Manchester United bounced back from Sunday’s humiliating 6-1 home defeat to derby rivals Manchester City with a controlled 3-0 victory over Aldershot Town in the fourth round of the Carling Cup tonight.
Sir Alex Ferguson made a few changes from the weekend’s line-up, bringing in the likes of Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov, Nemanja Vidic, Park Ji-sung and Ben Amos to do the job against the League Two outfit.
It was an entertaining game at the Recreation Ground with Dean Holdsworth’s men having a real crack at the reigning English champions but the gulf in between England’s fourth and top tiers shone through with United’s class winning out in the end.
Berbatov opened the scoring in the 15th minute by finishing a concise move which involved Park playing a one-two with Tom Cleverley before the South Korean fed the Bulgarian who striker who took one touch and turned onto his left to slot past Shots gloveman Ross Worner.
The second goal minutes before half-time when Berbatov turned provider, finding an advancing Owen with a nice ball and the former England star did the rest from inside the area despite Worner getting his hand to the ball.
Aldershot kept pressing but the match was essentially wrapped up three minutes into the second half when Valencia scored with a piledriver from 25 yards to send Fergie’s men through to the quarter-finals.
Joining them will be Arsenal who overcame a slight hiccup to beat Bolton 2-1. Fabrice Muamba put the visitors ahead at the Emirates with a 47th minute strike from 12 yards, however, the Gunners rallied thanks to Andrey Arshavin’s reply six minutes later before Park Chu-young scored his first goal for the club by finishing a neat pass from Arshavin in the 56th minute.
Still in London and Crystal Palace managed to eliminate Championship leaders Southampton from the competition with a 2-0 result at Selhurst Park with late goals coming from Darren Ambrose and Jermaine Easter (penalty) as Cardiff City moved through to the final eight with a hard-fought 1-0 triumph at home over Burnley.
2011/12 Carling Cup scores – fourth round