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Gerrard's penalty beats City

sports Updated: Jan 13, 2012 02:47 IST

Steven Gerrard's first-half penalty was enough to give Liverpool a 1-0 win over a lackluster Manchester City on Wednesday in the first leg of their League Cup semifinal.

Gerrard slotted his spot kick into the bottom right corner and out of reach of goalkeeper Joe Hart in the 13th minute after Stefan Savic had fouled Daniel Agger in the area.

City looked lethargic throughout the first half and then failed to convert a number of chances in the second as it slumped to back-to-back home losses for the first time since February 2008, having lost to Manchester United in the FA Cup this past weekend.

City, which leads the Premier League by three points ahead of United and Tottenham which beat Everton 2-0 in Wednesday's only other game in English football struggled to make up for the absence of several key players against Liverpool. Captain Vincent Kompany is serving a four-match ban after being sent off against United, while Kolo Toure is on African Nations Cup duty with the Ivory Coast and Mario Balotelli was substituted in the first half with an ankle problem.

In the other semifinal, Crystal Palace beat Cardiff 1-0 at home on Tuesday.

Sevilla ousted
Barcelona: Valencia ousted Sevilla from the Copa del Rey despite a 2-1 loss on Wednesday, advancing on away goals after striker Roberto Soldado scored in the second half. Soldado ran on to an excellent through ball by Jonas, who scored in Valencia's 1-0 first-leg win, and coolly slotted a finish past goalkeeper Javi Varas into the right corner of the net for the 66th-minute opener.

Midfielder Ivan Ratikic pounced on a rebound to level for the hosts four minutes later and Valencia defender Victor Ruiz scored an own goal in

extra time, but his team still advanced on the aggregate score of 2-2.

Valencia faces Levante in the quarterfinals after it swept aside second-tier Alcorcon.