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English Premiership

Bring on Reds

LONDON, December 3 – Manchester City manager Mark Hughes cannot wait for his side's English League Cup semi-final against Manchester United next month after their 3-0 last eight win over Arsenal at Eastlands on Wednesday.MARK_HUGHES_WAVE_Second-half goals from Carlos Tevez, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Vladimir Weiss saw City into the last four of a domestic cup competition for the first time since 1981, where they now face holders United over two legs.

"The whole of Manchester will be tuning in and we’re looking forward to some fantastic games," former United striker Hughes told Sky Sports.

"We would have fancied ourselves against anyone in the draw, so bring them on," added Hughes after a win that came following a run of seven straight league draws.

Hughes was surprised Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger did not shake hands with him after full-time.

"You have to be gracious when you win and gracious in defeat and maybe Arsene wasn’t too gracious but I can understand it, maybe he’s used to winning games and when he does get beat sometimes he doesn’t know how to behave."

The Frenchman’s response to Hughes’s comment was: "I think I have nothing to say. I am free to shake hands with whom I want."

In Wednesday’s other semi-final Blackburn Rovers beat Premier League leaders Chelsea 4-3 on penalties after a thrilling game at Ewood Park ended 3-3 after extra-time.

A double penalty save by Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson sent his side into the semi-finals, where they will play Aston Villa.

A Benni McCarthy penalty in the third minute of extra-time put Rovers 3-2 in front before Paulo Ferreira, in added on time at the end of extra-time, equalised for the Premier League leaders to send the match to spot-kicks.

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Robinson then saved from Michael Ballack and French youngster Gael Kakuta as Rovers booked a semi-final against Aston Villa.

Earlier goals by Nikola Kalinic and Brett Emerton for Blackburn and Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou for Chelsea set up a dramatic match.

"When you play against a top four team they never give in but we showed tremendous character and we showed huge courage to get back into it," said Rovers assistant manager Neil McDonald.

Chelsea’s Italian boss Carlo Ancelotti tried to play down the defeat by saying the London side’s overwhelming domestic priority was the league.

"I think this week our priority was the game against Arsenal (which Chelsea won 3-0) and the match coming up against Manchester City.

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