Top five League Cup performers

Sports Mole assesses which five players were the stand-out performers in this week's Capital One Cup third round ties.

With the Premier League's elite entering at this stage of the competition, all eyes were on this week's Capital One Cup fixtures to see if any side from the Football League could stun their more illustrious opponents.

As it turned out, shocks were at a premium, with Birmingham City securing the sole giant-killing triumph over holders Swansea City, who opted to field a weakened lineup.

However, plenty of star names made the most of their inclusion in this week's fixtures to put themselves in contention for a starting place in their sides' respective league matches this weekend.

Below, Sports Mole takes a look at which players have made an impact over the past couple of evenings.


Man City's Stevan Jovetic celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal against Wigan during their League Cup match on September 24, 2013© Getty Images
1. Stevan Jovetic

Stevan Jovetic arrived at Manchester City during the summer with a growing reputation as one of the top young players in European football.

His performances for Fiorentina and Montenegro earned him a £22m move to the Etihad Stadium, but the attacker has seen his start to the new campaign disrupted by injury.

After failing to score on his debut against Stoke City earlier this month, Jovetic was selected against Wigan Athletic on Tuesday evening, and the 23-year-old did not waste his opportunity.

The former Partizan Belgrade man netted twice after the break and completed 90 minutes for the first time for his new side as they strolled to a 5-0 win.


Tottenham's Jermain Defoe scores the opening goal against Aston Villa during their League Cup match on September 24, 2013© Getty Images
2. Jermain Defoe

Ever since the arrival of Roberto Soldado, Jermain Defoe has been resigned to taking a place on the bench for Tottenham Hotspur's Premier League matches.

The England international scored twice against Tromso in the Europa League last week, but he was forced to miss the following fixture with Cardiff City through injury.

However, the 30-year-old put himself in contention for a starting spot against Chelsea with two goals against Aston Villa on Tuesday evening.

Defoe struck at the end of each half as Spurs recorded a 4-0 win at Villa Park, and his display would have reminded manager Andre Villas-Boas of his ability in front of goal ahead of their upcoming London derby.


Chelsea's Spanish forward Fernando Torres gestures during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Hull City at Stamford Bridge in London on August 18, 2013© Getty Images
3. Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres's standing at Stamford Bridge has been in doubt since Jose Mourinho returned to the club, and that only increased when the Portuguese boss signed Samuel Eto'o.

That saw the Cameroonian start the following three matches, with Torres having to make do with two quiet appearances from the bench.

However, the Spaniard was given a start against Swindon Town on Tuesday night, and he grasped it with both hands, netting the first before contributing a superb assist for the second.

Despite his performance being against lowly opposition, it was a reminder of the ability of the 29-year-old, and one that could see him given the nod over Eto'o for their encounter with Spurs.


Norwich City's Gary Hooper celebrates after scoring the winner against Watford during their League Cup match on September 24, 2013© Getty Images
4. Gary Hooper

Striker Gary Hooper has seen his opening weeks with Norwich City hindered by an ankle injury picked up in a pre-season fixture with Panathinaikos.

However, the former Celtic man has gradually worked his way back into the starting lineup, and he outlined his credentials with two decisive goals against Watford at Vicarage Road.

After being 2-0 down, Hooper struck his first goal in the final seconds of normal time, before poking home the winner with five minutes remaining of extra time.

The 25-year-old also got 120 minutes under his belt, and while he could return to the bench at the weekend, it won't be long before the former Scunthorpe United frontman starts a Premier League match.


Birmingham's Matt Green celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against Swansea during their League Cup match on September 25, 2013© Getty Images
5. Matt Green

Birmingham City manager Lee Clark surprised many when he signed striker Matt Green from Mansfield Town during the summer.

Green had scored 54 goals in two seasons in the Conference, but there was some doubt whether the 26-year-old could perform at a higher level.

The former Oxford City man has netted just once in the Championship this season, but he played an important role in helping his side to a win over Swansea.

The Blues striker was a constant threat, and his goal on the hour mark doubled Birmingham's advantage as they progressed through to the fourth round.

Manchester United manager David Moyes prior to kick-off against Manchester City on September 22, 2013
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