“4-0, 5-0, put on a few youth team players, put on the reserves”. Confidence was one thing that Manchester United fans today did not lack, and rightly so, we’re just playing minnows Crawley surely at least 3 goals even with the reserve team out, right? Wrong.
Manchester United lined out with a strong-ish squad of Lindegaard, Rafael, O’Shea, Brown, Fabio; Carrick, Anderson, Gibson; Bebe, Obertan and Hernandez . In goal Anders Lindegaard made his first start in front of the Old Trafford crowd and was not really tested throughout the game to be fairly judged. Out of favour United midfielder Darron Gibson and Da Silva twins Rafael and Fabio were the only members of the starting team that shone in an otherwise bleak performance that took veteran defender Wes Brown to score a 28th minute header that would ultimately be the deciding goal in the game.
United looked most dangerous from set pieces and the deciding goal was indeed a header from Wes Brown after an immaculate cross from Darron Gibson that was met with the head of skipper Wes Brown.
Anderson made way for Wayne Rooney playing off the back of the mesmerising goal against Man City, but ultimately failed to impress and didn’t the Crawley Town defence much problems. Rafael was next to make way for in form defender Chris Smalling who once again impressed with soild defending and was as calm as ever on the ball. The third and final change saw Darren Fletcher come on for the other Da Silva twin, Fabio.
United struggled throughout and lacked options out wide with woeful performances from both Bebe and Obertan. The Crawley town players admirably kept up their in-your-face attitude and continued to put pressure on the Manchester United midfield and defence and they very nearly got their reward in injury time when Richard Brodie hit the bar when he nodded towards the goal following a corner.
It was a day to remember for Crawley Town fans as their team displayed passion and resilience in a defiant performance against 11 time F.A cup winners Manchester United and their 9,000 away following will look back fondly on their day out in Old Trafford. However, it was most definitely a day to forget for us Manchester United fans as we saw our team struggle to non-league Crawley town. However, at the end of the day we achieved what we were set out to achieve and Manchester United are once again in the quarter final of the F.A cup.