By Andy Hyslop
- Van Gaal made nine changes from that the side that drew with City
- United couldn’t find the breakthrough in 120 minutes of play
- Lost 3-1 in the lottery of penalty shoot-out
Manchester United went out at the fourth round stage of the Capital One Cup as they failed to overcome Championship high-flyers Middlesbrough at Old Trafford. United paid the penalty as they failed to find the breakthrough in 120 minutes of play.
United manager Van Gaal made nine changes from the team that start the Manchester Derby on Sunday. Darmian, Blind, Carrick and Memphis all returned to the starting line-up having sat out recent games after being permanent fixtures early at the start of the season.
Whilst youngsters Lingard, Pereira and Wilson were all given their opportunity to impress Van Gaal. Lingard has clearly made an impression on Van Gaal, appearing in the last three games before this one. Coming on a substitutes away to Everton and against City at the weekend and starting in Moscow last week.
Lingard couldn’t have come any closer to open his United goals account in the last two games. Hitting the bar against City and then striking an effort against the post in this game.
Pereira started in the No.10 role and struggled throughout the game to have an impact. Having scored in the previous round against Ipswich, he would have been hoping for similar story against Middlesbrough. He faired slightly better in extra-time when he was moved out to the left but must do better if he’s to have a long-term future at Old Trafford.
Wilson was making his first start of the season, with his only other appearance being a very short cameo against Arsenal. Wilson was taken off at half-time. This may have been a pre-planned substitution as Wilson has been ill recently and looked off the pace.
United were pedestrian in the first-half, failing to have any real efforts on the Middlesbrough goal. There was a slight improvement in the second-half and despite creating several openings but failed to test Mejias in the Middlesbrough goal.
United had two penalty claims for handball against Daniel Ayala turned down by referee Lee Mason. They clearly weren’t intentional handballs by the defender but on a another night could have been given. Though the way the shoot-out went, who’s to say United would have scored from the spot.
As both Fellaini and Martial spurned chances to the win the game in the dying minutes of extra-time. The tie would be decided by the lottery of penalties. Only Pereira managed to scored in the shoot-out as Rooney, Carrick and Young all missed.
Middlesbrough reward for their win is a home tie against Everton in the quarter-finals of the competition. United will be left to lick their wounds and look to bounce back from this disappointment as they travel to Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Manchester United: Romero, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Rojo (Young 61), Carrick, Fellaini, Lingard, Pereira, Memphis (Martial 70), Wilson (Rooney 46) Substitutes Not Used: De Gea, Schweinsteiger, Herrera, Mata