Report - Manchester United 3 Ipswich Town 0 – Blues ‘reserves’ make star-studded United work hard for win

Andreas Pereira scores United's second goal. Picture: Steve Waller
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Andreas Pereira scores United's second goal. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town’s ‘reserve’ side lost 3-0 but gave a fantastic account of themselves against a star-studded Manchester United in tonight’s Capital One Cup third round tie at Old Trafford.

United’s starting line-up cost an estimated £203m to assemble, while Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy changed his entire starting XI. The Blues refused to be over-awed though and they made Louis van Gaal’s men work hard for progress to the next round.

Wayne Rooney scored a classy 22nd minute opener and it wasn’t until the hour before Andreas Pereira doubled the lead with a curling free-kick. The home side’s third didn’t arrive until stoppage-time, £36m sub Anthony Martial netting his fourth goal in as many games for his new club.

Blues boss Mick McCarthy insisted pre-match that promotion from the Championship was his utmost priority and that, if he had to choose, he would much rather win Saturday’s home game against Bristol City in the league.

It still came as some surprise, however, when he changed his entire team from the one that drew 1-1 at home to Birmingham last Friday.


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Three of the back four – Josh Emmanuel, Josh Yorwerth, Piotr Malarczyk – had just seven senior appearances between them in English football.

By contrast, United boss Louis van Gaal named a starting line-up that cost in excess of £200m in transfer fees.

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New £36m man Martial may have dropped to the bench, but David de Gea, Chris Smalling, Juan Mata and Rooney were among the star names to keep their place in the team following Sunday’s 3-2 win at Southampton.

It wasn’t exactly a case of scrapping the barrel with the fringe players who were elevated to the starting XI either – the likes of World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marouane Fellaini to name just two.

To highlight the difference, a quick calculation showed that United’s line-up cost around £203m to assemble. Ipswich’s cost just eight and a half thousand pounds.

You’d have forgiven the 5,500 travelling supporters, situated high in the East Stand, for thinking they might be in for a long evening. When the half-time whistle sounded 45 minutes later, however, they will have been full of pride for their team’s performance.

Tricky Brazilian wideman Pereira struck the post from an offside position and had a long-range effort easily held by Bartosz Bialkowski in the opening exchanges.

Ipswich, just as they had done at Leeds the previous week, operated with two disciplined banks of four in front of the ball and made themselves extremely hard to break down though.

There was a big let off in the ninth minute when Antonio Valencia cut inside and delivered a cross which struck the outstretched arm of Giles Coke in the area. For the third match in a row, a controversial spot-kick incident went in Town’s favour.

United then broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute, the goal coming out of nowhere. Following Daley Blind’s inch-perfect raking ball over the top, Rooney timed his run between the back-peddling centre-backs to perfection.

England’s all-time leading goalscorer then plucked the ball out of the sky with an outrageous touch, leaving marker Malarczyk on his backside, and produced a cool near post finish.

Ipswich could have folded, but instead they grew in stature at the back. United, unsurprisingly, dominated possession but time and time again a man in blue stepped in to make a tackle.

Teenage right-back Emmanuel refused to dive in anytime Pereira twisted and turned towards the danger zone, instead matching each movement before getting his foot in.

And when Ashley Young did nutmeg the youngster, hard-working Aussie debutant Tommy Oar was sweeping around the back to help his team-mate out.

Battling Yorwerth, who received treatment for a bloodied nose, left big Belgian Fellaini on his backside with one perfectly timed challenge in the box.

Ipswich had the odd moment going forwards too. Oar rifled an angled effort past the post from long-range and the visitors ended the half having forced two corners compared to the home side’s none.

Instead of looking tired, McCarthy’s men started the second half on the front foot.

First Coke’s cross from the left just evaded McGoldrick’s head in the area. Then, not long afterwards, McGoldrick beat Blind down the right, his low cross somehow evading everyone in the six-yard box.

Ipswich continued to attack and, in the 55th minute, created another opening. Oar’s free-kick from the right was half-cleared, Tabb volleyed back into a crowded area and, eventually, Oar lashed well over from outside the box.

Old Trafford, full of football tourists with many season ticket holders having given this second rate competition a miss, fell eerily quiet.

They were finally given something to shout about when Valencia bombed forwards and unleashed a long-range shot that Bialkowski pushed out and Yorwerth hacked clear. Even then, the chants of ‘United’ were half-hearted. But the mood changed when the home side doubled their lead on the hour mark.

After Juan Mata was bundled over on the edge of the box by a combination of Kevin Bru and McGoldrick, Pereira caressed a curling free-kick around the wall and past a motionless Bialkowski for 2-0.

That proved the cue for the home side to step up a gear and it required a fingertip save from Bialkowski to turn Mata’s well-struck shot over the bar.

Thankfully, van Gaal decided to be kind and weaken his side, replacing Mata and Smalling with Martial and England’s Phil Jones. For those not concentrating, that’s called sarcasm.

It didn’t take long for French striker Martial, scorer of three goals in his first three games for the club, to be involved as he sent an outside of the boot effort just wide following Rooney’s lay-off.

Town refused to lie down and die though and Yorwerth put a header, following Oar’s inswinging free-kick delivery, wide of the target.

At the other end, Bialkowski produced a fine reaction stop with his legs after Pereira’s shot took a deflection off Larsen Toure on its way to goal.

As Old Trafford began to empty, Town fans – who could be thoroughly proud of their team’s display – chanted ‘cheerio’. Those that had left early, missed United add a third in stoppage-time, Martial sliding the ball home after Depay had expertly chested Schweinsteiger’s raking pass into his path.

MAN UNITED (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Valencia, Smalling (cpt) (Jones 69), Blind, Young; Herrera, Schweinsteiger; Pereira, Rooney (Memphis 81), Mata (Martial 69); Fellaini.

Unused subs: Romero, Darmian, Carrick, Schneiderlin.

Booked: Parr (83)

IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Bialkowski; Emmanuel, Malarczyk, Yorwerth, Parr; Oar, Coke, Bru, Tabb (Toure 75); Murphy (cpt) (Pitman 61), McGoldrick (Sears 61).

Unused subs: Crowe, Chambers, Kenlock, Maitland-Niles.

Referee: Simon Hooper.

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