Manchester United defeat Villa in a controversial Carling Cup Final.
The first English domestic trophy was settled today with the League Cup (sponsored by Carling) Final kicking off at Wembley.
Manchester United and Aston Villa were set to battle it out for this piece of silverware and with prices of up to 3/1 for an Aston Villa win here, it was clear from the off that the expectations on Manchester United were high.
We didn’t have long to wait before the first action in this game. With just a few minutes played Agbonlahor was set free, the English speedster raced away but was pulled down by Vidic when he stepped into the box. The referee pointed to the spot straight away but didn’t show Vidic the red card, despite him being the last man.
Milner stepped up for the penalty and cooly converted as Villa took a surprise lead in this Final. Villa didn’t stay in front for long though, Berbatov took the ball from Dunne in the Villa half, the defender dived in to win the ball back but he merely knocked it to Michael Owen who slotted a shot past the ‘keeper to square things up with just thirteen minutes played.
The game was stretched wide open in the first half. Manchester United applied a lot of pressure with Villa breaking in periods as Milner and Heskey rattled off some shots. Yellow cards were also in plenty supply in the first half, and just a few minutes before the break Michael Owen pulled up with an injury, with super-striker Wayne Rooney replacing him. But before they headed into the dressing room for the break, Park – who had been very lively – smashed a shot off the post; inches from giving United the lead.
Carrick forced a great save from Friedel as we began the second half, but although the game remained open it wasn’t as event-filled as the first half. Rafael went off injured and was replaced by Neville, Vidic was finally booked (after he should have seen red at the beginning of the game) and Villa threatened to nick the game with an attempt from Young bouncing over the bar with twenty minutes left.
The super-striker then stepped forward on seventy-three minutes. Valencia chipped a cross in and Rooney rose to head in, looping the ball over Friedel and into the net. Another headed goal from the big man. Rooney nearly added another moments later when his bullet header cracked off the post.
Villa fought back and came close with a deflected header which hit the bar and bounced over. Manchester United threatened to end the game with some fine play, the best of which ended with a chance for Berbatov who blasted his shot over. Dunne missed a chance for Villa late on as they threw everything at United.
Villa couldn’t find the finishing touch in the end and this game ended with Manchester United on top, as the Red Devils were declared Carling Cup Champions 2009/10.