There is no shame in this defeat. It was undoubtedly a disappointing result, and it was harsh on our young players, but hold your high and be proud to be a supporter of Manchester United Football Club. The boys battled bravely and hopefully the younger players can grow from this experience. Overall, it was a tremendous football match in a low stakes situation. If a Chelsea fan tries to get you down about this game, stand up to them and let them we won the game that matters this week. And we almost always win the games that matter between the two clubs. If they still won't shutup, just bust out the YouTube footage from the 2008 UEFA Champions League final.
You want a recap? I don't even know where to start. I guess I'll go over the goals. Ryan Giggs opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when Chelsea goalkeeper Peter Cech irresponsibility played short to Oriol Romeu on a goal-kick. The Spaniard was quickly dispossessed as Anderson poked the ball through for Giggsy's clinical finish. Victor Moses was a handful all evening and in the 31st minute, he was brought down in the box and awarded a penalty after a rash challenge from Alexander Buttner. David Luiz converted. Just before half-time, though, Anderson -- who was superb until he was substituted out in the 81st minute -- played a delicious defense-splitting pass for Javier Hernandez (Chicharito) to run onto. The Mexican international used a great first-touch to set himself up for a clinical finish. The Red Devils had a 2-1 half-time lead.
Buttner was substituted off at half-time and Nick Powell was brought on. The 18-year-old midfielder made his presence felt with a strike from distance that wasn't far from scoring. Gary Cahill, though, scored an equaliser in the 52nd minute from a Chelsea corner. The center-back rose high and hammered home a header -- it was nearly cleared off the line by Rafael though. United retook the lead in 59th minute when Nani played a quick one-two with Ando and then the Portuguese sublimely chipped Cech for the finish. It was Ando's third assist.
United were seconds from victory when Ramires was awarded a penalty after referee Lee Mason judged that youngster Scott Wootton had fouled him. If I take off my red-colored goggles, it would be fair to say that Chelsea were deserved of their equaliser (Eden Hazaerd converted the penalty). With Chelsea coming forward and substituting on all of their best attackers, the pressure had been on United and they did well -- and were fortunate -- to have held on that long. Anderson's substitution certainly didn't help United -- he looked exhausted -- nor was the back four of Wootton, Michael Keane, Darren Fletcher (at right-back), and Rafael (at left-back) very assuring in the second-half. It's a bit harsh though on the young central-defenders as they had been solid enough throughout most of the contest up to this point -- especially Keane.
To extra-time they went and at this point, Chelsea had the momentum, more experienced players on pitch, and our young players looked exhausted. It didn't take long for Daniel Sturridge, after a horrendous mistake by Wootton to unsuccessfully head back to either Keane or Anders Lindegaard, to pounce on an opportunity and he put Chelsea 4-3 ahead in the 98th minute after rounding the United 'keeper. Ramires added another to put United to bed in the 116th minute. Although, Giggs did pull one back from the spot in the 119th minute after Chicharito earned a penalty.
So there you have it. That's how we got to 5-4 for those of you who missed the match. It's not much of a blow to be out of the Capital One Cup and as I already expressed, I feel that we can be proud of the lads. The competition is, though, a great opportunity to give the likes of Nick Powell, Scott Wootton, Michael Keane, and other young players a game. Hopefully, we can wrap up the group in Champions League next midweek at Braga and then perhaps, these young players can get a run out in the final group stage game or two. That would further add to their growth as players. That's essentially, what this competition has been for United in the recent history.