Manchester United 1-0 Town - Half-Time
Wednesday, 23rd Sep 2015 21:02
Wayne Rooney’s 23rd minute goal has given Manchester United a 1-0 half-time lead over the Blues at half-time in the Capital Cup third round tie at Old Trafford.
Mick McCarthy switched his entire XI having indicated prior to the match that he planned to field a much-changed side with Saturday’s Championship game at home to Bristol City his greater priority.
Bartosz Bialkowski returned in goal with Jonny Parr making his first start of the season at left-back and Josh Emmanuel at right-back
Recent signing Piotr Malarczyk made his full Town debut at the centre of the defence alongside Josh Yorwerth.
In midfield, Kevin Bru partnered Giles Coke in the centre with Jay Tabb on the left and Tommy Oar making his Town debut on the right. Daryl Murphy, who skippered, and David McGoldrick were up front.
There was no Dean Gerken on the bench - Michael Crowe was the sub keeper - the former Colchester man having suffered minor ankle and groin injuries during Friday’s 1-1 draw with Birmingham.
In contrast to Town’s side, Manchester United named a very strong line-up including Rooney, Bastian Schweinsteiger, David de Gea and Juan Mata, although recent signing Anthony Martial was on the bench.
Town survived a second-minute Mata freekick from just outside the area, Andreas Pereira hitting the post after the ball had been nodded back across the area, but having already gone out of play.
At the other end, Parr was played on the left but de Gea was out quickly to claim at his feet, while the linesman’s flag had already been raised.
United started to move the ball around confidently and in the sixth minute Pereira hit a low shot which Bialkowski claimed low down.
Blues debutant Oar made an impressive break down the right in the eighth minute, cutting the ball back to McGoldrick, who was crowded out and eventually conceded a foul.
The home team and players claimed a penalty in the ninth minute when Antonio Valencia’s attempted cross struck Coke on the hand. Referee Simon Hooper waved away the protests but plenty of other officials might well have pointed to the spot.
Pereira scuffed wide from distance in the 12th minute with the Red Devils inevitably having most of the ball but with Town so far remaining resolute at the back and making the occasional break forward. On 18 Ashley Young lashed wildly over from distance.
Blues keeper Bialkowski had been relatively untroubled aside from Pereira’s low strike but in the 23rd minute the home side went in front.
Daley Blind played a ball from the back, Rooney got in behind Malarczyk and shook off the Polish defender before firing past Bialkowski.
Three minutes later, with the 4,500-plus Town fans in the upper tier behind the goal United were attacking still making the most noise despite the goal, Young played a superb cross-field ball to Ander Herrera who under-hit a low volley to Bialkowski.
Having got their noses in front United were rarely allowing Town a touch of the ball. On 29 Mata struck a low effort but Bialkowski was equal to it.
A minute later the Blues’ Polish keeper was quickly off his line to claim ahead of Valencia as he sought to get on to Mata’s clever pass in behind Parr, then in the 32nd minute Mata cut a freekick back to the edge of the box and Blind took a touch before shooting against a defender.
Soon after, Yorwerth headed an Oar corner well wide after what had become a rare Blues foray forward.
In the 41st minute de Gea came out to claim ahead of McGoldrick as he slid in with Chris Smalling on the right of the area.
However, since the goal the Blues had been almost constantly pinned back in their half of the field, albeit without United having been able to create another clear-cut opportunity with Emmanuel having made a couple of important challenges on Pereira and Young inside the box.
As the fourth official held up his board indicating one additional minute, the Blues had their best chance of the half. McGoldrick fed Oar to his right and the Australian brought the ball inside before hitting a powerful shot not too far past de Gea’s right post.
Oar’s strike was the final action of a half unsurprisingly dominated by the home side but at 1-0 with the Blues still in the tie.
Manchester United had spent most of the half confidently passing and probing for gaps in the Town defence but with only Rooney’s well-taken goal to show for all their possession.
Blues chances were few and far between but as Oar’s late strike almost illustrated it would take only one moment of magic or perhaps a mistake for Town to get back on terms.
Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Young, Schweinsteiger, Herrera, Mata, Fellaini, Pereira, Rooney (c). Subs: Romero, Darmian, Jones, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Memphis, Martial.
Town: Bialkowski, Emmanuel, Parr, Malarczyk, Yorwerth, Coke, Bru, Oar, Tabb, Murphy (c), McGoldrick. Subs: Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Pitman, Sears, Kenlock, Crowe, Touré.
Photo: Action Images
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