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Preston North End
18 December 2013
• Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee: M. Clattenburg
• Attendance: 25928
A. Young 62'
P. Evra 78'
Mark Hughes can be proud of his side as they huffed and puffed right till the end, but their lack of attacking potency has shown just where he will need to strengthen in Januray. For now, though, the evening belongs to Manchester United. I've been Tom Maston and thanks for joining me.
David Moyes can be extremely happy with his charges as they stepped things up after the break and showed just what they can do. Young and Evra's efforts were superb for different reasons, and the travelling fans can now start dreaming of a Wembley final.
90' + 3'
The full-time whistle blows and Manchester United are into the Capital One Cup semi-finals.
90' + 1'
We are into three minutes of stoppage time and Stoke are still coming forward as Adam hits a pot shot from 30 yards that fades well wide. It's just not happened for the hosts in the final third.
Fletcher has seen plenty of the ball in midfield, and the United fans are calling for him to shoot with every touch. A goal from the returning Scot would certainly be the icing on the cake for the visitors.
Cameron gets forward down the right but Evans is there to win the header. The defender seems to have hurt himself, but is going to try and see this match out with only a couple of minutes to go.
Almost a third for United as Valencia's low cross causes problems, and after the ball ricochets off Wilson, Hernandez is almost on hand to turn it home. The Mexican makes contact but Sorensen spreads himself and saves well.
Stoke are continuing to press to try and find a way back into this one but it looks a hopeless task now. The away supporters are enjoying themselves and why not after this second half performance.
More good news for Manchester United as Fletcher makes another appearance from the bench. Welbeck is the man to be replaced.
In truth the visitors have deserved this, though that injury to Shawcross and the confusion with the substitution has cost them dear. Their Capital One Cup run is set to come to an end at the hand of the champions.
Assist Ashley Young
Goal Patrice Evra
GOAL!!! There is confusion in the Stoke defence as they look to reorganise, and United take full advantage as Evra trades passes with Young before running into the box and curling a right-footed effort past Sorensen. Moyes and the Red Devils are heading for the semi-finals.
There is some confusion here. Palacios is sat on the bench, but is now being called back as Hughes decides to replace the injured Shawcross instead of the midfielder. To confirm, Adam is still coming on.
Shawcross is limping off after clutching his groin, and with Huth already out injured Stoke could have some defensive issues. Meanwhile Adam replaces Palacios in midfield.
Walters again goes close as he turns on the edge of the box and aims for the top corner. Evans gets something on it though and deflects it just over the top. The resulting corner is easily cleared as another Stoke chance goes begging.
United's improved showing owes a lot to Cleverley, who in the last minute alone has helped relieve the pressure with some nice touches in midfield.
Stoke have delivered some superb balls into the box tonight, but Pieters has probably just put the best one of the evening in from the left. His searching cross is met by Walters, but the midfielder just can't get enough on the ball to send it goalwards. The home fans have woken up.
Arnautovic has certainly been busy since he arrived on the pitch, showing some nice touches and looking to spread the play at every opportunity. He could be the key to Hughes' men getting back into this one.
Young certainly has his tail up as he runs at the Stoke defence again. he cannot repeat his shot from five minutes earlier, though, as he pulls his effort from, 20 yards wide. Credit to Moyes for the way United have upped the tempo since half-time. They deserve their lead.
Stoke come forward in the search for an equaliser, but after a nice touch by Arnautovic, Walters' cross is too heavy for Crouch. Big ask for the Potters now.
Young has been roundly booed by the Stoke fans throughout the evening, but he has silenced his critics with that effort. Will Moyes think again about the former Aston Villa man's future after reports he would be allowed to leave in January?
Yellow Card Ashley Young
Assist Javier Hernández
Goal Ashley Young
GOAL!!! And what a goal! Ashley Young has smashed Manchester United into the lead with a superb strike from all of 20 yards. He picks up the ball in midfield before laying the ball into Chicharito. The Mexican knocks it back into Young's path, and he hits a powerful first time effort that curls away from Sorensen.
First substitution for Stoke as Assaidi is replaced by Arnautovic, who scored at Old Trafford earlier this season.
Valencia wins a corner that Young supplies from the right, and this time it is Welbeck who climbs highest. Like Evra though, his header is too high and Sorensen can watch it out of play.
It seems Welbeck is going to play just behind Hernandez with four men in midfield. Moyes is certainly trying to get this done in 90 minutes.
Anderson is the man replaced as Chicharito takes his place up front.
Chicharito is being readied on the Manchester United bench. He has three goals in two matches in this competition so far this season, and also scored the winner in the league meeting between these two teams. Can he be the difference tonight?
Stoke are looking to react to United's slicker passing game by attempting to get in the visitors' faces. They run the risk of committing fouls though, and Whelan is lucky to avoid a booking after a late challenge on Evra.
Yet more good build-up play from Manchester United, but Anderson wastes the chance as he snatches at an effort from 25 yards that dribbles wide of the post. Moyes will certainly be pleased with the way his side have started the second half.
From the resulting corner Evra gets up highest but his header is always off target. The left-back continues to be a nuisance from set-pieces despite his smaller stature.
The visitors have certainly been quicker out of the traps, and after Cleverley takes a quick free-kick, Welbeck tees up Valencia on the edge of the area, but the Ecuador winger's effort is deflected wide.
Some neat passing from the visitors leads to Rafael getting forward on the right, but his cross drifts out for a goal kick as Assaidi slid in.
The referee blows his whistle and United kick-off...
The players are making their way back out onto the field and we are ready to get back underway. Who will reach the semi-finals?
Stoke can be pleased with their first half despite Crouch having few opportunities to break the deadlock. At the other end United's final ball has been poor, with Young particularly wasteful with his crossing. I'll be back in ten minutes for the second period from the Britannia.
The half-time whistle finally blows after a fairly even first half. Neither side really got on top after the ten minute stoppage, though with the conditions now having calmed down we may well be in for a better second half.
45' + 2'
That Whelan effort wasn't quite the last chance as United go up the end and win a corner. Smalling wins a header and Evans is free at the back post, but he cannot control the bouncing ball and Sorensen dives on the ball. Let off for Stoke.
Stoke waste probably the final chance of the half as Whelan curls a free-kick from 25 yards wide of De Gea's left-hand post, The goalkeeper was never troubled with the effort always off target.
A bit of concern here for Palacios as he stays down holding his midriff. The physio is on and has the Honduran back on his feet. It seems he may well be able to continue after treatment.
There is starting to be a recurring theme to United's attacks as this time Rafael's cross is overhit and Sorensen can collect under no pressure. The Stoke defence are finding these balls into the middle easy to deal with as we approach the break.
Manchester United's set-pieces have been espcially poor this evening, with Anderson the latest to see his corner cleared by the man at the near post. Rooney and van Persie are certainly being missed.
A comedy of errors from United as Valencia overruns a dribble for Wilson to make a challenge before Smalling plays the ball straight out of play for a throw-in. The visitors haven't quite been on it as yet.
Both sides are showing some nice touches in their build-up but the lack of quality attacking play is evident on both sides. If we are to avoid extra-time we may need the managers to look towards their bench as the match goes on.
Opportunity for United as Young wins a free-kick from Cameron on the left, but the England man's delivery is a poor one and drifts over everyone and out for a goal kick. Disappointing.
Stoke have started brighter since the break, with Walters swinging over a cross from the right that is well cleared by Smalling ahead of Crouch. The Ireland man has been one of the better players on show so far.
Young's corner is poor and is cleared at the near post.
The players are on their way back out having dried off and changed their shirts. The pitch is muddy in places but seems fine. We will start with a United corner from the left...
The news is Clattenburg will take a look in five minutes, though the Stoke substitutes are out on the field warming-up. There should be no problem in getting back underway.
The first 29 minutes have been fairly even, with United arguably having the better opportunities. Young's early shot is the closest either side has come while at the other end Assaidi and Walters are causing some problems.
The players have made their way down the tunnel, though the deluge has now abated and no doubt the two sides will return soon enough.
The rain has turned to hail and the referee has decided to take the players from the field. Clattenburg had no choice there and we will have a short delay.
A first real sign of Valencia's pace ends with his low cross being blocked on the right. No luck for the Manchester United widemen at present.
United almost get lucky as a Wilson clearance hits Cleverley, but the midfielder isn't able to get enough power in his shot from the edge of the area and Sorensen is again able to save with ease.
Evra to the rescue as he just beats Walters to a cross at the back post after Assaidi leaves Valencia on his backside. The Liverpool loanee is having plenty of joy on the left-hand side.
Sorensen is called into action for the first time as United win the ball on the edge of the Stoke box and it falls for Anderson. The Brazilian cuts inside onto his left foot but his low effort is easily saved by Sorensen to his left.
Assaidi has certainly come alive in the last few moments as his pace trickery causes the United defence some problems. This time he skipped past Rafael before outmuscling Jones, but Crouch wasn't able to keep hold of the ball as he took over. A bit of a waste.
Premier League sides know all about Assaidi after his winner against Chelsea, and as he ran at Rafael it seemed we may be in for a repeat. It was not to be though as the winger fired well over the top.
United's midfield three of Anderson, Cleverley and Jones are certainly keeping the ball well enough, though a lack of a real flair player is inhibiting Moyes' side at present. Welbeck has been on the periphery thus far.
Temperatures are beginning to be raised after Young and Walters tangle before Evra has a word with Mark Clattenburg. No love lost on the United left it seems.
Stoke have certainly looked to play some long balls into Crouch early on while United are trying to keep possession with some neat passes in midfield. A contrast in styles at the Britannia.
A first real sight of goal for Stoke ends in Cameron firing over the top from around 20 yards. The American did well to cut inside before trading passes with Crouch, but his shot was always too high.
Crouch wins a header from Sorensen's long goal kick, and after Ireland feeds Walters on the right it seems as if the home side may have an opportunity. The Ireland midfielder's cross is too deep though and Rafael can head clear.
Manchester United have certainly settled into this match as they look to keep the ball on the floor and take the conditions out of the equation. No real chances other than Young's effort yet.
A slight worry here for the visitors as Evra stays down after landing awkwardly when challenging for a header with Walters. He is back on his feet now, but isn't moving too freely.
After Stoke show some early intent, United almost find themselves in the lead as Danny Welbeck feeds Ashley Young, but the winger's powerful effort can only find the side-netting. Some of the visiting supporters thought that was in, but it was just the wrong side of the post.
Stoke kick-off and we are up and running...
The pre-match niceties are over and we are almost set for kick-off at an increasingly wet Britannia Stadium...
There are plenty of festive outifts in the crowd with Christmas just a week away. Those supporters are making plenty of noise as the two sides make their way onto the pitch from the tunnel.
Victory tonight for the visitors would see them knock out their third Premier League side in as many matches, having defeated Liverpool and Norwich City in previous rounds. On the other hand, Stoke are yet to have taken on a top tier side, having disposed of Walsall, Tranmere Rovers and Birmingham City on their way to the last eight.
With Chelsea having crashed out last night, Moyes' chances of taking his side to Wembley in February have certainly improved. The draw for the semi-finals takes place once this match is completed, and whoever wins will be looking to avoid Manchester City in the last four. For now, though, Moyes must make sure his side win through against the Potters.
As we continue to approach kick-off, there has been some more news on Wayne Rooney. Originally it was being reported that he was being rested, but David Moyes has now revealed he is missing through injury. With van Persie already out for a month, United fans will be hopeful that they will not be without another key forward player for the packed festive fixture list.
There are around 15 minutes until kick-off, and the rain is beginning to fall rather heavily now. These conditions may well suit the home team, and with the wind also set to play a part, there may well be a return to the long ball game of the Tony Pulis days from Hughes' side.
Stoke's recent form against United is ropey to say the least, with the Red Devils coming out on top in ten of their last 11 encounters, but that does not mean all hope is lost. The Potters' last win against the Old Trafford outfit was in this competition in 1993, and with no Rooney, there may well be a repeat on the cards.
Mark Hughes has chosen to make four changes, with the most striking being that Asmir Begovic is replaced by Thomas Sorensen in goal. The Bosnia stopper is being rested while Erik Pieters, Jonathan Walters and Wilson Palacios all also coming into the side after the 0-0 draw at Hull City.
With Rooney absent and Robin van Persie injured, Danny Welbeck will lead the line alone. The England man netted twice against Aston Villa on Sunday, and will be hoping the recalled Ashley Young can provide him with the opportunity to continue his form. There is also a starting berth for Chris Smalling and Anderson, with Adnan Januzaj and Ryan Giggs also dropping out of the squad altogether.
Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Cleverley, Jones, Anderson, Young; Welbeck.Subs: Johnstone, Chicharito, Nani, Fletcher, Büttner, Zaha, Kagawa.
Stoke: Sorensen; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Walters, Palacios, Ireland, Whelan, Assaidi; Crouch.Subs: Begovic, Muniesa, Pennant, Jones, Arnautovic, Adam, Wilkinson.
Before we go any further, the two teams are in, with the headline being that there is no place for Wayne Rooney in Manchester United's squad this evening...
As the saying goes, it is a cold, wet Wednesday night in Stoke, with the wind already swirling around the Britannia. Mark Hughes' side have already pushed United close once this season as they took the lead twice, only to go down 3-2 to the Red Devils at Old Trafford in October. They have since beat Chelsea here, though, and will be quietly confident of causing an upset.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of this evening's Capital One Cup quarter-final between Stoke City and Manchester United. David Moyes has endured a difficult start to his stint as United manager, but a win at the Britannia Stadium this evening would put him just three matches away from a first major trophy. Surely providing some silverware will get his detractors off his back, so this is certainly a competition he is taking seriously. I'm Tom Maston, and I'll be guiding you through the events from Staffordshire.
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