’t have the biggest squad so we need everybody up to speed so it was great to see that performance.

“It must be a blow when you concede a goal just before half time. The players dealt with the second half really well, adjusting from conceding that late and showed some exceptional football.”

Cardiff changed their entire starting XI and it showed. But Erol Bulut admitted his priorities lie with the league.

He said: “I said before, in the cup we will try to continue so far as we can. Today was the end for us against a good Blackburn team. They played much, much better than us.

“We were not concentrated enough, not focused enough.

“For me and the club the priority is the league, so that’s why we didn’t bring many players with us.

“But at least we saw today which players we can use in our main team. Today it was only a few, not enough, not as many as I was expecting. But there were a few who can help us in the league.”

West Ham assistant manager Billy McKinlay was pleased his much-changed side were able to come through a tough test at Lincoln in the Carabao Cup.

The Premier League Hammers, who made 10 changes from their defeat at Liverpool on Sunday, were pushed hard by the League One Imps but battled to a 1-0 win.

Only Tomas Soucek remained in the starting XI from the Anfield game and that proved vital as he scored the only goal in the 70th minute.

“I thought we deserved the win, it was a tough night but we got through,” McKinlay said.

“We caused our own problems a little bit and gave them encouragement. In the second half, it was a bit better and we had some good opportunities to create a bit more.

“But we’re delighted to get through.

“As the game goes on you’re always wary that one goal might be the one that wins the game, so we had to get it.

“All in all we are happy and glad to be in the next round.”

On making 10 changes, McKinlay added: “We have got a really strong squad, plenty of players are fighting for the shirt.

“At the moment the boys who are playing in the Premier League probably have possession of that but that can change very quickly.

“If you’re in the team and playing well you keep the shirt and that’s what we want to see.”

Lincoln, who beat Sheffield United in the previous round, were eyeing another upset and things might have been different had Reeco Hackett buried a free header just before half-time.

The Imps were not able to recreate a strong first-half performance but still bowed out with their heads held high.

Boss Mark Kennedy said: “I thought it was a really good game of football from both teams.

“It is fine margins in the end. I was really impressed with West Ham, I’m not going to say the best team lost but we definitely deserved something from the game.

“We knew we had to be at our maximum and hope they’re not.

“I thought everyone who stepped on to the pitch did themselves proud.

“I’m incredibly proud, the players should be very proud of themselves. I thought everyone did themselves justice.”

Mikel Arteta had no doubt Aaron Ramsdale would perform when called upon after the goalkeeper kept Brentford at bay.

Reiss Nelson’s early goal secured a 1-0 victory at the Gtech Community Stadium to send Arsenal through to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

But it was two fine saves from Ramsdale in the second half which denied the Bees the chance to get back into the match.

Ramsdale had sat out the last three matches, including Sunday’s north London derby draw against Tottenham, with Arteta preferring David Raya, the summer signing from Brentford.

The Gunners fans sung his name before kick-off and Arteta said: “For sure, he’s been exceptional around the place and especially with the situation.

“We love him, for sure. We know his character and what he brings to the team and we are happy to have him. Every player is very important. Today he had the opportunity to play and he had a really good game.

“I’m really happy. It was two very different halves. In the second they had a more aggressive approach and we were too direct and it became a difficult game.

“When we don’t play that well you need some big blocks in the box and we did that.”

The winning goal came after only eight minutes thanks to a mistake by the recalled Mathias Jorgensen, whose pass back wrong-footed Ethan Pinnock.

Eddie Nketiah leapt on the error, cutting the ball back for Nelson who stepped past a sliding Nathan Collins before neatly finishing past Mark Flekken.

Brentford improved after the break but were frustrated when Ramsdale tipped Yoane Wissa’s snap-shot against a post, and then aimed a fist pump at the home fans behind the goal who had been giving him stick.

“I didn’t see the second part, but I saw the first. It was a great save and crucial for us to win the game,” added Arteta.

Ramsdale then flung himself to his left to deny Frank Onyeka with time running out.

Bees boss Thomas Frank said: “I hate losing so it’s always tough to take but very pleased with the performance. That is the thing we can build on.

“Good performance in the first half and excellent in the second half. I think Arsenal were very lucky to get away with this with the chances we created in the second half.”

Chelsea earned respite from their difficult start to the season under Mauricio Pochettino as Nicolas Jackson’s second-half goal gave them a 1-0 win against Brighton in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

Roberto De Zerbi’s high-flying visitors dominated possession for much of the game but home fans witnessed their side put on an effective counter-attacking display at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had gone three games without scoring, but that run ended when Jackson struck early in the second half after being set up by Cole Palmer, planting a composed finish into the corner to ease his personal struggles in front of goal.

Pochettino made five changes from the side beaten by Aston Villa on Sunday, with Palmer brought in for his first start.

The former Manchester City forward began in an advanced three alongside Mykhailo Mudryk and Ian Maatsen, but was at his most effective when dropping to receive the ball deep, seeking out the critical final-third passes that have eluded Chelsea and meant they have scored just five league goals in six games.

Jackson had an early sight of goal, winning the ball on the edge of Brighton’s box and hitting a left-footed drive that deflected over.

Robert Sanchez was one of three former Brighton players in the Chelsea line-up and twice in the first period the goalkeeper almost gifted his former side the lead, first passing the ball straight to the feet of Joao Pedro who chipped it inches over the bar, then putting Moises Caicedo under pressure in a central position. He was dispossessed by Carlo Baleba, who rolled the ball to Ansu Fati to fire wide from the best opening of the half.

Brighton had enjoyed 66 per cent possession by the half-hour mark, leaving Chelsea to look for openings on the break.

The lively Mudryk ran in behind from Caicedo’s defence-splitting pass, only for Tariq Lamptey to slide in with an expertly timed intervention.

Minutes later, Mudryk turned provider, latching on to Levi Colwill’s forceful tackle that sent the ball spinning upfield and crossing low to the near post for Palmer to side-foot wide under pressure from Igor Julio.

Chelsea had endured their worst start to a season in 45 years but relief looked finally to have arrived five minutes after half-time.

Maatsen received the ball centrally and laid it into the feet of Palmer, who had been a lurking first-half threat playing between the lines. He tucked it in cleverly to Jackson, who wrong-footed Bart Verbruggen to guide home his second goal for the club.

It was just the third time this season that Pochettino had seen his team take the lead, and they should have gone further in front when Mudryk’s energetic midfield pressing won the ball and set Jackson away, but this time the goalkeeper got the best of their duel after spreading himself well.

Home fans thought Jackson had scored the second goal his performance deserved when he slotted home from Palmer’s pass, but the offside flag cut short celebrations.

Brighton had late chances to level, first when Pervis Estupinan collected a raking ball and ran it to the byline, but no one had gambled as his cross fizzed across goal.

Pedro then thumped a volley over the bar from Axel Disasi’s weak headed clearance but Chelsea held on to finally hand Pochettino room to breathe.

Page 6 of 1092
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.