United jump Aldershot hurdle
Aldershot Town 0-3 Manchester United
Manchester United exorcised their demons from Sunday's derby-day defeat by defeating Aldershot Town to reach the last-eight of the Carling Cup at the EBB Stadium.
A team showing 11 changes from their 6-1 hammering at the hands of Manchester City took a quarter of an hour to opening the scoring through Dimitar Berbatov, before the Bulgarian laid on Michael Owen before the break.
Antonio Valencia made it three soon after half time, as their League Two opponents toiled on their day in the sun against the three-time European Champions.
The glamour tie of the fourth round of the Carling Cup saw Aldershot, a club who had not yet celebrated the 20th anniversary of their formation, against a United side who had a domestic league title for every year their opponents have existed in their current guise.
The gap between the two sides was noticeable from the outset, and after 15 minutes United made their early advantage tell as Berbatov slotted home, after a neat one-two between Park Ji-Sung and the returning Tom Cleverley.
Midfield livewire Jermaine McGlashan, fresh from a double against Dagenham & Redbridge, was the Shots’ best outlet in the first half, but he blazed a shot over after toying with Ezekiel Fryers.
While the 23-year-old showed naivety at one end, United were full of composure at the other, and they doubled their lead four minutes before half-time, as Berbaotv turned provider, laying the ball on a plate for Michael Owen to score his third goal of the competition.
Any ambitions Dean Holdsworth’s side had of getting back into the contest were ended less than three minutes after the break, as Antonio Valencia lashed a 25-yard effort beyond Ross Warner.
Luke Gutteridge could have salvaged a well-earned consolation for the hosts late on but shot wide and then saw Ben Amos sprawl to keep out his free-kick.
But just like they had surged into the lead, United closed out the tie in composed fashion against their spirited opponents, reaching the quarterfinals of a competition they’ve won in two of three last three years.