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Carling Cup Romanticism Continues With Crystal Palace Defeating Man United

After Wednesday night’s triumph for Crystal Palace against Manchester United at Old Trafford, that was another reason why I’m falling in love again with the Carling Cup — a competition that has often been derided in the past.

Crystal Palace gave a performance that most Premier League clubs would have been proud of. They pressured Manchester United and gave them very little time on the ball to make their passes. Palace’s striker Wilfried Zaha was explosive. Darren Ambrose’s goal was spectacular. All in all, it was a very entertaining match where United just couldn’t seem to score (other than their penalty, of course). Palace deservedly won 2-1 in extra time. They now advance to the two-leg semi-final against Cardiff City, and will definitely fancy their chances of playing in the final against either Manchester City or Liverpool.

It’s been a rough week for Manchester United. Not only did they get knocked out of the Carling Cup, but Manchester United legend Steve Bruce got sacked yesterday. Bruce’s sacking was a long time coming, but the final nail in the coffin was “thanks” to an awful defensive mistake by former Manchester United defender Wes Brown who was very complacent on the ball for Sunderland on Saturday, which allowed Wigan to sneak in and score the injury time winner.

Nevertheless, there were some positives for Manchester United on Wednesday night. Paul Pogba was a bright spark for United, and showed some promising touches. Chris Smalling put in a sound performance over the 90 minutes. But other than that, the remaining United players seem uninspired. Particularly poor was Mame Biram Diouf.

Now that United are out of the Carling Cup, many of the Manchester United B team who were on display Wednesday night won’t get a chance to play for the first-team until early next year if Ferguson decides to pick some of the players for the FA Cup matches. United’s performance will have disappointed Ferguson, but the final result was more indicative of how well Crystal Palace played and how the London team stopped United from playing its game.

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  1. Jason

    December 1, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    United never take the Carling Cup that seriously when they have other things on their mind, like the EL title race where they cannot afford to lose any more points if they are to have a realistic chance of catching City. They also are in a dogfight to stay in the Champions League with their game against Basel coming up next week.

    United are more interested in the EPL title and the CL than the Carling Cup. No big loss losing to Palace.

  2. MNUfan1991

    December 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Good. Time to give the youngsters a taste of defeat. Last thing I want is for the kids to think they are born to be Manchester United players. You don’t learn without failing. I hope the bitter taste of being beaten by a Championship side will linger on.

    Anyway, last year we got badly beaten by a (currently) Championship side too in the Carling Cup. We went on to win the League and got into another CL final.

  3. Paul

    December 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Fergie doesn’t care about the league cup. He’s got more on his plate thinking about Champions League and the Premier League. If he wanted to beat Palace he would have fielded a better side. It’s no big loss to them.

  4. CTBlues

    December 1, 2011 at 9:26 am

    OMG ManU isn’t in first place and just got knocked out of the Carling Cup by Crystal Palace sack him!


  5. Joe956

    December 1, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I totally agree and what’s with Fergie so upset over the loss? He’s the one who claimed his “youngsters” were so bloody good, well, they’re not. United will be third this year in the league and remain so until they get top transfer midfielder and a legitimate goalie.

  6. Dani

    December 1, 2011 at 7:37 am

    It’s what happens when you underestimate your opponents. Fully deserved win for Palace and whilst its not a cup Sir Alex would be dying to win, he had the easiest pick of the lot en route to the finals and should’ve gone for it. Any cup is worth winning. I dont rate his CL chances either with the likes of Barca and Madrid being front runners and the PL seems like City’s to lose. Heck even spurs would overtake United if they won their game in hand. Which leaves only the FA cup up for grabs. He would need to re-assess his squad in the coming weeks i feel. As for Palace and Cardiff, well done! Either one is guaranteed a final spot and potential European qualifictation.

    • Paul

      December 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm

      Agreed. It was his to win and he chose to play a weakened side. I doubt United are going to win anything this season… I even think a top 2 finish in the league could be beyond them this year with Spurs looking so good lately. It’s about time the tide changed though. Liverpool in the 80s, United in the 90’s to now… maybe the tables are due to turn once again.

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