A huge upset in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg as Derby County beat the reigning Premier, European and World Champions 1-0. Rob Hulse even missed a golden chance to make it 2-0 when he missed an open goal after Kuszczak had palmed out another Commons shot.
Not even the introduction of Rooney and Ronaldo helped as United fell to a first half goal from Kris Commons. Commons was ecstatic after the game saying:
“It will be tough to go to Old Trafford and hold on to the 1-0. We’ll enjoy it this week, just to beat Manchester United and be able to say that to your kids and grandkids is going to be very special.”
United were terrible and a clearly disappointed Ferguson said: “The positive to take from the game is the fact we only lost 1-0. It was a fantastic result for us considering the performance.”
Ferguson insisted he would not bring in his first-choice players for the second leg. “No, no, I think we’ll persevere. The younger players deserve it—they were our better players tonight.”
Even with this performance, United still will be heavy favorites to win the return leg at Old Trafford on January 20th and go onto the Carling Cup final at Wembley.
But a more immediate concern for Ferguson is the weekend visit of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side, and he will know a significant improvement on this performance is needed.