The Carabao Cup quarter-final draw was eventually revealed after several embarrassing technical glitches, with the highlight tie being an all-London affair between Arsenal and West Ham United.
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The red-faced EFL (English Football League) released a statement on Thursday apologising to its viewers after their live-stream on Twitter suffered severe malfunctions and they were forced to hold the draw and then subsequently publish the results with a recorded video instead.
The EFL statement in full:
“The EFL would like to apologise for a number of third party technical issues that affected coverage of today’s previously advertised Carabao Cup Round Five live draw at Twitter HQ. The EFL has received an apology from Twitter UK for the delay which is believed to have occurred as a result of a faulty encoder. The EFL has requested a full explanation into the events that led to this afternoon’s unacceptable delay.”
A Twitter spokesman apologised for the glitch with a statement: “We’re sorry for the issues that led to the delay of today’s Round Five draw. We would also like to apologise to the thousands of supporters who had been patiently awaiting news of who their team would be playing.”
The ties drawn are as follows and will be played week commencing 18th December.
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Holders Manchester United have got the ‘easiest’ fixture, for they travel to the Ashton Gate Stadium to take on Championship side Bristol City. The Robins were the only lower-league team left in the competition and while they will relish the challenge, it will be a proper David vs Goliath tie.
Arsenal, as mentioned earlier, take on derby rivals West Ham United in what promises to be a feisty affair at the Emirates Stadium. The two sides, mismatched on paper, have plenty of history. While the Hammers prefer a bruising style, the Gunners have an aesthetically pleasing approach to the game and it will be an intriguing contest no doubt.
Leicester City, Premier League champions in 2015, but currently without a manager, host the English top-flight’s most feared team—Manchester City. The Sky Blues are threatening to run away with the Premier League title already and the Foxes will be underdogs when they host Pep Guardiola’s men.
The final clash is between the reigning Premier League champions Chelsea and Bournemouth. The Blues have made a rocky start to their title defence and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that perhaps the Carabao Cup is their best chance of a trophy this season. Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth, however, are in much worse shape than them as they continue to struggle in the top-flight and Chelsea will be overwhelming favourites to clinch the win at Stamford Bridge.
Carabao Cup quarter-final draw:
Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth
Arsenal v West Ham United
Leicester City v Manchester City
Bristol City v Manchester United