Report: Manchester United out of the Carabao Cup after poor performance against Bristol City


Manchester United were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Bristol City. It was the Robins who scored the first goal in the 51st minute of the match through Joe Bryan but Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the equaliser seven minutes later. United had chances to go ahead for the first time, but nothing was working. In the final seconds of the match, in true dramatic style, Korey Smith scored the winner, sending the holders packing. United were the fourth Premier League side Bristol have knocked out of the competition this season.

Jose Mourinho made nine changes to his side which beat West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. Sergio Romero, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all came into the team to replace David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku.

The Robins started brightly, seeking to get on the front foot early in to the game. Jamie Paterson picked up the ball in a little bit of space about 20-yards out by Blind dispossessed him A few minutes later, it was United’s turn to press the home side after McTominay muscled past two Bristol players earning his side a free kick. Josh Brownhill had a shot for Bristol from about 30-yards out from a free-kick – Romero punched it over the crossbar. The resulting corner caused problems for United with Bristol up for this game.

In the 12th minute of the match, after some good interplay, United broke forward with Martial on the left, Ibrahimovic running to the far post with the Frenchman curling in a decent ball to the Swede who saw his shot bounce off the crossbar. I bet the media will be unhappy that their stories about Ibrahimovic not being fit enough seemed to be utter garbage once again, yet people still believe them. Bristol seemed comfortable playing in United’s half for a period of time before United regained possession of the ball.

Martial was looking up for the game tonight, getting forward into the dangerous places but saw his shot blocked. McTominay then slammed his effort over the crossbar from a half-volley from 25-yards out. United seemed to be getting into the match around the 20-minute mark of the match. Rashford hit the post in the 21st minute after space was opened up 20-yards out, he then thundered a low effort towards the goal, the ball coming off the inside of the post. United were knocking on the door at this point of the match.

In the 24th minute of the match, it was Pogba’s turn to have a shot on goal after gaining ground. His effort was just wide of the target but it did threaten the home side. United conceded in the 29th minute of the match after Romero tried to clear the ball after catching it and Aden Flint running past him at the point he threw it, obstructing him and finding the back of the net. The goal was disallowed. In the 31st minute of the match, Hörður Magnússon forced a save from the Argentinian after a period of good play in United’s area.

United won a corner in the 39th minute of the match after Pogba passed forward with Ibrahimovic in the box trying to get United off the line. The ball was deflected out with Blind taking the corner and the Swede near the far post again, aiming to score but his shot rising over the crossbar from a tricky angle. Bristol were seeming through on goal in the 42nd minute but Blind’s challenge saw United avoid conceding what probably would have been the first goal of the game. It was 0-0 at the end of the half.

No changes were made by either manager at the start of the second half. Paterson was booked in the 47th minute after fouling Pogba with United winning the free-kick. The free-kick was taken by Rashford, with a low drive but it hit the wall and was cleared by Bristol. United then regained possession through Martial, who was fouled with another free-kick being won by the Red Devils. Rashford took it again, got the deflection and the ball was heading into the back of the net but a save was made with United getting a corner.

Bristol had a chance to score in the 50th minute of the match with Bobby Reid hitting the side netting. Bristol scored in the 51st minute through Joe Bryan with a stunning strike across the goal and in off the far post. In the 57th minute, United won a free-kick after a foul. Ibrahimovic, Pogba, and Blind were all standing over the ball. The Swede fired his shot past the wall and the goalkeeper, levelling the score for United. Mourinho made his first change of the game in the 61st minute with Romelu Lukaku replacing Blind.

United made a second change in the 69th minute of the match with the goal scorer Ibrahimovic being replaced by Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the Swede giving the captains armband to Pogba. Rashford was booked in the 74th minute of the match after losing the ball the Bryan on the attack and chasing him down and committing a foul. United, through some good play, had a chance to get in front with Pogba passing into a rushing Lukaku, whose headed attempt was thwarted.

United had another chance in the 81st minute to find the winner with Pogba through on goal but losing the ball before he could shoot. Bristol had the chance to go ahead again, not able to get the better of United, who made it easy for them with poor defensive play. In the 83rd minute, Rashford had a shot on goal which was wide of the target. United had more chances, keeping the ball in the Bristol box with Mkhitaryan, Rashford, and Lukaku on the ball. The latter attempted a shot but the keeper got hold of the ball.

There were three minutes of stoppage time at the end of the second half. Paul Pogba was booked by the referee for back chat in the 89th minute of the match after he saw Lukaku fouled when advancing on the counter-attack. Bristol’s Matty Taylor was booked too. Bristol were attacking in the and scored in the dying seconds of the match through Korey Smith. United just did not have the defensive ability to deal with the Championship side in the dying minutes of the match. United are out of the Carabao Cup.

Goals: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 58′

Manchester United: Romero; Lindelof, Rojo, Blind (Lukaku 61′); Darmian, McTominay, Pogba, Shaw; Rashford, Martial; Ibrahimovic (Mkhitaryan 69′)

Substitutes Not Used: Pereira; Smalling; Mata, Lingard, Herrera

Bookings: Marcus Rashford 74”, Paul Pogba 89′

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copyright: JW

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