Fright night

Soccer Special panel reflect on 'Cup-sets' and near misses...

Last Updated: 31/10/12 11:09am

El Hadji Diouf: linked superbly with Leeds team-mate Tonge, said Robbie Fowler

Tuesday was fright night for Premier League clubs in the Capital One Cup.

Aston Villa kept their wits to beat Swindon 3-2 and move into the quarter-finals, but Southampton were shocked into submission at Leeds, Bradford claimed a famous win on penalties over Wigan and Sunderland sank to defeat at Middlesbrough.

Arsenal's incredible comeback at Reading might have stolen the headlines - read Niall Quinn's thoughts here - but that wasn't half the story, as our Soccer Special experts and reporters explain...

Robbie Fowler on Leeds 3-0 Southampton

It was very, very one-sided. The game was pretty even for the first five minutes with both teams trying to get a foothold but once Leeds started playing a little bit, there was only going to be one winner. Southampton just never started. The players looked as though they had never played with each other - they were really that bad. I would be embarrassed if I was a Southampton supporter - the players were awful. I really couldn't say anything complimentary about them. But I thought Leeds were magnificent - they made Southampton look average. They scored three good goals. El-Hadji Diouf and Michael Tonge were magnificent but Southampton's defending was horrendous. I know the manager has made 11 changes and it's fairly obvious that they want to stay in the Premier League and they've saved their best players, but this is a good little chance for Southampton to try and get a little bit of a run. Who knows what might happen in the next round if they go through? But regardless of whatever level you are playing football at, if you defend like they did you are going to concede goals for fun. Leeds scored three but they could have had a lot more as well. I couldn't fault the attitude of the Southampton players but Leeds were better. On that showing I think Southampton might change their manager because there was no life in them whatsoever.

Read the match report.

Paul Walsh on Sunderland 0-1 Middlesbrough

It was an even contest - it ebbed and flowed. It was a good tempo from both teams. I think Sunderland will be disappointed with the goal they conceded because Ishmael Miller was going down the right-hand side and it looked as if the defender was doing enough to push him away, but with a little turn of pace he just whipped it across the box; Scott McDonald got across to the near post and he got enough on it to help it goal-wards. That got their noses in front but other than that they played well, even when they were under pressure. Miller, for me, was man-of-the-match; every time the ball went forward it stuck. He played people in, he got his own shots away as well. You'd have to say that Sunderland - the likes of Steven Fletcher - were flat. Adam Johnson didn't do enough really either and you'd expect them to shine in a game like this. Stephane Sessegnon showed moments of bright play. He and Louis Saha linked up on one or two occasions early in the first half. But I think you have to say that all-round Sunderland just didn't do enough - and you're expecting them to be the better team. They are the Premier League team, aren't they? Middlesbrough have surprised me with how well they've done but they were well worth their win tonight.

Read the match report.

Iain Dowie on Swindon 2-3 Aston Villa

Over the piece I think Swindon probably more than held their own. It was a very even game. Villa got a couple of goals up and looked comfortable but they never really kicked on and you've got to say that Paolo Di Canio changed the game; he took off Collins, Benson and Roberts and brought on Thompson, Storey and Williams and all of a sudden in the space of a few minutes the game turned on its head with two great finishes. At 2-2 you think that momentum is with them, but then Bent and Delph come on and all of a sudden there's a bit more focus to Villa's attack and they find a way to win the game. But I've got to say I feel a little bit for Di Canio and Swindon because I thought they were good value to maybe just take it to extra time at least but in the end a little bit of quality won the game. They were good finishes - all of them - from Villa and Paul Lambert will know that he has escaped and he didn't get a Cup-set.

Read the match report.