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October 29, 2009

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United win marred by crowd trouble

MANCHESTER United and Tottenham Hotspur both won 2-0 to progress to the quarterfinals of League Cup on Tuesday 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 watched his side go 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 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.


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