Manchester City’s 6-foot-8 reserve goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon has been in the shadow of Joe Hart, figuratively of course, since his arrival at club in 2011. After the Romanian’s man of the match performance against Newcastle in the Capital One Cup, Manuel Pellegrini has a selection dilemma ahead of this weekend’s home game in the Premier League against Norwich.
Hart has made a series of high profile mistakes recently for club and country, the most recent of which was last weekend when a defensive mix up handed Chelsea a last minute winner at Stamford Bridge. That error came after point-costing performance errors against Cardiff, Aston Villa and Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Only time will tell who will be wearing the goalkeeper’s shirt come 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon.
Tottenham are in a penalty wonderland this season
Last season Spurs managed the astonishing feat of going all season without being awarded a penalty in all competitions. This season has been a different story with three game-winning penalties in the league already.
However, Tottenham’s bad luck wasn’t just extended to normal time. Before last night’s penalty shootout against Hull, Spurs had lost the last seven shootouts in a row. Step forward 42-year-old Brad Friedel, the oldest man to ever represent the club, to save Ahmed Elmohamady’s sudden death spot-kick and end the shootout 8-7.
Arsenal’s wait goes on
The Gunners 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at the Emirates means that Arsenal’s wait for silverware will go on beyond February. Cesar Azpilicueta and Juan Mata both scored as Chelsea and Arsenal both played fringe players in the League Cup. The result means that by the end of the season, the next realistic chance to win silverware, it will have been 9 years since Arsenal had a new addition to their trophy cabinet.
There’s something wrong with Fulham
The most dramatic game of the round took place at the King Power Stadium where Leicester City beat Fulham 4-3. Leicester took a commanding 3-1 lead in the 53’ minute only to be pegged back to 3-2 by a Hugo Rodallega header a minute later. Giorgos Karagounis thought he’d sent the game to extra time when he curled in the equaliser in the 87th minute, but that wasn’t to be as Leicester took the lead back through Lloyd Dyer with 89’ minutes on the clock. The result will not help the pressure on Dutch manager Martin Jol.
Javier Hernandez stakes his claim
He’s well known as Old Trafford’s super sub, but after his performance against Norwich on Tuesday night, could he be in contention for a place in the starting lineup in the Premier League? The Mexican scored twice, once from the spot and once with his head to impress as United breezed past Norwich. Adnan Januzaj also impressed as United’s fringe players looked to impress.
Here is the draw for the next round, fixtures to take place on Tuesday November 17th December.
Leicester vs Manchester City
Stoke vs Manchester United
Sunderland/Southampton vs Chelsea
Tottenham vs West Ham