United back to winning ways

PA Sport
Dimitar Berbatov (left)
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Dimitar Berbatov (left)

Manchester United avoided further humiliation after their derby drubbing as they breezed through their Carling Cup clash at Aldershot with a 3-0 victory.

An entirely different starting XI to Sunday's 6-1 thrashing by Manchester City made sure there was no hangover, thanks to Dimitar Berbatov and Antonio Valencia's first goals of the season and another League Cup strike from Michael Owen.

Aldershot tried their best to bridge the gulf in class between npower League Two side and the Barclays Premier League champions but they failed until late on to seriously test a rearguard that had looked vulnerable in the extreme in recent weeks.

United arrived in Aldershot to witness a town buzzing for the club's biggest game since they reformed in 1992 following the demise of Aldershot FC, and one of the biggest since the latter hosted a star-studded United team in the same competition 41 years earlier.

Their 7,300-capacity ground was full to bursting and the home fans arrived hoping to see one of the biggest shocks in League Cup history against a side who had never lost to a club from the fourth tier of English football.

Returning captain Nemanja Vidic was booked for felling Alex Rodman in the 10th minute but that was a false dawn for the home side as the visitors showcased their superior class five minutes later. Park Ji-sung played a one-two with Tom Cleverley on the edge of the box before finding Berbatov, who passed the lay-off into the net.

But Aldershot almost levelled through a superb solo effort from the dangerous Jermaine McGlashan, who ran at the heart of United's defence before unleashing a rising drive that just cleared the crossbar.

Just before the break United netted their second as they broke down the right with Berbatov squaring for Owen, whose shot straight down the middle managed to beat Ross Worner for his third goal in two League Cup ties this season.

Rodman failed to emerge for the second half after taking a knock to the shoulder towards the end of the first, with Bradley Bubb coming on. The contest was over three minutes later as United scored with the first attack of the half, a 20-yard Valencia piledriver leaving Worner clutching air.

With 10 minutes remaining, Worner produced arguably the only world-class moment of Aldershot's night with a sensational save from Berbatov's 20-yard free-kick.

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