ALDERSHOT 0, MAN UNITED 3.
Manchester United quickly banished the painful memory of their derby drubbing to move into the quarter finals of the Carling Cup.
Aldershot, the npower League Two minnows, were hardly in the same bracket as their opponents of two days earlier but it was a win which helped restore a feel-good factor.
United, fielding a completely different starting line up to derby day, emerged comfortable victors against their opponents from Hampshire.
Goals from Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen and Antonio Valencia ensured United’s safe passage to the satisfaction of Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I was pleased with our discipline. Whatever the game and whoever plays, I expect that,” he explained.
It was a measure of the strength of the United squad that they were still able to field the likes of Nemanja Vidic, Berbatov, Owen, Phil Jones, Valencia, Ji-Sung Park and the fit-again Tom Cleverley from kick off.
There was also a sprinkling of youth as Ezekiel Fryers was at left back, Ben Amos in goal while there were cameos from Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison.
Vidic was booked for a rash early challenge which was the last thing he needed after his sending off in United’s last Champions League match.
Berbatov settled United’s nerves with a 15th minute opener which followed a neat passing move and soon after unlucky not to win a penalty.
The Shots were finishing the opening half strongly as chances fell to Jermaine McGlashan and Luke Guttridge only for United to break away and score a crucial second goal.
This time Berbatov was the provider breaking down the right and squaring the ball to Owen whose shot squeezed past keeper Ross Worner.
The tie was over within three minutes of the restart when Valenca found the net with a long-range missile, a spectacular drive from 25 yards.
Berbatov wasted a couple of chances to give United an even more emphatic margin of victory which would have been cruel on the gutsy Shots who themselves were unlucky not to find the net.