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Carling Cup wrap: Hammers upset United, Arsenal progress

Manchester United have crashed out of the Carling Cup with a 4-0 thrashing at West Ham United, while Arsenal eased into the semi-finals.

Jonathan Spector returned to haunt his former club with two first-half goals, and Carlton Cole added a second-half brace as West Ham humbled United at Upton Park.

Sir Alex Ferguson made 10 changes to the side that demolished Blackburn 7-1 in the English Premier League on Saturday, with Brazilian midfielder Anderson the only starter to keep his place.

But despite the presence of Ryan Giggs, Javier Hernandez and Bebe, United were simply no match for Avram’s Grant men.

Grant made six changes to the side which defeated Wigan Athletic 3-1 on Saturday, including leaving talismanic captain Scott Parker on the bench.

Victor Obinna was one who retained his place in the starting XI, and the on-loan Inter Milan winger conjured up West Ham’s opening goal in the 22nd minute when he chipped into the box for Spector to head past a diving Tomasz Kuszczak.

Spector added a solo goal in the 37th minute, pouncing on a loose ball in the area after Brazilian defender Fabio slipped over trying to clear from Obinna’s blocked shot.

Cole then proved his worth after the break, meeting Obinna’s cross at the edge of the six-yard box and nodding past Kuszczak for a 3-0 lead.

Incredibly, Obinna nabbed his third assist 10 minutes later, again picking out Cole with a cross from the left.

The sometime England international turned and fired inside the far post, signing off on a thrilling victory for the struggling top-flight side.

Meanwhile, Arsenal toppled Wigan 2-0 to book their place in the semi-finals with ease.

Wigan captain Antolin Alcaraz gifted the Gunners a 1-0 lead with an own goal, inadvertently nodding Theo Walcott’s corner kick into his own net on 41 minutes.

Nicklas Bendtner put the tie beyond the Latics on 65 minutes, though the goal owed as much to Wigan’s poor defence as anything else.

The Gunners cut through the middle on a counter-attack, and Mexican attacker Carlos Vela sent a low ball across the face of goal that somehow eluded two Wigan defenders.

Bendtner slid in to meet the ball, poking past Latics goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi for an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Tue 30 November, 2010
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