Date: 27th October 2009 at 10:51pm
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A young United side won 2-0 at Barnsley to progress to the next round of the Carling Cup. It was a reasonably good performance and a deserved win and it provided a good opportunity for the up-and-coming talent at the club. Did they grab it? Let’s see.

Danny Welbeck is skilled and confident: OK, it’s nothing new but it’s encouraging to see him proving it time and again. Even against Sunderland, when he was awful, he always showed himself, he was always willing to get on the ball and it was the same tonight. Good performance, good goal.

Rafael is not a central midfielder: nothing new there either and of course he’s got the excuse that he’s just returned from injury but he was ineffective. Worked hard, tried hard but did not play well. He’s not a central midfielder, that’s all.

Gabriel Obertan had a good solid debut, what we expected. He could have scored but his shot was blocked magnificently. He was a constant threat but his poor passing was frustrating to see. Definite room for improvement there.

Anderson is still in good form: he was man of the match today, providing two assists (OK, he swung in the corner for Welbeck and he was the last man to touch the ball before Owen conjured up his brilliant goal) and working very, very hard. His job was complicated by the fact that his partner in central midfield was in fact an inexperienced right-back lacking match fitness but he was great.

Brown is in poor form: he was mainly responsible for the fact that Barnsley had enough chances to draw the game. Poor positioning, insufficient concentration. Needs to improve.

Macheda has to do more. A few good touches but otherwise… his passing was sub-standard, I can’t remember him registering a shot on goal… he just disappeared.

Gary Neville is still prone to moments of incomprehensible madness: he had ample time to pull back his leg after what was essentially a good tackle. He endangered the safety of his opponent and deserved to be sent off. Why Carragher did not concede a penalty for the very same offence on Sunday is another matter…

Foster will never be a proper goalkeeper if he can’t even manage two proper goalkicks in a row… disappointing though I have to admit he made a few fine saves.

That’s it, really. Post-match reactions coming in a minute.