Wednesday 06 March 2013
Wolverhampton Wanderers battled back from two goals down to inflict a first Elite Group defeat upon Tottenham Hotspur, while Liverpool earned a point against Southampton on a busy night of Barclays Under-21 Premier League football.
Wolverhampton Wanderers stunned Tottenham Hotspur as they rallied from two goals down to edge a dramatic seven-goal thriller.
Table-topping Tottenham were high in confidence following their north London derby win over Arsenal last week and they dominated the opening stages of this pulsating clash, forcing goalkeeper Aljaz Cotman into a string of saves.
The Londoners soon surged into the lead thanks to Shaquile Coulthirst's sixth-minute opener and a Jack Munn effort with just under half-an-hour played. However, the hosts rallied in the second half through Tim Jakobsson's angled drive on the hour-mark and Lee Evans's header five minutes later.
Though the visitors regained the lead on 76 minutes when Dean Parrett beat Cotman with a dipping shot from outside the area, Wolves levelled again four minutes later when Liam McAlinden scored his 12th goal of the season. And with just three minutes left, McAlinden set up Sam Winnall to head in the winning goal that took Wolves off the foot of the table and ended Spurs' unbeaten Elite Group run.
Second-placed Liverpool lie six points behind leaders Tottenham with a game in hand after coming from behind to earn a draw with Southampton at St Mary's Stadium.
Alex Inglethorpe's charges fell behind when Saints' January signing Vegard Forren marked his debut with a smart volley past Peter Gulacsi on the half-hour mark and the hosts might have been further ahead had Calum Chambers not rattled the post only early on.
The offside flag intervened twice to rule out efforts in either half by Southampton's Alberto Seidi and Sam McQueen, while Liverpool's Jonjo Shelvey was similarly denied on 41 minutes.
But the Reds drew level 12 minutes from time when Krisztian Adorjan connected with Shelvey's precise cross and they almost stole a late win when Suso broke through in the last minute only to be denied by the legs of Paulo Gazzaniga. Martin Hunter's side remain in third place in the Elite Group, a point behind Liverpool.
There were goals aplenty at Southport where Everton came from two goals behind to win a five-goal affair and move to the top of Group 1.
Blackburn, who lost 3-0 in the reverse fixture in January, raced into the lead at the Merseyrail Community Stadium thanks to Kellan Daly's early tap-in and a spectacular long-range strike from the impressive John O'Sullivan.
Rovers looked on course for a comfortable victory until the Blues bounced back with three goals in the last 14 minutes. Ross Barkley began the recovery with a goal from the tightest of angles while Apostolos Velios pounced from close range four minutes from time. There was just enough time for Conor McAleny to grab the winner for a strong Blues outfit including Thomas Hitzelsperger and John Stones.
Middlesbrough remain in third place, four points shy of Everton, following a goalless draw with Aston Villa at the Riverside Stadium.
In an open match Andras Stieber and Jack Grealish were both denied by fine saves in the first half by Boro goalkeeper Connor Ripley, while Derrick Williams and Graham Burke both went close and Daniel Johnson also tested Ripley at his near post after the interval.
Bradley Fewster struck the bar for the hosts with a header after the break and Jordan Jones was denied by Brad Watkins in the Villa goal but a goalless affair leaves Gordon Cowans's side six points off the pace in fifth place.
Middlesbrough report | Aston Villa report
Steven Whittaker and Leon Barnett each completed 90 minutes for Norwich City as they edged a close affair with Stoke City.
In a physical and often scrappy encounter at Colney, Adel Gafaiti's 41st-minute header proved the difference between the two sides. Gafaiti rose to meet Josh Murphy's pinpoint free-kick awarded for a foul on Jacob Murphy.
Gafaiti might have doubled his tally but for a second-half header he sent over the bar, while Stoke were unfortunate that John Marsden was denied first by the post and then by goalkeeper Jed Steer midway through the second period. However, the Canaries held on for three points that lifts them above Manchester City into second place in Group 2 on goal difference.
Bolton Wanderers shared the spoils with Crystal Palace in an entertaining draw at the County Ground.
Zach Clough scored twice in 10 second-half minutes to cancel out Ibra Sekajja's seventh-minute opening goal, before Sekajja levelled the match with his second goal of the night on 77 minutes.
Though both Bolton's Joe Mckee and Palace's Connor Dymond struck the bar, neither side could produce a winning goal meaning Wanderers remain in fourth place with five points, while the Eagles are two points further back.
Monday 4 March
Wolves (Jakobsson, Evans, McAlinden, Winnall) 4-3 Tottenham (Coulthirst, Munn, Parrett)
Southampton (Forren) 1-1 Liverpool (Adorjan)
Everton (Barkley, Velios, McAleny) 3-2 Blackburn Rovers (Daly, O'Sullivan)
Middlesbrough 0-0 Aston Villa
Bolton Wanderers (Clough 2) 2-2 Crystal Palace (Sekajja 2)
Norwich City (Gafaiti ) 1-0 Stoke City
Sunday 3 March
West Bromwich Albion (Roofe, Nabi) 2-2 Arsenal (Atkinson og, Akpom)
Reading (Tanner, D'Ath, Samuel) 3-0 Manchester City
Friday 1 March
West Ham United 0-0 Manchester United
Fulham (Christensen) 1-0 Chelsea
Download full fixture list here | For full results click here
To view the league tables after the qualificaton stage, click here