For Manchester United winning twice at Stamford Bridge over a tough Chelsea side was apparently too much to hope for as the Red Devils fell 5-4 in a Capital One Cup tie, according to ManUtd.com. Chelsea now advances to the fifth round of the competition, and Manchester United bows out of the tournament. Still, I think United got the better of the deal winning the Premier League match over the previous weekend, which cut Chelsea's lead in the standings to only a single point.
Sir Alex made ten changes to the squad that defeated the home team over the weekend with Rafael being the lone holdover, but that is not surprising as the Capital One Cup is viewed as the lessor of the competitions that United takes part in. While I never like to see Manchester United lose, there is little shame in pushing Chelsea into extra time and producing an entertaining game with nine goals between the sides. The guys should be applauded for such a top notch effort.
While Chelsea will advance, United can now concentrate on the upcoming tie with Arsenal on November 3, 2012, which is an important game. Of course, Robin van Persie will be seeing his old employers, and I expect him to put on a display that will make a few people jealous. United will be looking to keep the pressure on Chelsea, and maybe even overtake the lead in the Premier League. I believer Sir Alex will not leave anything to chance, which means he will be selecting a strong side. Arsenal can be a tricky match, and it should be an entertaining, and maybe even a heated, affair.
So while United has been bounced from the Capital One Cup, expecting to defeat a skilled Chelsea side two games in a row was something of a long shot. The Red Devils will look to the Champions League and Premiership to exact some manner of revenge on the club, albeit at a much later date. The younger players had a good showing, and even Ryan Giggs looked like he could play another five years. All of United's key players got to rest heading into the weekend showdown, which is just as important as not dwelling on the loss. The Capital One Cup can now be put to bed, and United can put all its strength into chasing down a Champions League title and a Premier League title.
Jason Gallagher is a long-time Manchester United fan, following the performances of the Red Devils since the days of Eric Cantona and David Beckham.