Football

Manchester United cup tie full of bizarre moments

A freak hailstorm hit the Britannia Stadium. (©GettyImages)
A freak hailstorm hit the Britannia Stadium. (©GettyImages).

On a windy Wednesday evening in the Midlands, it seemed as if all was normal ahead of Stoke's Capital One Cup quarter-final tie against Manchester United.  But little did the fans know ahead of kick-off that this tie was to see some quite strange situations.

The weather ensured it played its part in the drama and with the game having kicked off in wet and windy conditions, the game was brought to a halt during a freak hailstorm.  

Referee Mark Clattenburg called the players in as the hail fell heavily and indicated to his fourth official on the bench that he was having trouble seeing in the midst of the bad weather.  As the hail fell, both sides headed for the touchline and were then instructed to return to the dressing rooms.

The hail did not last long, though, and no sooner than the players had headed back inside, it ceased to fall and the game was soon resumed following further examinations of the conditions.

If the break-up in the play during the first half was not enough for the brave fans to have a chuckle about, a Stoke change during the second half would have.  

With Stoke trailing United, manager Mark Hughes was ready to bring on Charlie Adam for Wilson Palacios - a straight swap in midfield that caused confusion due to the injury picked up by defender Ryan Shawcross.  

Despite seemingly being unable to continue, Hughes stuck with his planned change and Palacios headed to take a seat on the bench.  But seconds later, he was soon back on the pitch as it was decided that Shawcross was to be replaced by Adam, despite the fourth official already indicating he had been changed for Palacios.  

And with that, Palacios found himself confused as to where he was to play, signalling across to the bench clearly having ran back on the field.

The confusion cost Stoke and Patrice Evra went on to seal United a semi-final spot with a sweetly struck shot from his weaker foot, curling the ball past a despairing Thomas Sorensen from inside the box.

But the result and goals will not be the only talking point, with the weather taking centre stage for the first half and the unusual substitution coming in the second. 

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Topics:
Stoke City
League Cup
Manchester United
Football

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