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Tevez batters Blackburn to put United through
by Ian Plenderleith, December 4th, 2008 7AM
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[ENGLAND] In the remaining two League Cup quarterfinals, a weakened Manchester United lineup beat Blackburn Rovers 5-3 on the back of four goals from Argentine striker Carlos Tevez, while Tottenham topped second-tier Watford thanks to a late winner from substitute Darren Bent. Watford's U.S. defender Jay DeMerit had to leave the game injured just before the hour mark.
United was cruising at 4-1 on a hat trick from Tevez, including a penalty, and a goal from Nani (with Tevez assisting). But Blackburn pulled the deficit back to just one through late goals from Matt Derbyshire and Benni McCarthy (his second of the night), making the score 4-3. Tevez then concluded proceedings with his fourth of the night with the game's final kick.
"It was marvelous, the energy and commitment was absolutely brilliant," Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said of Tevez's performance. "I don't think you could ask for a better performance than that -- four goals and a very committed performance, and I am very pleased with that." Blackburn's manager Paul Ince saw where the problem lay: "You can't defend like that at any level, let alone against Man. United."
Watford started well against Tottenham in the other quarterfinal, going ahead after 12 minutes through a nice finish on the turn from Tamas Priskin. Roman Pavlyuchenko equalized on the stroke of halftime from the penalty spot before Bent won the game by beating Watford keeper Scott Loach -- who'd earlier made some heroic saves -- with a near post drive.
"I am very proud," said new Watford manager Brendan Rodgers. "I thought we made a terrific start, playing the football that we are trying to get them to play in terms of passing and moving." Tottenham's Harry Redknapp was just as full of praise for his own team: "I thought we showed terrific character," he said. "We battered them in the first half [after going behind] and it was a case of sticking our chances away."
League Cup Semifinalists: Derby County, Burnley, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Draw will take place Saturday, semifinals will take place over two legs in January.



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