MANCHESTER UNITED 0, CARDIFF CITY 2
Relegated Cardiff City beat Manchester United for the first time since November 1960 in their final match of the season before dropping into the Championship.
A brace by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing condemned the Reds to their sixth winless game in a row and Bluebirds goalkeeper Neil Etheridge’s saves and blocks ensured that Neil Warnock won at Old Trafford for the first time in 4 attempts with 4 different clubs.
Mendez-Laing put away a spot kick in the first half before doubling the advantage in the second half with a far post tap-in.
Cardiff had won just 3 games away all season and made United pay for another listless performance by beating the Reds and their fans loved every minute of the barracking they gave to their former manager – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – now in charge at Old Trafford.
With all the drama happening at Anfield and the AMEX Stadium, Old Trafford made a bid for infamy with their final 12 games of the season garnering just 2 wins and 2 draws – relegation form.
It was a far cry from the new manager bounce for Solskjaer with 8 wins on the trot that started at Cardiff City on December 22 with a 5-1 win at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Old Trafford was sparsely populated at the end of the game with boos ringing out from fans after yet another disappointing end to the season.
PLAYER RATINGS – Man Utd 0, Cardiff City 2
David De Gea: 6. Saved from Kenneth Zohore and tipped Josh Murphy’s dipping strike over.
Ashley Young: 6. Played at left back and put some decent corners in but didn’t add much going forward.
Phil Jones: 6. Hooked at half time as United reshuffled.
Chris Smalling: 6. Held things together for United but didn’t show leadership as Cardiff hit their second goal.
Diogo Dalot: 6. Some decent crosses early on, cleared from Josh Murphy as he shaped to shoot. Gave away a penalty with a poorly timed tackle on Nathaniel Mendez-Laing. Tried to atone but blazed over.
Andreas Pereira: 6. Early shot deflected wide and had a low 30 yarder saved by Neil Etheridge.
Scott McTominay: 6. Had to drop into defence after Phil Jones was hauled off at half time.
Paul Pogba: 6. Booked for petulant reaction, disappeared out of the game although he did briefly emerge to force Neil Etheridge into a save and hit a late free kick 20 yards out into the wall.
Mason Greenwood: 7. Confident start, headed Diogo Dalot’s cross over the bar. Great movement and work rate, forced several saves out of Neil Etheridge, and tried to set up Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial for efforts.
Jesse Lingard: 6. Thrashed a shot in to force a save from Etheridge. Missed narrowly in the second half but found it hard to find space.
Marcus Rashford: 6. Had a 24 yard shot saved by Neil Etheridge and sent a shot wide at the end of a solo run down the left channel with the ball. Put Mason Greenwood through for a great chance to equalise. His second half header from 7 yards out was saved by Etheridge.
Anthony Martial (for Phil Jones, 46): 6. Lashed a shot in which was tipped away by Etheridge, otherwise anonymous.
Antonio Valencia (for Diogo Dalot 74): 6. On for a farewell appearance. Blazed over late in the game.
Angel Gomes (for Andreas Pereira 74): 6. Looked a little lost as United didn’t make headway against the Bluebirds. Blazed over as United failed to pile bodies foward.
GOALS – Man Utd 0, Cardiff City 2
Man Utd 0, Cardiff City 1: 23. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was brought down by Diogo Dalot after swinging and missing the ball in the area. He scored the subsequent penalty sent straight down the middle.
Man Utd 0, Cardiff City 2: 54. Lee Peltier’s throw-in from 35 yards was missed by everyone. Josh Murphy reacted unopposed and took the ball upfield, squaring for Nathaniel Mendez-Laing to tap in at the back post from 3 yards out.
MATCH STATS – Man Utd 0, Cardiff City 2
Man Utd: De Gea, Young, Jones (Martial 46), Smalling, Dalot (Valencia 74), Pereira (Gomes 74), McTominay, Pogba, Greenwood, Lingard, Rashford
Man Utd Subs not used: Romero, Mata, Fred, Garner
Booked: Pereira 44 (sliding in on Bobby Reid), Pogba 61 (manhandling Josh Murphy), Lingard 71 (push on Josh Murphy)
Cardiff City: Etheridge, Peltier, Morrison, Ecuele Manga, Bennett, Mendez-Laing (Hoillett 80), Gunnarson (Richards 58), Bacuna, J Murphy, Reid, Zohore (Ward 75)
Cardiff City Subs not used: B Murphy, Cunningham, Harris, Healy
Booked: Bacuna 29 (foul on Jesse Lingard), Murphy 61 (reacting to Paul Pogba), Morrison 90 (late challenge on Marcus Rashford)
Goals: Mendez-Laing 23 pen, 54