Football: Crystal Palace, Norwich pay the price for rotation in League Cup

Colchester United players celebrate defeating Crystal Palace.
Colchester United players celebrate defeating Crystal Palace.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AP) - Premier League teams Crystal Palace and Norwich paid the price for heavily rotating their lineups for the second round of the English League Cup as they were eliminated by fourth-tier opponents on Tuesday (Aug 27).

Three days after beating Manchester United at Old Trafford, Palace lost 5-4 on penalties to Colchester - a team sitting 85 places down the English soccer pyramid - after a 0-0 draw in 90 minutes.

Norwich rested its top players like Teemu Pukki, the scorer of five goals in three Premier League games this season, and lost 1-0 at Crawley Town.

Other top-flight clubs weren't harmed by fielding their fringe players.

Aston Villa thrashed fourth-tier Crewe 6-1, Watford ended a seven-game losing streak by beating third-tier Coventry 3-0, and Glenn Murray's injury-time strike earned Brighton a 2-1 win at Bristol Rovers of the third tier.

Other Premier League teams to advance to the third round were Southampton, Sheffield United and West Ham, for whom Jack Wilshere scored his first goal for the club in a 2-0 win at Newport County.

Lower-ranked teams in the Premier League often choose to use the domestic cup competitions - the League Cup and the FA Cup - to give second-string players in their big squads some game time.

 

Elimination isn't necessarily regarded as such a bad thing, given that it frees up space in the schedule to focus on staying in the lucrative Premier League.

On Wednesday, there is an all-Premier League game between Newcastle and Leicester, while Everton, Burnley and Bournemouth are also in action.

Top-flight teams playing in either the Champions League or Europa League this season don't enter the League Cup until the third round.