Well that was much better than I expected. A makeshift team with two young full backs / wing backs, against a reasonably strong Manchester United, and we gave them a game. Okay, we didn't really look like scoring, but apart from Fatty Dowd giving an absurd penalty, after denying us a better shout, Giggs, Hernandez and Rooney didn't get many chances either.
The formation worked defensively. Diarra made one awful mistake which nearly cost us, so did Potts, and Tomkins was possibly at fault for Manchester United's goal, but those glitches apart, we defended as a unit, and defended well. Spence was a revelation. He was pacey, mobile, confident - makes you wonder why he hasn't been given more of a chance until now. The threat was supposedly down the flanks, but our right hand side was close to watertight!
Of course, this formation won't win us many games, but had we played like that against Sunderland we would not have been tonked 3-0. Other pluses were the return of Diame and the appearance from the bench of young Lee. And hopefully we didn't pick up any injuries.
Out of the Cup but we exit with our pride intact and the confidence probably boosted!
Player ratings: Jussi 6, Spence 7, Tomkins 6, Diarra 6, Reid 7, Potts 5; O'Neil 5, Taylor 6, Diame 7; Vaz Te 5, Cole 5 Subs Nolan 5, Collison 6, Lee 5