Five players that performed in Capital One Cup round three
League Two team Shrewsbury Town will face Premier League leaders Chelsea in the last 16 of the Capital One Cup, as a competition much-maligned for not being taken seriously showed some sprinklings of magic.
That glamour tie for the Shropshire side caused Coral’s football experts to wonder about star performers of round three. There were, naturally, some usual suspects like Frank Lampard and Edin Dzeko both bagging braces for Manchester City in a 7-0 Etihad rout of Sheffield Wednesday.
What about players that using the competition as vehicles to announce themselves as footballers, though? We profile five names that caught the eye in the League Cup:
Benik Afobe (MK Dons)
Arsenal must rate this forward very highly if they keep loaning him out. Afobe, 21, has been prolific for the Dons since making Milton Keynes his temporary home. He needs just one more goal to be in double figures across all competitions. Afobe’s brace against Bradford City turned out to be just as vital as his double that helped to sink Manchester United in the previous round.
Ryan Mason (Tottenham)
A first Spurs strike for this creative midfielder was a long time in the making. Mason, 23, brought the north London team level against Nottingham Forest and had a hand in the others as Mauricio Pochettino’s men turned things around to win 3-1. His sensational impact off the bench gives the Argentine coach food for thought in terms of a homegrown backup to Christian Eriksen.
Marc Munisea (Stoke)
This graduate of Barcelona’s hallowed La Masia academy bagged a brace for the Potters, as Mark Hughes’ side came from behind at Sunderland. Comfortable at left back or centre half, 22-year-old Muniesa must surely be breathing down the neck of Erik Pieters for a starting spot on the flank of Stoke’s defence following these exploits.
Jose Angel Pozo (Manchester City)
Diminutive teenage Spanish forward Pozo has the rather grand nickname of ‘Mini Messi’ to try and live up to, but he delivered on his first senior outing by being on target in City’s seventh heaven display against the Owls. Just let the fact he was three months old when England hosted Euro ’96 settle in, and then you realise this precocious youth literally has his whole career ahead of him.
Emmanuel Riviere (Newcastle)
Being kicked to the curb by mega-rich Monaco, despite the high-profile exits of Radamel Falcao and James Rodrgiuez this summer, must have hurt 24-year-old forward Riviere. Born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, he broke his Magpies duck at the seventh attempt by netting twice against Crystal Palace. Toon academy graduate Adam Armstrong also caught the eye alongside Riviere in their attack.