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Man United, Tottenham progress in League Cup

MANCHESTER United and Tottenham each won 2-0 to progress to the quarterfinals of England's League Cup yesterday and keep alive the chances of a repeat of last season's final.

Danny Wellbeck and Michael Owen scored to give defending champion United victory at lowly Barnsley in a match marred by crowd trouble, while Tottenham beat Premier League rival Everton through goals by Tom Huddlestone and Robbie Keane.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan saved four penalties, including three in the shootout, to give Aston Villa a 3-1 shootout win at Sunderland, Blackburn conceded two equalizers before beating Peterborough 5-2, and Portsmouth showed the sort of form it needs to get off the bottom of the Premier League by beating Stoke 4-0.

United manager Alex Ferguson rested most of his regular starters and fielded a team featuring three right backs but his side went ahead in the sixth minute, Wellbeck connecting with a simple header from Anderson's corner.

Owen, starting just his fifth game since joining United, showed a glimpse of the form that made him the 2001 European player of the year in the 59th when he won the ball 25 meters (yards) from goal, beat three defenders and shot past the goalkeeper.

Gary Neville was sent off moments later for a foul on Adam Hammill to give Barnsley hope against a team that had dominated the opening exchanges to such an extent that the home team's first corner in the 22nd was greeted with huge cheers.

Striker Daniel Bogdanovich headed just wide from the corner to start a period of pressure by Barnsley, which was without a major trophy since the 1912 FA Cup, but the League Championship side was denied a goal by its poor finishing.

But United may be in trouble with football authorities after some of its fans apparently smashed up areas of Barnsley's Oakwell Stadium while celebrating the win.

Barnsley has complained to police over damage to the concourse of the north stand after fans forced their way behind the counter of a food stall.

Tottenham, which won the League Cup in 2008 and lost last season's final in a shootout, fielded a changed team because of injuries to Jonathan Woodgate, Aaron Lennon and Peter Crouch but hit the post through Keane in the 30th and went ahead in the 31st.

Wilson Palacios intercepted on the edge of his own area to start the length-of-the-field move that led to the goal. Palacios passed to Keane and his quick ball to the right found David Bentley, who raced down the wing to curl in a cross that went over Keane's head, under Roman Pavlyuchenko's foot and into the net off a fierce half volley by Huddlestone.

Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes prevented an equalizer at the start of the second half with an acrobatic save from Tim Cahill before Keane won a penalty that led to his goal.

The Ireland striker lured defender Distin into bringing him down in the area and took the resulting penalty. Tim Howard saved the kick and blocked Bentley's shot on the rebound before Gareth Bale's attempt hit a defender and rebounded to Keane, who volleyed in from close range.

"People who came in all did a good job for us," Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said. "Anyone watching that game for us tonight would think, 'He'll do for me, David Bentley.'"

Redknapp said Bentley would likely play against former club Arsenal on Saturday, with Lennon set to miss out because of injury. Louis Saha had gone close for Everton in the fourth minute following a free kick awarded at the end of his side's first attack. Spurs cleared the kick and the ball was played back in, Saha controlling with his knee about 12 meters (yards) from goal before volleying acrobatically over his own head for Gomes to tip over.

Guzan stood in for fellow American goalkeeper Brad Friedel at Sunderland and saved a second-half penalty from Kenwyne Jones to earn Villa a 0-0 draw in regulation time. He then stopped kicks by Andy Reid, Lorik Cana and Jordan Henderson to earn Villa a place among the last eight sides.

Morten Gamst Pedersen, Steven Reid, Michel Salgado, Benni McCarthy and Nikola Kalinic scored for Blackburn, although the Premier League side was held to 2-2 until former Spain defender Salgado hit his first goal in English football in the 57th.

Frederic Piquionne scored in each half to lead Portsmouth, the Premier League's last-place team, to its biggest win since September 2007, when it beat Reading 7-4.

The remaining fourth-round games are scheduled for today, when Arsenal hosts Liverpool, Chelsea hosts Bolton and Manchester City hosts League Championship side Scunthorpe.


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