Fraser Forster blunts Blades in shoot-out as Saints reach last 16 of Carabao Cup
Fraser Forster was Southampton’s penalty hero as Saints edged past Sheffield United to reach the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
The big goalkeeper saved spot kicks from Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie as the Premier League club progressed 4-2 on penalties, following a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes at Bramall Lane.
Enda Stevens marked his return from injury and first appearance of the season with the opening goal after eight minutes but strikes from Ibrahima Diallo and Mohammed Salisu turned the game on its head.
McBurnie levelled things up for the Championship side and a superb save from Wes Foderingham to deny Che Adams late on saw the tie go to penalties.
Foderingham also saved a penalty from Armando Broja in the shoot-out but it was not enough for the Blades, with Brewster and McBurnie missing either side of the on-loan Chelsea youngster’s kick.
Lyanco made his debut for a much-changed Southampton side. The Brazilian defender was one of nine changes made by Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, with only Nathan Redmond and Oriol Romeu retained from the team that started Saturday’s goalless draw at Manchester City.
The Blades made 11 changes, with recent signing Adlene Guedioura named in the starting line-up for his full debut. Left-back Stevens made his first appearance of the season after recovering from a knee injury.
United beat Southampton en route to the semi-finals in 2014 under Nigel Clough, and history looked to be repeating itself early on.
Jayden Bogle got free down the right and his low cross into the penalty area was steered into the bottom corner by Stevens.
Guedioura lifted a shot over the crossbar after some good work by Iliman Ndiaye as the hosts looked to double their advantage.
Southampton got themselves back on level terms midway through the first half when Diallo headed home Romeu’s cross to make it 1-1 with his first goal for Saints.
It should have been 2-1 to the Blades but, after doing all the hard work by getting passed his marker down the left side of the penalty area, Ndiaye got his angles wrong and rolled his shot wide of the far post.
Hasenhuttl brought on Ward-Prowse for the second half, with Redmond making way at half-time.
Ward-Prowse was quickly involved as he linked up down the right with Yan Valery, whose cross was turned in from close range by Salisu to give the visitors the lead.
It was level again before the midway point of the second half as McBurnie scored at the far post with a lovely finish on the volley from Ben Osborn’s cross after Southampton had been guilty of over-playing in defence.
Foderingham produced a great save to deny Adams from point-blank range with six minutes remaining, before Southampton won the shoot-out.
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