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Snow KOs Carling Cup semi-finals

BOTH midweek Carling Cup semi-final clashes were yesterday hastily rearranged after heavy snowfall blanketed the north-west.

The eagerly anticipated first leg between Manchester United and local rivals City, due to take place this evening, was put back to Tuesday 19 January. The second leg at Old Trafford will now take place on 27 January.

Blackburn also called off last night’s scheduled first leg against Aston Villa due to extreme weather and will name alternative dates today.

Manchester City said they decided to postpone the game at Eastlands after consultation with emergency services and United officials, with temperatures expected to drop to -6C tonight. “It is a huge disappointment for everyone that we have had to postpone the tie,” said chief executive Garry Cook. “But we have had the kind of harsh weather unseen in this part of the world for years and years.”

Blackburn said their decision to postpone had been based on concerns over supporters’ journeys, with some roads and motorways in Lancashire passable only with extreme care.

The postponements mean City’s trip to Stoke and United’s match with Hull, both scheduled for 26 January, will be postponed.