In three of the four seasons that Sir Alex Ferguson captured the League Cup with Manchester United, they didn’t win anything else. Of course, he wouldn’t have viewed those campaigns as a success, but just to open the trophy cabinet and keep the steady flow of silverware going would have been some consolation.
And now his successor David Moyes finds himself in a similar situation. Set adrift in the Premier League and out of the FA Cup, this is the only domestic trophy he has a realistic chance of leaving his fingerprint on.
So Sunderland’s arrival at Old Trafford midweek for the second leg of this semi-final is an important affair, and the Black Cats’ 2–1 advantage from the first leg places this match even closer to the edge of the knife.
It’s amazing what a trip to Wembley might just do for Moyes’s boys, but that applies also to Gus’s Guys, as Poyet tries to drag his team out of the relegation danger zone.
League Cup Football, semi-final second legs: West Ham Utd v Manchester City Tue 7.30pm (k/o 7.45pm) SS1, 7pm 5 Live; Man Utd v Sunderland Wed 7pm (k/o 7.45pm) SS1, 7pm 5 Live
Come on, Andy!
Ladies and gentlemen, spare a thought for the man who has to point you towards the latter stages of the Australian Open before a single ball has even hit a racket. I’ll be flabbergasted, though, if Andy Murray isn’t lining up for at least a quarter-final appearance in Melbourne.
If, as you read this, my flabber hasn’t been gasted, cheer Murray from the rooftops as he bids to win the slam he’s come agonisingly close to, having lost in the final in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Australian Open Tennis: from Sat 6am British Eurosport/Eurosport 2; 7am 5 Live
Showdown at the palace
After weeks of watching world championship arrows at London’s raucous Alexandra Palace, the dartboards have been replaced by tables and snooker’s Masters is approaching its climax. Let’s hope the fans haven’t been belting out ‘’Stand up, if you love the… snooker’’. I’m pretty sure that’s not a wise road for this sport to take.
Snooker: the Masters Sat 1.15pm BBC1/4.30pm, 7pm BBC2/1.30pm Eurosport 2/7pm Eurosport; final Sun 1.30pm, 7pm BBC2/1.30pm Euro 2/6.45pm Euro