Manchester United progressed into round four of the Carling Cup with a comfortable win over Leeds United at Elland Road.
Team News – The side selected by Sir Alex had a very strange look about it, see for yourself. However, it appeared that Carrick would be playing at centre half and Valencia at right back, whilst the attack seemed to be blessed with numbers.
United – Amos, Fabio, Fryers, Giggs, Park, Carrick, Valencia, Owen, Berbatov, Macheda, Diouf
Subs – De Gea, Brown, Keane, Thorpe, Pogba, Cole, Welbeck
First Half – United got the action underway at a hostile Elland Road with the home support loudly booing every time United touched the ball.
The home side created the first decent scoring opportunity and United were thankful when Berbatov first cleared a header from Lees off the line and then got a block to the follow-up from McCormack.
Fifteen minutes into the game, that perennial finisher Michael Owen put United ahead on his first start this season when he scuffed home an effort from a Park assist after a lovely flowing build-up. But as they say, they all count as Owen notched his fifth goal in the Carling Cup, in six games, since moving to Old Trafford. Amazingly, the goal was also Owen`s 10th in his last 12 starts for United.
Leeds 0 United 1 (Owen – 15 minutes)
Leeds responded well to going a goal down, Lees and Clayton were looking impressive but the home side looked to be in danger every time United pushed forward with Berbatov the architect pulling the strings.
Owen continued his remarkable scoring record by doubling the lead just past the half hour mark, this time the finish was far more clinical with Owen controlling Diouf`s cross to score from the edge of the area.
Leeds 0 United 2 (Owen – 32 minutes)
Just like on Sunday, against Chelsea, United should have wrapped the game up before half time but Valencia put his effort wide, from eight yards out, of the post after being set up by Owen.
But the game was surely put out of the reach of Leeds when United did get that third goal right on the stroke of half time with Ryan Giggs getting his second of the season, following on from that superb strike in the Stadium of Light. Just like last Wednesday it was a sublime goal.
Giggs picked the ball up, surged in from the flank, slipped the ball through the legs of Snodgrass before hitting a great shot into the roof of the net.
Leeds 0 United 3 (Giggs – 45+1 minutes)
Half Time – Leeds 0 United 3
Second Half – Sir Alex made a change at half time bringing on the youngster Pogba for the veteran Giggs. Wining 3-0 the second half was always going to be a strange half.
Any doubts about the strange back four United had started with were history as United were cruising it. The first half blast of three goals had killed off any Leeds aspirations of making it a cup shock night.
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