10 Stunning Images from Capital One Cup Semi-Finals

Dan Sheridan@@dansheridanContributor IJanuary 23, 2014

10 Stunning Images from Capital One Cup Semi-Finals

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    The line-up for the 2013-14 Capital One Cup final is complete, and it is Sunderland who will play Manchester City on March 2.

    The Wearsiders edged a thrilling contest in the semi-final second leg against Manchester United on Wednesday, eventually progressing after winning a tense penalty shootout.

    City, on the other hand, had no such trouble, beating West Ham United 3-0 at Upton Park 24 hours earlier to notch an aggregate score of 9-0.

    With the showcase at Wembley a little over five weeks away, we take a look at some of the best images to come out of this week’s semi-final ties.

Pure Joy for Sunderland

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Sunderland's players race to embrace their goalkeeper, Vito Mannone, after he saved Rafael's crucial penalty to send the Black Cats to a Wembley final for the first time since 1992.

    Mannone had earlier saved Adnan Januzaj's spot-kick in an erratic shootout that the Wearsiders edged 2-1. 

Spot-Kick Woe for United

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Manchester United's players can hardly bear to watch as their Wembley hopes disintegrate in spectacular fashion.

    David Moyes' men scored just once in the penalty shootout from five attempts and endured yet another setback at Old Trafford in what is fast turning into a season to forget.

Evans Gives the Red Devils Hope

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    For a long time at Old Trafford, it looked like Jonny Evans' first-half header would be enough to send Manchester United to Wembley.

    While his team's plans came unstuck in the closing stages of extra time, the central defender certainly made his mark against Sunderland, where he spent two separate loan spells between 2006 and 2008.

No Way De Gea!

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea struggles to come to terms with the 119th-minute error that gifted Sunderland a way back into the tie.

    With his team 1-0 up and set to go through on away goals, the Spanish stopper fumbled a harmless Phil Bardsley shot into his own net to change the whole complexion of the game. 

Poyet's Delight

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Sunderland boss Gus Poyet went through every emotion imaginable on Wednesday night, but he was eventually able to celebrate with the 9,000 travelling fans at Old Trafford.

    The Uruguayan later dedicated his side's win to the club's fans before turning his attention to the final against Manchester City. 

Hammers Fans Stay Away

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    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    Trailing 6-0 from the semi-final first leg, West Ham United's task in East London was always going to be thankless against Manchester City.

    Many of their fans chose to avoid the rematch altogether after the mauling at the Etihad Stadium, with just 14,390 turning up at Upton Park, according to The Independent

Carroll's Comeback Continues

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    One scant positive for West Ham United on Tuesday was a starting place for Andy Carroll, who is working overtime to reach full match fitness.

    The England striker got another 45 minutes under his belt against City, and Irons boss Sam Allardyce is hoping his target man can have a big impact on their fight against relegation.

Pellegrini's First City Trophy Comes into Focus

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has targeted the quadruple in his first season in charge at the Etihad Stadium, and the first trophy is well within his sights.

    His team swept past West Ham United effortlessly over the two-legged semi-final, and few would bet against the Chilean getting his hands on the Capital One Cup on March 2.

Heads Up!

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    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    West Ham United's Carlton Cole (left) goes up for an aerial challenge with Manchester City's Joleon Lescott during Tuesday's second leg.

    Lescott has been linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium this month, as reported by Jamie Jackson in The Guardian, but the centre-back enjoyed a comfortable night in East London. 

Nolan's Back in the Fold

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    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    West Ham United skipper Kevin Nolan goes in hard on Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero at Upton Park.

    Nolan picked up two red cards in four games over the festive period and was fined £100,000 by his club. Nevertheless, he was back in the side on Tuesday and the Hammers will need him to stay there over the coming months.