Carling Cup round-up: Rovers shrug off swine flu woe to punish Peterborough

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The Independent Football

A below-strength Blackburn Rovers shook off the illness besetting their squad to ease into the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup with a 5-2 home win over Peterborough United.

The outbreak of swine flu in the Blackburn camp had dominated the build-up to the match and Sam Allardyce made seven changes, but the hosts were ahead after only three minutes, Morten Gamst Pedersen hitting a free-kick into the roof of the net.

The visitors levelled on 17 minutes through Chris Whelpdale's header but saw their hopes hit three minutes before the break when goalkeeper Joe Lewis brought down Pedersen in the area and was sent off. Steven Reid scored the resulting penalty.

Though the Championship side surprisingly drew level again five minutes into the second half through George Boyd's drive, Michel Salgado, with his first goal for the club, restored Blackburn's lead. Further goals from Benni McCarthy and Nicola Kalinic confirmed Rovers' progress.

Portsmouth put their league travails behind them with a 4-0 mauling of Stoke City at Fratton Park. They took the lead on 17 minutes when Frédéric Piquionne nodded in Nadir Belhadj's cross. Piquionne was involved in Portsmouth's second, too, setting up Danny Webber to lash in. Piquionne made it three with a tap-in after keeper Steve Simonsen's fumble before Nwankwo Kanu added a fourth.