Fri, Dec 02, 2011 - Page 20 News List

United suffer Palace coup

REDEMPTION:Crystal Palace beat Man U after going goalless for five games, to make the English League semi-finals in their first win at Old Trafford since 1989


Crystal Palace’s Glenn Murray, third left, heads the ball to score his side’s second goal during their English League Cup soccer match against Manchester United at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, on Wednesday.

Photo: Reuters

English champions Manchester United suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Championship side Crystal Palace thanks to an extra-time goal from substitute Glenn Murray in their League Cup quarter-final in Manchester on Wednesday.

Palace had not won, or even scored a goal, in five matches, but took a surprise lead at Old Trafford with Darren Ambrose’s fine long-range strike.

Federico Macheda pulled one back from the penalty spot with his first goal at Old Trafford in 18 months.

However, after the game went to extra-time, Murray headed in to send the south London side into the semi-finals.

After the 6-1 defeat to City in October, it was just United’s second defeat at Old Trafford since their 2-1 loss to Chelsea in April last year.

Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman said that it was a moment to treasure for a club that has had a hard few years.

“It’s a wonderful night for the club, especially given the position we’ve been in the last few years,” said Freedman, who as a player scored 95 goals in 330 appearances for the club.

“To play at Old Trafford tonight, we’re privileged, the lads learned a lot from tonight. I think we deserved it. We played some good stuff, some good football,” the former Scotland international added.

Even though Alex Ferguson made a host of changes to his team, United were still expected to take a place alongside Manchester City, Liverpool and another Championship side, Cardiff, in the last four.

However, despite their recent problems, Palace started the game showing far more threat than the Premier League champions.

Wilfried Zaha looked a constant threat and the Palace winger fired just past the near post after a quick breakaway after just one minute.

The hosts finally went close when a sweeping move involving Antonio Valencia and Park Ji-sung ended with Darron Gibson having a drive deflected wide. Dimitar Berbatov met the Gibson corner that followed, but headed straight at goalkeeper Lewis Price.

Fabio had already been replaced by Ezekiel Fryers in the opening period and Berbatov, who seemed to have sustained an ankle injury in the first half, came off for Ravel Morrison at the interval.

Just after the restart, Republic of Ireland midfielder Gibson, who was making his first appearance of the season after a shoulder injury, drove wide from just inside the area.

United should have opened the scoring when Anthony Gardner’s error let in Valencia, but the winger’s cross-shot flew just wide of the post.

Morrison, making just his third appearance for United, also produced a powerful effort from about 25m that was held by Price.

Macheda also thumped an effort wide of goal after turning his defender on the edge of the area.

United’s injury problems continued when the other Da Silva twin, Rafael, limped off to be replaced by Paul Pogba just after the hour.

However, in the 65th minute, Ambrose picked the ball up just inside the United half and found the top corner from 25m for his fifth goal of the season.

French youngster Pogba came close to a quick equalizer when he drilled a shot wide from just -outside the area.

They got the chance to pull level when Patrick McCarthy pulled Macheda over in the area and the Italian got up to put the penalty in the bottom corner of the net.

After the game slipped into extra time, Gibson went close to breaking the deadlock with a powerful shot from 20m.

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