FT: Scunthorpe 2 Manchester United 5
Carling Cup holders Manchester United did not let absent boss Alex Ferguson down as they came from behind to beat gallant Scunthorpe in tonight’s third-round tie at Glanford Park.
Ferguson reportedly chose to watch Champions League opponents Valencia instead, leaving Mike Phelan in charge, and there was plenty for the assistant manager to think about as Scunthorpe were rewarded for their terrific start by Josh Wright’s superb 19th-minute strike.
But it took only four minutes for Darron Gibson to level and they were ahead before half-time through Chris Smalling, with two goals from Michael Owen and one from Park Ji-sung sealing victory in the second half. Scunthorpe got the second goal they deserved in injury-time from the impressive Martyn Woolford.
The scoreline, which was already harsh on Scunthorpe, got even more lop-sided in the 71st minute as Joe Murphy parried Park’s effort but only as far as Owen, who could not miss from five yards.
Then, with 16 minutes left, United fans were given a first glimpse of their new £7m man as Bebe replaced Park.
The 20-year-old was made to wait for his first touch of the ball, however, as a streaker was given the full run of the Glanford Park pitch for a couple of minutes before finally being tackled by stewards.
The unscheduled interruption also saw a number of United fans throw bottles on to the pitch as they were taunted by the Scunthorpe supporter.
When play resumed, Bebe made his mark with a run and a fierce shot that was deflected behind for a corner, while Macheda thought he had made it six but he was denied by the offside flag.
Scunthorpe were playing for pride but they went within inches of a second goal twice in a minute as first Kuszczak pushed away substitute Bobby Grant’s free-kick and then Byrne headed just wide.
The Polish goalkeeper then made his best save of a busy night, tipping over Grant’s long-range shot, and from the injury-time corner Scunthorpe finally put the ball in the net, and it was fitting that the last word went to Woolford.