It was a night of shocks in the Carling Cup yesterday, with three of the Premier League’s big guns – Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool – being knocked out by, two by lower league opposition. The most embarrassing exit must have been Liverpool’s, who were beaten on penalties by Northampton Town at home.

The Cobblers are a full 69 league places below the Reds, but in classic cup style, they dominated large portions of the match, and looked like they might actually win it outright in extra time when Michael Jacobs put them in the lead, but even a late equaliser from Ngog couldn’t stop the League Two side from progressing. Understandably, Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson was less than pleased.

‘I have lost a Uefa Cup final on penalties, there is no worse way to lose any game and I know what damage they can do to those who miss,’ said Hodgson. ‘If they are going to be Liverpool players, they will have to recover. There is nothing I can say to the fans. We have been knocked out of the Carling Cup by a side several divisions below us.

‘I didn't think we came anywhere near what I hoped to see from this team. When it goes to a penalty shoot-out in front of the Kop, you would hope your players have the composure and confidence to win it. However, you have to give credit to Northampton. They have stolen nothing, but I am bitterly disappointed that a team in which I had so much faith did not repay that faith.’

  • Aston Villa 3-1 Blackburn
  • Chelsea 3-4 Newcastle
  • Liverpool 2-2 Northampton Twn (Northampton win 4-2 on penalties)
  • Scunthorpe 2-5 Man Utd
  • West Brom 2-1 Man City
  • Wigan 2-1 Preston

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