Hernandez winner sours Suarez return for Liverpool
Mexican scored the only goal of the game at Old Trafford, Birmingham shock holders Swansea
Manchester United manager David Moyes celebrates after Javier Hernandez goal against Liverpool at Old Trafford. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Tranmere Rovers Max Power is tackled by Stoke City goalscorer Stephen Ireland at Prenton Park. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Birmingham City’s Matt Green (left) scores his sides second against Swansea City at St Andrews. Photograph: Nigel French/PA Wire
Javier Hernandez brought a sense of stability back to Manchester United after a turbulent week by netting the only goal in an absorbing Capital One Cup tie with Liverpool.
Hernandez wriggled away from Jose Enrique to touch home Wayne Rooney’s corner. The Mexican’s first goal of the campaign came so early in the second-half, United manager David Moyes had barely got beyond the penalty area in his walk to the home dug-out.
It meant it was easy to spot the Scot’s celebration, at a strike that should at least quell some of the angst that built up following that awful hammering at Manchester City four days ago.
United’s performance was not perfect. Indeed, on his return following a 10-match suspension, Luis Suarez came close to levelling when his vicious free-kick struck the bar with David De Gea beaten. De Gea had only just repelled Victor Moses’ powerful diving header. But the hosts had chances to sew up the contest too, with Simon Mignolet producing a couple of excellent saves to deny Rooney.
And after bravely riding the hefty punches landed on him at the Etihad Stadium, Moyes was probably not that bothered about the actual scoreline anyway, just the much-needed victory against one of England’s biggest clubs, and United’s greatest rivals.
Swansea’s defence of the Capital One Cup ended at the first hurdle as they were knocked out courtesy of a resounding 3-1 defeat by Birmingham at St Andrew’s.
It is just seven months and one day since Michael Laudrup’s side lifted the first major honour in their 101-year history with a thumping 5-0 victory over Bradford at Wembley. But the holders were brought crashing back down to earth by another side who also share fond recent memories of the competition — 2011 winners Birmingham.
It was a classic game of two halves in the third-round tie as the Swans saw plenty of the ball in the opening period and hit the woodwork twice within a matter of seconds through Wilfried Bony and Alejandro Pozuelo. But the Sky Bet Championship hosts appeared a different animal after the break and Dan Burn headed home his first goal for the club in the 56th minute before Matt Green added a second from close range soon after.
Inspired by winger Chris Burke, who played his part in all three goals, Tom Adeyemi also got in on the act with his maiden goal late on — with Bony netting a consolation with virtually the last touch.
Stephen Ireland marked his first Stoke start with a goal at Tranmere. One of seven changes made by manager Mark Hughes, the on-loan Aston Villa midfielder put them ahead in the 23rd minute at Prenton Park.
Peter Crouch, making his first start of the season, scored in stoppage time to seal a 2-0 victory which was somewhat harsh on the hosts.
Papiss Cisse’s first goal since April helped ease Newcastle to a 2-0 victory over Leeds.
The Senegal international’s drought finally ended 31 minutes into a pulsating encounter when he powered a header past goalkeeper Paddy Kenny to end a run stretching back to the 1-1 Europa League draw with Benfica on April 11th.
However, the tie remained in the balance until deep into the second half when strike partner Yoan Gouffran blasted home to wrap up a 2-0 win over the Sky Bet Championship side.