ARSENAL 1 SOUTHAMPTON 2
ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger last night leapt to the defence of his makeshift side as they were dumped out of the Capital One Cup in front of their own fans.
The Gunners, twice winners of the competition, took the lead through Alexis Sanchez on 13 minutes, but a Dusan Tadic penalty and Nathaniel Clyne’s stunning strike before half-time saw the Saints progress to round four.
Wenger made 10 changes to the team that won 3-0 at Aston Vila on Saturday with 19-year-old defender Calum Chambers the sole survivor.
And the French boss said his players should not shoulder the blame for their first third-round defeat in the competition for 12 years.
“It’s disappointing because we had a good start, but we made big errors when we had the ball,” said Wenger. “We gave a lot, but it’s frustrating.
“You have to give credit to Southampton. They are a good side and they played very well.
“I cannot fault the attitude. The reason we lost is because of our opponent’s performance. It is not the players’ fault.”
At Anfield, Liverpool triumphed 14-13 in an extraordinary penalty shootout against Championship club Middlesbrough.
It took just 10 minutes for 17-year-old debutant Jordan Rossiter to smash in Liverpool’s opener, but Adam Reach levelled for Boro on 62 minutes to send the tie to extra time.
Substitute Suso looked to have won it for Liverpool with 11 minutes remaining, but Patrick Bamford, on loan from Chelsea, held his nerve to convert a penalty with the final kick of the game, dusting himself down after being fouled in the box by Kolo Toure.
A Cup-record 30 spot-kicks were to follow. Bamford was denied by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet with Boro’s first attempt from 12 yards, but England star Raheem Sterling fluffed his lines with a chance to seal victory at 4-3.
Albert Adomah was the unfortunate player to miss as the Championship side were squeezed out and relieved Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said: “It was very important to get a result and the players are very happy in the changing room.
“We’re in the hat and that’s all we want. This won’t affect us for the derby with Everton at the weekend.
“That’s a big game for us, we need to get our league season up and running.”
LEAGUE Two side Shrewsbury stunned Championship high-fliers Norwich with a 1-0 victory, while Manchester United’s second round conquerors MK Dons beat 2013 finalists Bradford 2-0.
Swansea recorded their first ever win over Everton, triumphing 3-0 and Stoke won 2-1 at Sunderland in the other all-Premier League tie.
Fulham won their first game under caretaker boss Kit Symons, beating Doncaster 2-1 and they will be joined in round four by Derby, Bournemouth and Sheffield United who defeated Reading, Cardiff and Leyton Orient respectively.