LONDON, England, October 26 – Manchester United shrugged off their mauling against Manchester City to book their place in the quarter-finals of the League Cup on Tuesday with a comfortable 3-0 win over Aldershot.
With United licking their wounds after Sunday’s 6-1 thrashing, manager Sir Alex Ferguson took no chances, naming an experienced side to face Aldershot, from the fourth tier of English football.
Nemanja Vidic captained the side, with Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov paired in attack and Tom Cleverley making his first appearance in six weeks following injury.
Any hopes of a fairytale upset for Aldershot were effectively snuffed out in the first half, Berbatov and Owen putting the visitors 2-0 up before Antonio Valencia killed the game off just after half-time.
Owen later admitted United’s players felt under pressure to deliver after Sunday’s humiliation at Old Trafford.
“I suppose so. We were a little bit under pressure with the result at the weekend,” Owen told Sky Sports.
“Although no-one here started at the weekend you still have Manchester United’s reputation to look after. So whatever side was put out we wanted to bounce back and thankfully we got the win.
“As you can imagine the laughs and jokes have quietened down a little bit (since Sunday).
“Sometimes you need a kick in the teeth to get going and it was a big kick in the teeth, as everybody knows, and we were eager to bounce back.”
Ferguson meanwhile praised Aldershot’s battling contribution.
“Aldershot fought really hard and can take a lot of credit, they never stopped running and pressing,” Ferguson said.
“We’re satisfied. In cup ties the important thing is winning the game and we’re in the next round now.”
In other fourth round action on Tuesday, Arsenal were given a scare before battling past Bolton 2-1 at the Emirates.
South Korean signing Park Chu-Young, making just his second start since joining from Monaco in August, fired Arsenal into the last eight with a sublime winner as the Gunners fought back from 1-0 down to win.
Former Arsenal trainee Fabrice Muamba had given Bolton the lead just after the half-time before Andrei Arshavin levelled it for Arsene Wenger’s men shortly before Park’s curling winner.
Park’s cameo was a welcome boost for Wenger, who has seen his team struggle this season following the departures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.
Although the League Cup arguably offers Arsenal their best potential chance of a first trophy since 2005, Wenger named a virtual reserve XI to face Wanderers, making 11 changes to the side which beat Stoke 3-1 on Sunday.
Elsewhere Tuesday, Welsh club Cardiff advanced to the last eight with a 1-0 win over Burnley.
A superb curling strike from 20-year-old Joe Mason on 40 minutes settled a hardfought battle and fired Cardiff into the quarter-finals for the first time since 1965.
Crystal Palace joined Cardiff in the quarter-finals after stunning Championship leaders Southampton 2-0 at Selhurst Park.
Darren Ambrose shot the Eagles ahead on 73 minutes, slotting home after a cross by Jonathan Williams before Jermaine Easter made sure of the win from the penalty spot in the 82nd minute.
The remaining fourth round matches will take place on Wednesday, with Premier League tailenders Blackburn facing unbeaten Newcastle, Everton entertaining Chelsea, Stoke taking on Liverpool, and Premier League leaders Manchester City travelling to Wolves.