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Celebration Time !
Rooney heads The Reds to claim the Carling Cup Title !

Match Report – United 2-1 Aston Villa

Competition: Carling Cup FINAL
Kick-Off & Date: 3pm, Sunday 28th February
Venue: Wembley (Neutral)

Attendance: 88,596

Wayne Rooney came off the bench to head United to a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, and claiming the second consecutive Carling Cup Title !

The Reds won the first silverware of the new decade, after Michael Owen and Rooney mounted a fantastic comeback – James Milner had put Villa ahead inside 5 minutes, scoring a penalty conceded by Nemanja Vidic – who luckily received no punishment…

Manchester United retain the Carling Cup Title !

In the starting XI; Tomasz Kuszczak found himself in-goal, while Wayne Rooney was rested on the bench – replaced by Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov up-front, with Ji-Sung Park on the left flank. As Patrice Evra took the captains armband. 

Inside 4 minutes, Gabriel Agbonlahor burst into the box and was hauled down by Nemanja Vidic. Referee Phil Dowd immediately pointed to the spot, and Vidic had no complaints – but controversially escaped punishment !

England hopeful, James Milner walked up to take the penalty and duly scored by sending Kuszczak the wrong side.  

Vidic pulls and tackles Agbonlahor to concede an early penalty…
as James Milner sends Kuszczak the wrong way !

The Reds were shocked, along with fans – but they responded quickly – as James Collins clumsily brought down Michael Owen and received a booking. But the free-kick delivery was poor by Michael Carrick.

United kept pushing and seven minutes after Villa’s goal, Wembley veteran Michael Owen scored. Irish and former Man City defender, Richard Dunne was pick-pocketed by Dimitar Berbatov in Villa’s half. Berba sprinted on-goal, Dunne got back and slide-tackled the Bulgarian – but the ball fell to Owen and he superbly finished in the bottom left corner !

Owen equalises, on front of Capello…

James Milner and Emile Heskey both came close to putting Martin O’Neil’s side ahead, but some fine saves by Kuszczak denied them.

Steward Downing went into the book, followed by Patrice Evra as ref. Phil Dowd tried to make-up for his botched handling of the penalty incident. Villa manager, O’Neil called Dowd over to the touchline to have a strong word with him as the fans were getting increasingly upset with the refereeing.

Just a few minutes before half-time, and to the roar of United fans – Rooney replaced Owen, who was visually suffering from a hamstring strain.

Valencia raced down the right and cued a ball back to Ji-Sung Park, his powerful strike hit the post to deny The Reds a lead just before the interval.

The anti-Glazer campaign in full-swing at Wembo !

Rooney stayed on the pitch during the break, and he was the first player to have a shot on-goal in the second-half, but sliced wide. Carrick also had a chance to put United ahead, but Brad Friedel made a magnificent save.

The ‘warrior’, Rafael made way for Gary Neville to a chorus of both cheers and boos. Vidic was then pathetically booked, as Agbonlahor dived – but the yellow card was well overdue for Villa fans.

Just like in the West Ham game during midweek; Berba one-twoed out wide with Valencia, who sent-in a blistering cross, only for… ROONEY to head home his 28th goal of the season in the 75th minute !

Roo scores his 8th header in just 9 games…
The best player in the World ?, Well I certainly think so !

The game, however, was far from over with more than 15 minutes left. Villa pressed hard to find a goal that would bring them into extra-time, but United kept their composure with Kuszczak and the defence on red-alert. The final whistle was relief for Manchester United fans and as-always despair for the losers, Aston Villa. 

The Red Devils finally won a Cup in 90 minutes at Wembley, rather than in 120 minutes !

As Sir Alex and captain Patrice Evra lifted the Carling Cup for the second time in two seasons, to add to the gaffer’s 25 major titles in 23 years at Old Trafford…


United Team: Tomasz Kuszczak, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Da Silva Rafael (Gary Neville, 66), Jonny Evans, J, Ji-Sung Park (Darron Gibson, 85), Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Luis Antonio Valencia, Michael Owen (Wayne Rooney, 42), Dimitar Berbatov

Aston Villa Team:
Brad Friedel, Richard Dunne, Carlos Cuellar (John Carew, 80), Stephen Warnock, James Collins, Stewart Downing, Ashley Young, A, James Milner, Stiliyan Petrov, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Emile Heskey



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