Reds edge past Wolves to reach Carling quarters



Sir Alex Ferguson’s reserves scraped past Wolverhampton Wanderers to reach the Carling Cup quarter-final. Javier Hernández scored a 90th minute winner as United overcame the spirited Midlanders for the second season in a row, with Park Ji-Sung and full-debutant Bébé earlier twice giving United the lead at Old Trafford.

The second period was as entertaining as the first dull, as United edged the best of five goals scored after the break. Ferguson’s side twice took the lead only for the visitors to peg the home side back, with the Reds once again careless at the back.

It almost cost United a place in the next round but with plenty of youngsters featuring Ferguson will feel positive about the Reds’ work on the night.

“It was a very open game in the second half and both teams played really well. It was a really good cup tie in the second half,” said Ferguson, who also praised United’s match-winner Hernández.

“We tend to build up heroes very quickly here but the boy is justifying the praise he’s getting at the moment.

“He’s first in and last out at training and his goal scoring is impressive.

“His touch and control of the ball is improving and his vision is improving too. That’s because the training is intense and we make sure players do improve.”

Ferguson offered a number of younger players the chance to impress, with Gabriel Obertan, Bébé and Federico Macheda spearheading United’s youthful attack. In goal 20-year-old Ben Amos made only his second start for the firs team ahead of the more experienced Tomasz Kuszczak.

Yet, the morgue-like atmosphere at Old Trafford was matched by a flat opening half, with only Macheda’s curling shot forcing a save from Wayne Hennessey in the visitors’ goal.

Indeed, Ferguson must have been disappointed with the penetration and urgency of his team save for Bébé on United’s right-flank. The £7.4 million forward showed glimpses of the pace and skill that persuaded United to spend lavishly on a player Ferguson has not previously seen in action.

But precious little else provided entertainment for the sparse – officially announced – 46,083 Old Trafford crowd. In truth far fewer appeared to turn up, with East second tier and North third completely shut on the night.

Ferguson’s side started the second period much as it finished the first, although Carrick’s long-range effort and Macheda’s curling shot at least threatened the visitors’ goal.

Park, largely disappointing during the first half, should have scored but shot straight at Hennessey when through on goal.

Bébé again looked the most progressive of United’s attacking quartet, forcing the free-kick from which Darron Gibson lashed a 30-yard effort straight at Hennessey.

Indeed, it was the Portuguese who forced the opening goal, beating Steven Mouyokolo for pace on the right before the winger’s angled shot deflected up and over Hennessey and just over the line.

If that should have been the catalyst for Ferguson’s young side to win the match, then inexperience told as Wolves’ corner was headed home by George Elokobi minutes later, with Amos failing to deal with the centre.

United almost regained the lead as Bébé centred for Macheda, who shot high on the half volley. The Italian wasted the opportunity as chances flowed in a far more entertaining second period.

United finally reclaimed the lead as Park exchanges passes with Macheda and stroked home from 15 yards. It was a rare moment of end-product from the South Korean in an otherwise horrendous season for the 29-year-old midfielder.

But United has made a habit of losing leads this season and Darron Gibson dwelt on the bal in his own half, enabling Ebankes-Blake to work an opening for right-back Kevin Foley to score through Jonny Evans legs and beyond Amos.

Twice Obertan could have given United a decisive lead with minutes to go, first failing to convert substitute Hernández’ cross and then firing over when a pass might have been the better option.

Then the winner, with Hernández starting and wonderfully finishing a flowing United move. The Mexican turned from right to left and finished past Hennessey in the final minute.

Cruel on Wolves perhaps but a mark of quality from the young Mexican.

“It was a good game all round. We did really well considering the players we played. Some of them hadn’t played in a while,” added Wes Brown.

“We thought we’d won it when we got the second goal with five or six minutes to go. Chichi got us the goal in the end. We want to win this competition for a third time.

“There were a lot of young players there and they’ve got a lot to prove for the future.”

One of those players, Hernández, has become an instant Old Trafford hero.

Match Facts

United – 4411 – Amos; Brown, Smalling, Evans, Fabio (Neville 74); Bebe (Hernández 81), Carrick, Gibson, Park (Morrison 90+5); Obertan; Macheda.

Wolves – 442 – Hennessey; Elokobi, Berra, Mancienne, Mouyokolo, Foley; Hunt, Jones, Jarvis (Doyle 85); Ebanks-Blake (Bent 80), Fletcher.

Attendance – 46,083
Man of the Match – Bébé

Possession: United 53% – 47% Wolves
Attempts: 17 – 15
On target: 10 – 7
Corners: 4 – 6
Fouls: 12 – 6

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Comments

  1. Stephen Morris says:

    Really don’t want to get carried away but I liked the look of Bebe and Smalling. Hernandez is just a diamond. Bags and bags of ability. Thought Fabio made a couple of great tackles and blocks as well.

  2. herbie simms says:

    Its good to see the newspapers now claiming that BEBE was the man of the match. They really trashed him when he first came to OT.

  3. I worry about Evans; he looks well on his way to becoming the next O’Shea.

  4. Great review of the match, no one but no one can disagree we have a new Micheal Owen on our hands.
    Bit hard on this review of Gabriel, give him time Ed.
    I think the lad looks electric, lets think of him as the new OHHH OHH Henry. He was you must admit right at the the wolves back line , like a Gazelle. Rome was built in a day right!
    it takes time. as you know
    am sure the coaches will develop him.
    However lets celebrate.
    And move on thanks to our new found “humility”

  5. herbie simms says:

    Yes, Evans, O’Shea and Macheda are not up to par.
    The team for Spurs:

    VAN de SAR
    RAFAEL VIDIC FERDINAND EVRA
    NANI FLETCHER ANDERSON BEBE
    BERBATOV HERNANDEZ

    Can start with Anderson or Scholes. Should be enough fire power to destroy Spurs. Should keep Morrison in the squad and give him maybe a 15 minute run out next time.

    • I’ll eat my hat if Bebe starts against Spurs. My money is on Park starting on the right, just to help the right back counter the Bale threat. But to be honest, it doesn’t matter who plays there, Bale is that good he’d tear anyone a new one.

  6. Will Evans ever stop bricking it

  7. Unregistered User said:
    Yes, Evans, O’Shea and Macheda are not up to par.
    The team for Spurs:

    VAN de SAR
    RAFAEL VIDIC FERDINAND EVRA
    NANI FLETCHER ANDERSON BEBE
    BERBATOV HERNANDEZ

    Can start with Anderson or Scholes. Should be enough fire power to destroy Spurs. Should keep Morrison in the squad and give him maybe a 15 minute run out next time.

    As I stated in the other thread where you predicted United’s lineup v Spurs, not a chance. Scholes would provide offense for 60 minutes before tiring, Anderson would provide nothing. Also, when Bale got tired of running Nani and Rafael ragged, it would be Lennon’s turn to go at an untried Bebe.

  8. herbie simms says:

    So Rob, what would be your team then?
    I don’t know but I don’t rate Spurs that high even
    though they finished in the top 4. I see 3-1 United.
    United’s midfield is in the horrors!

  9. Unregistered User said:
    So Rob, what would be your team then?

    I wish I believed Sir Alex had the balls to play an attacking 4-4-2 like this:

    VDS
    Rafael / Ferdinand / Vidic / Evra
    Nani / Fletcher / Scholes (sub Park or Carrick @ ~60 min) / Obertan
    Berbatov / Hernandez

    ..but I don’t. I imagine it will look more like this:

    VDS
    Brown / Ferdinand / Vidic / Evra
    Nani / Fletcher / Carrick / Scholes / Park
    Berbatov

    …although he might pick Neville to start because he hates to put out a good side.

  10. herbie simms says:

    Thats a good team you got there cause Berbatov is useless when he plays up front as the lone striker. SAF just can’t seem to get the players and the formation right.
    But 4-4-2 would be a good move.
    I guess when Rooney comes back, Hernandez will be used mostly as a super sub and the fans won’t like that. Rooney will need to find his form quickly or he will be catching hell from the fans. I don’t think you will see too much improvement from the midfield though unless new signings come in in January. SAF should have had these players before this season started. Depending too much on Hardgreaves coming back has backfired.

  11. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Only 46,000… that’s poor.

  12. the yankee gimps refused to lower ticket prices for last nights reserve team offering

  13. There are positives to be taken from last night. Some of the youngsters on show, took their chance to impress if front of the cameras.
    Bebe showed flashes of ability that suggested he could be £7m footballer in the future. Smalling looks a real prospect, with another impressive display. Obertan & Fabio had decent games also.
    Chicharito’s introduction and brilliant finish for the winner, after his superb brace at Stoke, has become an instant idol. We could have a real gem on our hands here. His finishing instincts remind me of Ole in his pomp, I just hope we don’t heap to much pressure on the kid.
    Some of the senior pros didn’t do themselves any justice. Carrick, whose confidence is clearly rock bottom didn’t stand out in a game his ability should have been evident to all. Park, despite a cracking finish was poor. Evans looked shaky at times and Brown struggled second half against Jarvis, though Wes is getting back to match fitness.
    Malcolm needs to blow the dust off the Utd cheque book in January, 3 big signings could galvanise the squad, which quality wise really isn’t that far away from our rivals.

  14. Shows the depth of the squad when our reserves contained 5 full internationals as well as several U21 internationals. We need that world class attacking midfielder added to the squad though plus replacements for whoever retires. I would say Neville & VDS are favourites, Scholes a possibility & Giggs an outside bet. Hargreaves unlikely to stay either, unless he takes a pay cut.

  15. against spurs he will play similar team as started against stoke. evra on the left of midfield. oshite left back. scholes and fletch in middle. berba and hernandez up front. right back will be interesting, think rafael in there because he has pace but whoever he plays will get rapped by bale anyway.

    so

    VDS
    RAFAEL RIO VDIC OSHITE
    NANI FLETCH SCHOLES EVRA
    BERBA HERNANDEZ

  16. herbie simms says:

    I see Evra, O’Shea and Anderson are getting salary increases as well. I guess Rooney has really started something now! As for midfielders, I hope SAF brings in Douglas Costa. He let him get away last time. If you want to checkout Costa in action, go to “YOUTUBE” and checkout this video clip: DOUGLAS COSTA 2010 FC SHAKTAR DONETSK.
    And then you can checkout the other video clips there of the same player. The guy is brilliant!

  17. Bebe was outstanding in a game where the majority of the passes that came his way were completely dump, or up in the air. The crosses he supplied, usually first time, were vicious, pacey and in the right kind of areas. If we’d been attacking more consistently on the break, his ability to provide a ball into the right area will cause havoc. I was sick of watching Bebe compete in the air, only for the second ball to be surrendered by a lazy and sluggish midfield.

    Smalling was a colossus and looks every inch a United centre back already. I’d be happy with him in the first team in front of Evans, who sadly seems inconsistent and a little scared at times. I think he has the ability and work rate to be a good player for United, but his temprement seems slightly off.

    I am keen to see more of Obertan, the toolkit is there. He has nice control and a willingness to go past players. More games needed.

    Macheda didn’t get the service really though he did miss his one ‘golden chance’. I have no idea how, but his movement justifies more games, and if he gets lucky, I think he’ll score more goals for United.

    Carrick and Gibson were poor, slow and sluggish. It is frustrating because I still believe Carrick has more than enough quality to be in a United shirt. I want to see him set the tempo more. Less dawdling on the ball, more pinging first time passes forward. Gibson just doesn’t stamp any authority on games and sadly looked like a passenger more often than not last night.

  18. herbie simms says:

    Rumours are strong that Carrick and Park are on their way out come January.

  19. I have no strong feelings about those rumours one way or the other. They’ve done a good enough job for United over the years and won their medals, and if they do go, should go with a ‘thank ye very much, good luck’

  20. Good news for Hernandez, Owen is out with a hamstring strain

    More games for the little ‘un

  21. Anderson doesn’t warrant improved terms considering how far he’s regressed since his debut season. Exit door is over there, form a queue behind Owen, Park & Carrick.

  22. herbie simms says:

    The big talk on the other sites is about O’Shea now will be getting 80,000 pounds a week. The United fans are furious. They were hoping he would be sold by next summer.
    And with Michael Owen out for awhile and Rooney with this recurring ankle injury and off form and Macheda not up to United quality, what other options for strikers? Already got problems in midfield and the defence is looking a bit shaky, although the team is still undefeated in all competitions. Spurs will be a big test of their character.

  23. be great to see park and carrick/anderson (dont care which) out and bring in someone like douglas costa and defour. although i think bale would be great addition but all depends on budget at the end of the day.

  24. Surely John O’Shea, £80k a week is a wind up? Surely? Please tell me that’s someone taking the p*ss?

  25. herbie simms says:

    No, the story is in the newspapers, fans on other sites are angry. Yes I agree with Baaaah, Douglas Costa will cost 12 million and he said in an article recently that SAF was still intertersted in him and United is where he wants to be. SAF had him lined up when Ronaldo left but felt he was not worth 18 million because he was more of a unknown, although in Brazil, he was rated as the next Ronaldinho. SAF wanted him to come to United for trials first, but the Brazilian club he was playing for took that as an insult to the player. SAF than made an offer of 8 million but Shaktar Donetsk sneeked in there with 12 million and stole him right from under SAF’s eyes. SAF does not have to spend 30 and 40 million on players, there are so many world class players between 8 and 15 million and world class young players even less.

  26. The good thing about Smalling is that he plays on the right of the centre pairing allowing Vidic to retain his customary left hand slot. The problem with Evans is that he plays on the left and thus shifts Vidic to the right. With the less than fully confident displays Evans has been putting in it only further disrupts the United defence to shift Vidic.

    I do think Evans has a promising future at United though he certainly has to raises his performances of late.

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