Thursday 29 October 2015

Match report: United 0-0 Middlesbrough (1-3 pens)

United are out of the Capital One Cup after a penalty shootout defeat to Championship side Middlesbrough after a frustrating night at OT.

Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young all failed to convert from the spot- with only Andreas Pereira successful for us- as Aitor Karanka's Boro triumphed 3-1 in the shootout.

United manager Louis van Gaal made nine changes from the side held by City at the weekend, but despite the youthful looking line-up it was a flat opening only illuminated- literally- by the visiting fans protest against the closing of the Redcar steelworks by the lighting up of their mobile phones.

Boro were well organised and defended deep in numbers, but the first chance of the match fell to them, when Sergio Romero kept out George Friend's effort following a goalmouth scramble.

Memphis attempted a speculative piledriver that dropped well wide, and then Boro keeper Tomas Meijas saved well from James Wilson after good build up play between Memphis and Marouane Fellaini.

Spanish striker Kike went close for Boro and Friend blocked well to keep out Fellaini, but the best effort of the half came for Boro and Stewart Downing, whom forced a spectacular save from Romero on the stroke of half-time.

Daley Blind's blushes were spared by the offside flag after he had fired a superb finish into his own net, and then had another let-off when Romero miscontrolled his backpass and the ball rolled inches wide.

Grant Leadbitter worked Romero in Boro's brightest spell, and then United had a strong penalty appeal turned down when Matteo Darmian's cross clearly struck the hand of the outstanding Daniel Ayala.

Jesse Lingard went close and, after  Ayala cleared off the line from Fellaini, two fantastic stops from Romero denied Leadbitter and Downing at the other end in a frantic finish.

Pereira lashed wide on the counter-attack deep into extra-time, but, after Anthony Martial and Fellaini spurned openings in the dying minutes, the tie went to penalties.

Rooney, Carrick and Young all failed to score for United with Nugent missing for Boro, but Leadbitter, Downing and Ben Gibson ensured the visitors' spot in the last eight.

Overall team performance: 7/10
United Faithful Man of the Match: Andreas Pereira. 

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