Scunthorpe United v Manchester United

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Carling Cup

Scunthorpe United2(1)Manchester United5(2)

J.Wright 19, Woolford 90+1

Gibson 23, Smalling 36, Owen 49, 71, Park Ji-Sung 54

Scunthorpe United :
Murphy, Byrne, Mirfin, Nolan, Canavan, Togwell (Collins 72), Woolford, O'Connor (Grant 61), J.Wright, Dagnall (Godden 81), Forte.
Subs not used:
Slocombe, Jones, Raynes, A.Wright.

Manchester United :
Kuszczak, Ferdinand, Brown, Smalling, Rafael Da Silva, Anderson, Park Ji-Sung (Tiago Bebe 74), Gibson, Owen, Hernandez (Obertan 68), Macheda.
Subs not used:
Van der Sar, O'Shea, De Laet, Corry Evans, Eikrem.


by Manchester Evening News at Glanford Park

THERE will be a number of United player's eager to deliver the DVD of this hammering to Sir Alex Ferguson when he returns from his spying mission in Spain.

The Reds boss skipped Glanford Park for the Mestalla Stadium to check on next Wednesday's Champions League opponents Valencia.

Fergie has never missed a United match by choice. In 24 years in charge at Old Trafford the previous two he was absent for against City and Middlesbrough were for unavoidable personal reasons. This was a football decision.

He has already named the European Cup as his priority so to do some last minute first hand note making on Valencia was unusual but not a major surprise.

United's fringe men need every match opportunity they can muster to remind Fergie they mustn't be forgotten.

They must have been as cheesed off as Scunthorpe fans and their caretaker manager Ian Baraclough, who had wanted to see the United manager in the dugout, that he wasn't on the team bus. But whether he was present or not, the Reds XI knew he'd find out every minor detail of the match so there was no slacking.

Text messages from Mike Phelan's phone to Fergie's didn't start off too encouraging but in the end it would never have stopped buzzing as the Reds ran riot.

It was a distinctly uncomfortable start for the Reds that even suggested their two-year stint as Carling Cup holders could end embarrassingly early here in Lincolnshire.

While United were getting used to the cramped Glanford Park surroundings, the Championship side took command. Scunthorpe's plan was pretty easy to latch onto as they shot from distance at every opportunity.

It left Tomasz Kuszczak having to deal with some ferocious howitzers. The Pole adopted the tactic to beat away everything that came in with power. It was enough to deny Nolan and Woolford. But the Reds 'keeper had no answer to the Iron's opener that was smashed with force by Josh Wright.

It was a determined build up by Scunthorpe that saw Dagnall force his way from the right wing into the middle and Woolford's set up was thundered home by Wright.

Haunting memories of Roots Hall in 2006 were not far away as United contemplated a potential disaster. But the Reds XI have all pretty much got personal goals that wouldn't have looked good with a humiliating defeat like this on their CV.

It didn't take long for United to realise they have better step up to the mark. Four minutes after Wright's shock, the Reds were level.

Darron Gibson has used this competition to get a flimsy foothold on the fringe of Sir Alex Ferguson's first team. Last season it was his trademark blasts that brought him success. This time it was a delicate hook home from Chris Smalling's ball over the top that proved he has deftness as well as dynamite in his boots.

The home side's big night could have fallen apart at this point but they courageously came back with more long range bullets and a close header from Byrne.

However, United were equally determined to show they could react to periods of concern. Smalling having provided the assist for Gibson's goal then proved he has a forward's eye for goal that Michael Owen must have been envying.

Park's low cross in the 35th minute was met with a sweet near post volley finish by the £10m defender.

Soon after his wonderful hit the United fans dug out some old ditties eulogising such goalscoring luminaries as Ruud van Nistelrooy and Diego Forlan. Just like Owen they'd have loved Smalling's effort among their collections. But once again Kuszczak had to be alert to keep out Scunthorpe's reaction to going behind.

Another two thunderous efforts were kept out unconventionally. He was nearly embarrassed when Forte's stinger was spilled and it almost spun behind the keeper and into the net.

For all Scunthorpe's admirable qualities it was United's touches of class in front of goal that made all the difference.

Owen and Macheda had both been pretty much spectators until they linked in the 48th minute. The Italian slipped a pass through to the one-time England striker who bore down on goal from the centre circle and kept a cool head to curve his finish past keeper Murphy. It was his first competitive goal since his Carling Cup final goal against Aston Villa at Wembley in February.

The Reds didn't click off the clinical mode button and six minutes later Ji-sung Park took the Scunthorpe route and hammered in a low shot.

Owen doesn't need Fergie to view videos to remind him of his qualities, he just needs games.

This wasn't Champions League defending from the Championship side but he showed if a chance presents itself he is still sharp enough to take them as he gobbled up a rebound in the 71st minute.

Having enjoyed the first high note of the match, Scunthorpe had the last as well as Woolford steered in their second in stoppage time.