After the derby at the weekend, a home tie against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup was going to go one of two ways. Manchester United could have put the woes of Sunday to bed with a victory or put David Moyes in a really tough position with a loss. Fortunately, the former happened.
Liverpool came with a full strength side to Old Trafford as you would expect but despite making eight changes compared to Liverpool’s two, United came out on top. It was the perfect response from United on what was a tough, pressured night as the players knew the repercussions if they lost.
Moyes knew that he had to switch it up after Sunday and he did. Only three players who played against City made it into the starting XI last night. Nani and Kagawa offered something different on the wings with their tendency to cut inside providing a refreshing change from Valencia and Young’s single mindedness to put the cross in, sometimes blindly.
“It was a big game for us. We lost at Anfield a few weeks ago and at the Etihad last week, so we wanted to put that right. Every game everyone says about me, it’s the first at something or a monkey off my back or something else. It’s going to be the way. I thought it was a really good game – an exciting game of football between the two teams.” David Moyes
It was a change that proved effective. United created a host of chances (18 in total) and were playing some lovely football at times. Like the fixture at Anfield this season, it was settled with a set piece but it shouldn’t take away from United’s good performance on a tough night at Old Trafford.
United’s victory will help Moyes breath a huge sigh of relief. As much as losing a Capital One Cup game wouldn’t have been significant, losing to our two biggest rivals within the space of three days would have been. We needed that result to make sure we got straight back on the horse and we did.
Responding in the face of adversity was always one of Sir Alex Ferguson‘s greatest strengths. United never lay down without a fight and Moyes has now shown that he has no intention of changing that tradition.