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Carabao Cup: Ndidi, Aribo benched, World Cup stars return as Leicester, Southampton advance

SUPER EAGLES stars Wilfred Ndidi and Joe Aribo were unused substitutes tonight as Premier League clubs returned to action in the Carabao Cup after the Qatar 2022 World Cup break.

There were four matches in the round of 16 of the competition tonight, with all the ties involving Premier League clubs, all of whom were on break during the month-long World Cup, which ended on Sunday night with Argentina beating France in an epic final.

Ndidi was in the Leicester City squad for the away clash at lower league side MK Dons, but the Nigeria midfielder was left on the bench throughout the encounter.

His international teammate Kelechi Iheanacho also started from the bench but was brought on as a second-half substitute as Leicester City won 3-0 to advance to the quarter-finals.

Iheanacho replaced one of the scorers Ayoze Perez in the 67th minute after the game was safe for the Foxes.

Perez scored the second goal in the 29th minute, 11 minutes after Youri Tielemans had opened the scoring.

Jamie Vardy rounded off the victory in the 50th minute.

At the St Mary’s Stadium, new Southampton manager Nathan Jones did not call on Aribo as the Saints came from behind to beat visiting lower league side Lincoln City 2-1.

Lincoln City took a shock lead in the second minute when Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu somehow put the ball in his own net.

Che Adams netted a brace, in the 25th and 74th minutes, to complete Southampton’s comeback and steer them to the last eight.

In the only all-Premier League clash on the night, Newcastle United edged past visiting Bournemouth 1-0 courtesy of Adam Smith’s own goal midway into the second half.

In the other fixture of the night, Wolverhampton Wanderers left it late before advancing 2-0 past lower league side Gillingham with a Raul Jimenez penalty 13 minutes from time and Rayan Ait-Nouri’s stoppage time strike.

There were a number of World Cup stars returning to club action tonight, including the aforementioned Tielemans (Belgium) and Jimenez (Mexico) as well as Leicester City defender Daniel Amartey (Ghana) Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa (Portugal), midfielder Ruben Neves (Portugal), and Newcastle United’s Nick Pope (England), Kieran Trippier (England), Callum Wilson (England) and Bruno Guimaraes (Brazil).

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