On this day: Coventry City stun Manchester United in League Cup

On this day in 2007, Coventry stunned Manchester United by beating them 2-0 in the third round of the League Cup at Old Trafford.

When Manchester United were drawn at home to Coventry City in the third round of the League Cup in 2007, many believed it to be a near certainty that the Premier League side would coast past their opponents.

Coventry had started the season in fine fashion, with manager Iain Dowie picking up the Championship manager of the month for August, but a couple of heavy defeats had looked to have halted the Sky Blues' momentum.

Sir Alex Ferguson made sweeping alterations to his United side, replacing the entire lineup that had worked their way past Chelsea on the previous weekend, but it was a team that still included plenty of star names.

Former Porto pair Nani and Anderson were handed an Old Trafford start, Gerard Pique featured in defence, while there were debuts for academy graduates Jonny Evans and Danny Simpson.

Both teams made an indifferent start to the encounter, but it was Anderson who created the first opportunity in front of goal, testing Sky Blues stopper Andy Marshall from distance.

Manchester United's Spanish defender Gerard Pique jubilates after scoring against AS Roma during their UEFA Champions League Group F football match in Rome's Olympic Stadium 12 December 2007© Getty Images

Coventry striker Leon Best fired the ball over for the Midlands outfit as they started to come into the game midway through the first half, and their pressure was rewarded when they took the lead after 27 minutes.

Michael Doyle found himself with plenty of space on the touchline, before delivering a low cross for Maltese forward Michael Mifsud to convert the ball past Tomasz Kuszczak.

The strike failed to encourage United to improve their lacklustre display, and the visitors nearly doubled their advantage before half time when Mifsud struck the post with a flick from Robbie Simpson's ball into the penalty area.

Ferguson's unhappiness with United's performance was evident when he made two substitutions at the break, bringing on Wes Brown and another academy graduate, Frazier Campbell.

Soon after the restart, the Scot also introduced Michael Carrick to try to improve the mood around Old Trafford, but he struggled to have a significant impact, with Campbell having the only worthwhile effort on goal shortly after the hour.

Michael Mifsud of Coventry City celebrates scoring his second goal during the Carling Cup third round match between Manchester United and Coventry City at Old Trafford on September 26, 2007© Getty Images

Marshall had to be on hand to prevent Dong Fangzhuo from heading in an equaliser, and his intervention proved pivotal, as a minute later, the Sky Blues scored their second.

The visitors broke clear, and after a spell in possession, Mifsud combined with Jay Tabb on the edge of the penalty area to curl the ball past Kuszczak and into the far corner.

It was a goal that stunned Old Trafford and the expectant home supporters, and United never looked likely to produce any kind of response as Coventry pushed for a third and shortly before the final whistle, Mifsud should have had his hat-trick.

Kuszczak spilled Stephen Hughes's set piece straight to the diminutive frontman, but with the goal at his mercy, he failed to hit the target.

The final whistle was greeted with boos from the home faithful, while City's supporters basked in the glory of overcoming a team that would go on to win the Premier League and Champions League later in the season.

Visions of a memorable Cup run for Coventry were ended in the next round, when they let slip a one-goal advantage to lose 2-1 at home to West Ham United.

Manchester United manager David Moyes prior to kick-off against Manchester City on September 22, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool24138354292547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2455141535-2020
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