MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Darren Ambrose of Crystal Palace celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Carling Cup Quarter Final match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on November 30, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Carling Cup 2011, Quarterfinals: Crystal Palace Pull Off Stunning Upset At Old Trafford, Beat Manchester United 2-1

Following victories by Manchester City and Liverpool on Tuesday, Manchester United looked as though they'd have an easy route to the semifinals thanks to being drawn against Crystal Palace. Things didn't turn out that way.

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Manchester United Vs. Crystal Palace, 2011 Carling Cup: Shock Win For Palace After Extra Time

Crystal Palace have pulled off a stunning upset to advance to the Carling Cup semifinals, defeating Manchester United 2-1 after extra time at Old Trafford. It wasn't a fluke win either. Although United (who were admittedly fielding a reserve side) looked dangerous throughout the match, the visitors defended superbly and seriously threatened their hosts on the counterattack, with 19-year-old winger Wilfried Zaha routinely tying United's back line in knots whenever Palace broke forwards.

It didn't look as though the game would be anything memorable after a first half that mostly consisted of sloppy midfield play and general inability for either side to break the other's defence down. Fortunately for the viewers, each team made two substitutions before the second half began, with Dimitar Berbatov hauled off for Ravel Morrison and Ezekiel Fryers replacing the injured Fabio da Silva while a pair of injuries forced Palace to introduce Darren Ambrose and Jonathan Parr.

The game opened up in a big way after the restart, with Antonio Valencia flashing a shot just wide of Lewis Price's far post after some lackadaisical play by Anthony Gardner, and United utterly dominant for the first fifteen minutes. The main action, however, was to happen at the other end, when Ambrose found himself in space almost fifty yards from Ben Amos' net, took a couple of touches and absolutely hammered the ball into the top corner. It was a wonderful goal, worthy of winning any match, and so it was a little bit sad when Frederico Macheda was yanked over in the box by Pattrick McCarthy before the Palace fans had even stopped cheering, giving United the opportunity to reply with a mood-deflating goal.

They did, with Macheda taking the spot kick himself, sending Price the wrong way to level the score. Surprisingly, that didn't catapult United into a period of dominance (perhaps that's less surprising when you look at the team they were fielding), and despite the game being tied at 1-1 it was the visitors who seemed most likely to score. Palace were still going after that second goal, even as the clock ticked down towards extra time.

They wouldn't get their breakthrough before the full time whistle went, but it didn't take long before they were ahead again, with Zaha tricking his way into a dangerous free kick on the Palace left. Ambrose swung the ball in, and the suspiciously offside-looking Glenn Murray beat Johnny Evans to the header, nodding past a helpless Amos to make it 2-1. 

Shortly thereafter, Ambrose nearly made it three with a very long range free kick that Amos did well to bat away, but Crystal Palace weren't going to have it all their way and a red tide started flowing ominously towards Price's goal. The Championshippers had defended very well all match, and they weren't about to stop just because United were throwing everything but the kitchen sink at them. McCarthy in particular was brilliant, completely shutting up shop while the hosts looked certain to score, and Zaha managed to burn several minutes with lung-busting runs down the side of the pitch despite being clearly injured.

It was enough - it was more than enough. With seconds left, Price fell onto a bouncing ball in the Palace box, booted it downfield, and listened to the away supporters go mental as Chris Foy blew his whistle. Crystal Palace advanced to the semifinals of the 2011 Carling Cup, inflicting the second home defeat in the past two seasons on Manchester United in the process. It's a day for Palace fans to celebrate.

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2011 Carling Cup Semifinal Draw: Liverpool Draw Manchester City; A Championship Side Is Going To Wembley

A team from the nPower Championship will be going to the 2011 Carling Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, thanks to their quarterfinal results and the semifinal draw. Shortly after Crystal Palace completed a stunning upset victory over Manchester United, they learned that they would meet Cardiff City, who beat Blackburn Rovers in their quarterfinal. The other semifinal will be a clash of heavyweights, as Manchester City take on Liverpool.

Both City and Liverpool fielded weakened sides in their quarterfinal games, but will likely play stronger sides in the semifinal. Either will be extremely heavily favored to win the trophy if they get to the final, while the fixture congestion of holiday football will be behind them. City will also not have Champions League football to worry about at that time, even if they do make it to the knockout stages.

The ties are two-legged home and away contests. The first leg will take place on the week of January 9, with the second leg taking place the week of January 23.

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Arsenal Vs. Manchester City, 2011 Carling Cup Quarterfinals: Full Time, Citizens Snatch Late Winner

For the vast majority of their match, Arsenal's young team held with a Manchester City team filled with full internationals. They had just as much of the ball and created more shots. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was perhaps the best player on the pitch. However, Arsenal got careless when going for a winner on a corner kick and were ripped apart late on the counter, as City stole a 1-0 win.

Though the Citizens were not the better side on the night, their counter attack to set up the goal was spectacular enough that it's fair to say they deserved to win. Though they lacked their normal invention for most of the match, the counter was easily the best move of the game, worthy of a game-winning goal. 

It came when City cleared the ball out of the box on an Arsenal corner, with Edin Dzeko starting the move. He played a fantastic ball to Adam Johnson, who continued the counter with a great through ball to Sergio Aguero. El Kun finished brilliantly to give his team a lead that they wouldn't relinquish, and City are through to the semifinals.

We'll have coverage of this and every Carling Cup game in our Carling Cup Quarterfinals StoryStream. For more on the two teams, check out Arsenal blog The Short Fuse and Manchester City blog Bitter and Blue. Head over to SB Nation Soccer for more around the entire world of football.

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Chelsea Vs. Liverpool, 2011 Carling Cup Quarterfinals: Reds Coast To 2-0 Win

It was just a Carling Cup match with a partially second choice team, but Chelsea fans will once again be frustrated by their team's performance. They were soundly defeated by Liverpool 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening, and it could have been worse if Andy Carroll hadn't missed a penalty kick. 

Lucas Leiva was the clear man of the match, dominating the midfield. However, he sustained a bad cut in the 70th minute and had to come off, leaving Liverpool fans to hope that it was only a flesh wound.

Maxi Rodriguez scored the first goal and eventual winner on the 58th minute, tapping home an assist from Craig Bellamy on a wonderful counter attack. Martin Kelly sealed the win with a header five minutes later, also assisted by Bellamy, as Chelsea were once again undone by Liverpool's right back and Maxi.

We'll have coverage of this and every Carling Cup game in our Carling Cup Quarterfinals StoryStream. For more on the two teams, check out Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History and Liverpool blog Anfield Asylum. Head over to SB Nation Soccer for more around the entire world of football.

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Chelsea Vs. Liverpool, 2011 Carling Cup Quarterfinals: Halftime, 0-0 In Eventful Match

Chelsea and Liverpool are tied up at 0-0 in their Carling Cup clash, but that doesn't mean that the game has been boring. There's been plenty happening and plenty of tough decisions for referee Phil Dowd to make. To his credit, he's got them all absolutely spot on, but Liverpool don't have a lead despite the two biggest decisions in the game going in their favor.

In the third minute, David Luiz was shown a yellow card for diving in the penalty area. During one of his trademark surging runs forward, Sebastian Coates appeared to make contact with him, but the replay clearly shows a dive by Luiz.

Liverpool would have the other big decision go their way in the 21st minute, when Chelsea defender Alex was shown a yellow card for a clear handball in the box. Andy Carroll stepped up to take the penalty, but hit it right at Ross Turnbull, who made a save.

Chelsea have already had to make a substitution, with Josh McEachran coming off injured in the 40th minute, replaced by Ramires. Though injuries are always bad news, the sub might benefit Chelsea. Lucas Leiva has absolutely dominated in the midfield and Chelsea were going to have to make an eventual change in that area of the pitch.

We'll have coverage of this and every Carling Cup game in our Carling Cup Quarterfinals StoryStream. For more on the two teams, check out Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History and Liverpool blog Anfield Asylum. Head over to SB Nation Soccer for more around the entire world of football.

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Arsenal Vs. Manchester City, 2011 Carling Cup Quarterfinals: Lineups

Both Arsenal and Manchester City are fielding interesting lineups for their Carling Cup quarterfinal clash, and they're a bit ambiguous. Arsenal could be playing a 4-3-3 with Park Chu-Young as a wide forward or they could be playing a 4-4-2 with Yossi Benayoun as a winger. Manchester City's lineup looks like a 4-5-1, but that would mean that natural fullback Pablo Zabaleta was playing in midfield, something that he's done before. We'll just have to wait and see what it looks like on the pitch. Here are the lineups.

Arsenal Lineup (4-3-3): Fabianski; Djourou, Koscielny, Miquel, Yennaris; Frimpong, Benayoun, Coquelin; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Park, Chamakh

Manchester City Lineup (4-5-1): Pantilimon; Onuoha, Savic, K. Toure, Kolarov; Johnson, de Jong, Nasri, Hargreaves, Zabaleta; Dzeko

We'll have coverage of this and every Carling Cup game in our Carling Cup Quarterfinals StoryStream. For more on the two teams, check out Arsenal blog The Short Fuse and Manchester City blog Bitter and Blue. Head over to SB Nation Soccer for more around the entire world of football.

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Chelsea Vs. Liverpool, 2011 Carling Cup Quarterfinals: Lineups

Liverpool and Chelsea have both opted to play mostly second choice teams, though some stars are out for both teams in their Carling Cup quarterfinal match. Chelsea will start Frank Lampard, among other first choice players, while Lucas Leiva surprisingly starts again for Liverpool. Both teams have some youngsters mixed in for good measure. Here are the lineups.

Chelsea Lineup (4-3-3): Turnbull; Bosingwa, Alex, Luiz, Bertrand; Romeu, McEachran, Lampard; Malouda, Lukaku, Torres

Liverpool Lineup (4-4-2): Reina; Kelly, Carragher, Coates, Enrique; Lucas, Henderson, Spearing, Maxi; Bellamy, Carroll

Josh McEachran, Romelu Lukaku, Martin Kelly and Sebastian Coates are all extremely talented young players and they'll be worth keeping an eye on in this one. 

We'll have coverage of this and every Carling Cup game in our Carling Cup Quarterfinals StoryStream. For more on the two teams, check out Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History and Liverpool blog Anfield Asylum. Head over to SB Nation Soccer for more around the entire world of football.

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Arsenal Vs. Manchester City, 2011 Carling Cup Quarterfinals: Pressure On Young Gunners Against Deeper Citizens Side

Arsenal and Manchester City will be playing youngsters in their Carling Cup quarterfinal

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Chelsea Vs. Liverpool, Carling Cup 2011 Quarterfinals: Weakened Sides For Both Teams

Chelsea take on Liverpool in the Carling Cup, where both teams will field a weakened side.

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