BIRMINGHAM, England — Birmingham fans ran onto the field and threw flares at rival supporters following Wednesday night's 2-1 win over local rival Aston Villa in the League Cup quarterfinals.
Villa supporters responded by ripping up seats and threw them onto the St. Andrews field.
The violence was reminiscent of that which marred English soccer through the 1970s and '80s, but Birmingham manager Alex McLeish said the violence should not affect Thursday's vote on the 2018 World Cup host. England is competing with Spain-Portugal, Russia and Netherlands-Belgium.
"Fans shouldn't come on to the pitch at any time. It soured it a bit for us," McLeish said. "I don't think that will affect the World Cup bid. I'm sure that's already decided, and let's hope England gets it because it deserves it. It doesn't look good, though, when you see fans running on the pitch like that and carrying on. It takes us back to the Dark Ages."
Police issued a statement referring to the violence as "sporadic outbreaks of disorder at the Birmingham derby."
"The FA abhors acts of violent behavior and we urge the clubs and authorities to identify any individual involved in disorder and impose the stiffest available sanctions including banning orders," the Football Association said in a statement.
Birmingham took the lead in the 10th minute when Sebastian Larsson converted a penalty kick after Richard Dunne's foul on Lee Bowyer. Gabriel Agbonlahor tied the score in the 30th, but Nikola Zigic beat American goalkeeper Brad Friedel in the 84th to put Birmingham in its first League Cup semifinal for nine years.
Birmingham will play West Ham in the semifinals and Ipswich will meet Arsenal. Ipswich beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 on Grant Leadbitter's 69th-minute penalty kick to become the only second-tier team in the semifinals.
PSV Eindhoven, Bayer Leverkusen and Manchester City were among seven teams to clinch berths in the second round of the Europa League on Wednesday.
Eindhoven rallied to beat Sampdoria 2-1 on a last-minute goal by Ola Toivonen. Bayer Leverkusen won 1-0 at Rosenborg, and Mario Balotelli scored twice to lead Manchester City over Salzburg 3-0.
Lech Poznan advanced with a 1-1 tie against Juventus that eliminated the Italian team.
Young Boys beat Stuttgart 2-1 in a snowstorm to advance alongside the already qualified German team, Metalist Kharkiv beat eliminated Debrecen 2-1 to move on and Sporting Lisbon earned a place with a 1-0 win over Lille.
Anderlecht, with American midfielder Sacha Kljestan, lost 3-1 at Zenit St. Petersburg.
PARIS — Defending champion Marseille played a 0-0 tie at home with Rennes in the French league. Rennes forward Jires Kembo-Ekoko's penalty kick was saved by goalkeeper Steve Mandanda in the fourth minute.
Also, Valenciennes drew 1-1 at home with Saint-Etienne and American defender Carlos Bocanegra.