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Oct 28, 2015 at 8pm UK at Old Trafford
Man UtdManchester United
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Middlesbrough
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Middlesbrough win 3-1 on penalties

Live Commentary: Manchester United 0-0 Middlesbrough (Boro win 3-1 on penalties) - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of the fourth-round clash between Manchester United and Middlesbrough which saw the Championship side progress on penalties.
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Middlesbrough caused a shock in the League Cup fourth round by beating Manchester United on penalties at Old Trafford.

Both teams had chances to win the game before extra time as Jesse Lingard struck the inside of the post, before Stewart Downing's volley was kept out by Sergio Romero.

Penalties were required to split the two sides and Tomas Mejias proved to the be the hero for the visitors as he kept out Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Ashley Young to clinch a 3-1 shootout win.

Read below to find out how Aitor Karanka's side booked a spot in the quarter-finals.


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Good evening everyone! Three of last night's League Cup ties went to penalties and the other match saw Sheffield Wednesday beat Arsenal 3-0. It's certainly to fair it was a dramatic night. Will we see more of the same in the remaining four fourth-round ties? Stick with me to find out if Middlesbrough can shock Manchester United at Old Trafford.

All eyes and all of the pressure on Manchester United. Of course, there focus is elsewhere this season but as Louis van Gaal searches for his first trophy with the club, this is certainly a winnable competition. No Chelsea or Arsenal left in the hat and a win tonight will take them into the last eight.

This game should be looked at as a free swing for Middlesbrough. Their main target is to gain promotion to the Premier League and they are certainly one of the favourites to top the Championship this season. Aitor Karanka's side will approach this game with confidence. They have the players to cause problems for the hosts.

MAN UTD: Romero; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Carrick, Fellaini, Pereira; Lingard, Wilson, Memphis
SUBS: De Gea, Young, Schweinsteiger, Herrera, Mata, Martial, Rooney

Van Gaal decides to make nine changes to his side following the stalemate with Manchester City on Sunday, with only Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo retaining starting spots. James Wilson makes his first start of the season in a three-man attack with Memphis Depay and Jesse Lingard, while Andreas Pereira is also in the side. Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial are among the substitutes.

MIDDLESBROUGH: Mejias, Kalas, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Leadbitter, Stephens, Nsue, Downing, De Pena, Kike
SUBS: Dimi, Amorebieta, Clayton, Fabbrini, Jackson, Nugent, Zucolini

As expected, Albert Adomah and Adam Forshaw miss out for the visitors due to injury but Stewart Downing has recovered from a blow to the ribs to start. Christian Stuani is also missing from the squad, while Bruno Zuculini, who is on loan from Man City, earns a spot on the bench.


Karanka was left in no doubt how difficult this test could be for his side when previewing the game in the pre-match press conference yesterday. United may have left key men on the bench, but there is so much strength in this squad.

Middlesbrough's Spanish manager Aitor Karanka gestures from the touchline during the English Championship play off final football match between Middlesbrough and Norwich City at Wembley Stadium in London on May 25, 2015© Getty Images

"They can change the game in one second. They are quick in the transitions and we have to be careful. Their squad is amazing," he told reporters.


These two sides have not met since Middlesbrough were relegated from the Premier League in 2009. United won all three matches that season, including a 3-1 triumph in the third round of the League Cup thanks to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Ryan Giggs.

If you missed United's win over Ipswich in the last round, Pereira was one of the stars of the show and he delivered a moment of brilliance with a stunning free kick. Is he a future key player in the Premier League?

Andreas Pereira of Manchester United in action during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and VfL Wolfsburg at Old Trafford on September 30, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.© Getty Images

"I hope I can show the manager and impress everyone in the stadium and my team-mates," he revealed yesterday. "If a free-kick appears and you've been practising, you sometimes have a feeling you will score. You feel confident and it's a very good feeling when the ball goes in."



A quick reminder that you can follow all four of tonight's League Cup games by clicking on the fixture in the live scores box. Stoke City, Everton, Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday are already in the quarter-finals. Who will join them?

KEY PLAYER: Memphis Depay has shown in flashes what he can do since joining United from PSV Eindhoven, but the pressure is on him to deliver the goods on a consistent basis. His omission from the side for the derby at the weekend suggested that Van Gaal wants more, too. The Dutchman will be desperate to make an impact against Championship opposition.

Fancy a stat? Of course you do. Manchester United have won 12 of their last 13 League Cup ties at Old Trafford, with the surprise loss to Crystal Palace in the 2011/12 season the only blemish on that run in recent years.


Was complacency an issue as a much-changed Arsenal side lost to Wednesday last night? Quite possibly. Well, Phil Jones is determined to make sure that United produce nothing but their best this evening.

Phil Jones of Manchester United on the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on September 26, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. © Getty Images

"We need to make sure we turn up and do our job. Just because they're in the Championship doesn't mean we're going to win the game; we need to play well and hopefully we can win it because this is a competition we want to do well in," he told MUTV.


PREDICTION: Middlesbrough could make this very difficult for United tonight. An early goal for the hosts would hand them the control, but if Karanka's side can keep it tight for much of the game, they will fancy their chances of creating chances at the opposite end. I'm backing United to come through with a 2-1 win.


Here we go then. The players are in the tunnel at Old Trafford and we're just a few handshakes away from kickoff in this fourth-round tie.

KICKOFF! It's United who get the game underway. Lee Mason the man with the whistle tonight as the hosts immediately settle down well in possession.

Poor from Smalling. There's no pressure on him, but he somehow manages to miss Lingard with a simple pass as the ball drifts out of play.

Wilson will be determined to make an impact tonight. He's excellent off the ball and a clever run out wide allows him to win possession, before Ayala comes across to make a good tackle.

There doesn't seem to have been instructions from Karanka to press the ball. Boro are happy to sit back and limit the space on offer as United dominate possession in the early stages.

Another example of good defending from Ayala, who times his tackle to perfection to prevent Fellaini from bursting into the box.

Kike is providing a decent outlet when Middlesbrough are forced to take a more direct route, but it isn't sticking for the forward, who needs his teammates to get closer to him.


There's a few groans from the crowd when Depay's poor free kick is easily cleared by the visitors. Middlesbrough certainly look comfortable as we wait for the first opportunity of the match.

Clever play on the wing from Nsue as he forces his way into the box, but Blind makes a good tackle to win the ball back for United, who have been sloppy when their defenders have the ball.

Lingard is a lucky boy! A poor touch invites pressure from Leadbitter and Lingard responds by catching the Middlesbrough skipper with his studs. It's a surprise not to see him booked.

CHANCE! Middlesbrough should be ahead. The visitors keep the pressure on after a corner is only half cleared. Leadbitter lobs the ball back into the box and Nsue miscues an attempted overhead kick. The loose ball then breaks to Friend, whose tame effort is hit straight at Romero from just a few yards out.

United lacking a cutting edge in the final third so far. Wilson loses possession and it's Rojo who reacts to the loose ball with a wild effort that drifts well wide of the target. You can barely call it a shot.

Fellaini's face tells a story as he watches a poor cross from Memphis sail over his head at the back post. Surprisingly, the home side have struggled to cause any problems for the Middlesbrough defence in the first half.

Pereira looks lively when he gets on the ball in central positions, but even he has struggled to pick the right pass in the final third of the pitch. Middlesbrough's defensive shape has been excellent. Leadbitter is cleaning up everything in front of the backline.

Much better from United and Lingard, who carries the ball forward at pace before playing a pass through for Darmian, but the Italian full-back's poor touch sends it out of play for a goal kick.

Middlesbrough just beginning to ask a few more questions of the United defence as Kalas makes a good run on the wing before eventually taking the ball just out of play as he looked to deliver a low cross into the danger zone.

Friend gives away a free kick when he brings down Lingard after the United attacker had beaten a couple of defenders. Memphis is disappointing with a set piece once again.

Good work from Lingard once again as he creates space for himself in the box before unleashing a strike which Ayala charges down to relieve the pressure on the Middlesbrough defence.

Memphis attempts to steal tomorrow morning's headlines with an audacious effort from around 50 yards, but the ball doesn't come close to worrying Mejias.

Wilson does well to play off Fellaini and collect the ball from the Belgian, but his low effort is easily stopped by Mejias.

It really has not been a good night for Memphis so far. With just Ayala standing between him and the goal, he hesitates and Kalas manages to get back with the block to frustrate the Dutchman.

CHANCE! Middlesbrough could end up regretting failing to capitalise on the best chances of the first half. Kike times his run to perfection to collect a long ball forward from Ayala, but his attempted chip is kept out easily by Romero.

Superb from Friend! In trademark fashion, Fellaini collects a cross on his chest and turns to volley, but the Middlesbrough defender produces a goal-saving block to deny the midfielder.

SAVE! This game has come to life just before the break. Stewart Downing has worked hard so far, but he finally gets space and time on the ball to unleash a 25-yard strike which Romero pushes over the crossbar.

Memphis gets on the ball in a good position, but another poor touch lets him down as De Pena steps in to clear the danger.

Good goalkeeping from Mejias as he races off his line to collect the ball before Wilson can make the most of Pereira's clever pass.

HALF TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 0-0 MIDDLESBROUGH

It wasn't the best of games until that frantic spell just before the interval. Van Gaal will not be pleased with how his side have used the ball in the final third of the pitch and it's Middlesbrough who have created the better chances. Friend's failure to find the net to from close range could come back to haunt the visitors tonight.

BENCH WATCH: Boro could turn to Zuculini, who has that extra bit of pace and trickery which could make the difference in the final third. It will be interesting to see how long Van Gaal leaves it before using his bench. The likes of Mata and Ander Herrera may be needed to unlock the visiting defence.


RESTART! Middlesbrough get he game back underway. Van Gaal has made a change, with Rooney coming off the bench to replace Wilson.

Romero is forced to sprint off his line to clean up when Rojo's weak back pass puts the Argentine in a bit of trouble with Kike chasing the ball down.

Smalling causes his own problems before winning the ball back as he sprints back to dispossess Kike after the Middlesbrough forward had stolen possession high up the pitch.

It feels like I may be repeating myself. Carrick produces a wonderful pass to take three defenders out of the game, but Memphis is unable to bring the ball under control just as United appeared to be on the brink of creating a chance. Despite being eager to get involved as often as possible, it is not going well for the Dutchman.

CLOSE! United are almost gifted a goal. Pereira wins possession with an excellent tackle high up the pitch. The ball breaks to Memphis, whose powerful low effort from outside the box should be stopped easily but Mejias spills it and he is forced to collect at the second attempt just in front of the line.

Middlesbrough have barely laid a glove on United since the break. The hosts are dominating possession now as Pereira shoots straight at Mejias from around 25 yards.

Celebrations are cut short in the away end when Kike is adjudged to be offside just moments before Blind slices an attempted clearance into his own net. Fellaini had just hit a tame effort at Mejias before that close call. The game is beginning to open up.

Middlesbrough are being given more space to attack, but they are not holding up United in the same way they were before the interval. This type of game should suit the hosts as they enjoy another long spell of possession. Van Gaal makes another change as Ashley Young replaces Rojo.

Oh dear! A moment to forget for Memphis as he evades a couple of challenges before an air shot leaves him looking very disappointed.

CHANCE! Much, much better from the home side. Fellaini and Lingard exchange passes on the edge of the box, before the latter skips past a couple of defenders and shoots straight at Mejias.

Middlesbrough are almost handed a goal in incredible fashion. Blind passes back to Romero and should be an easy kick for the Argentine, but he fails to control the ball and it drifts just past the post. That would have been an embarrassing way to concede.

The visitors struggle to clear a Pereira corner as the ball breaks loose in the box before Blind's effort is blocked. Are we heading for extra time tonight? Just over 20 minutes plus stoppage time remaining.

Darmian is certain that United should be given a penalty when a cross strikes Ayala's hand, but Lee Mason is quick to shake his head. It wouldn't have been a surprise to see it given. Leadbitter had tested Romero with a powerful effort moments earlier.

SUB! Van Gaal uses his final change to bring Martial on for Memphis. The United boss certainly doesn't want extra time tonight.

You've got to give credit to Middlesbrough. They are a very good defensive side. A cross reaches Rooney in the box, but Friend and Ayala react quickly to clear before the England captain can find any space.

Young's first cross comes back to him and he uses the second opportunity to find Fellaini, whose header is easily collected by Mejias.

SUB! Zuculini is off the bench for his Middlesbrough debut as a replacement for De Pena.

Another long spell of United pressure ends with Middlesbrough surviving as Fellaini miscues an effort into the stands. Poor from the Belgian.

CHANCE! United's substitutes are certainly making an impact. A corner is taken short to Young, who produces a wonderful cross which Smalling can only head wide of the post.

SUB! Karanka opts for a change in attack as David Nugent replaces Kike.

Middlesbrough fans are having fun in the stands as they cheer every completed pass. Extra time looks almost inevitable as we still wait for that extra quality in the final third.

Lingard produces a clever piece of footwork on the wing to create the space for a cross, but the impressive Ayala intervenes once again to clear under pressure from Fellaini.

CHANCE! United come close to snatching the win as Young delivers an excellent cross which Lingard meets with a powerful effort, but it comes back off the inside of the post.

CHANCE! We're so close to a dramatic twist in stoppage time. Moments after Lingard's chance, Middlesbrough launch a break and Leadbitter gets clear of the last defender before seeing a chipped effort stopped by Romero. What an opportunity.

SAVE! What an incredible finish to this match. Downing gets free in the box to connect with a low volley, but Romero gets two hands to the ball as Middlesbrough once again threaten to hit the hosts on the break.

FULL TIME: MAN UTD 0-0 MIDDLESBROUGH

Where did that come from? The game didn't create many chances, but both sides could have snatched the win late on. Lingard's effort which came back off the post was superb, while Leadbitter and Downing will both feel they should have scored at the other end. 30 minutes of extra time on the way.

RESTART! If the two sides continue in that fashion, I'm expecting there to be a winner in extra time. Will the penalty shootout be avoided? United get the game back underway.

Neither side are finding it easy to keep the ball early in extra time as Pereira misplaces a pass after finding space on the edge of the box.

Darmian, as always, is eager to get on the ball out wide but his pass towards Rooney is poor as Leadbitter cleans up once again.

We haven't really seen this approach tonight. Kalas delivers a dangerous long throw which eventually falls for Leadbitter, whose firm effort is blocked by Carrick.

Friend fancies his chances with a strike from close to 30 yards, but Romero is untroubled as he watches the ball drift well wide of the post.

Fellaini sends the ball out wide to Pereira before getting into the box, but Mejias gets a touch on the cross and Friend eventually sees the ball clear under pressure from the Belgian.

Clever play from Martial to turn his man and find Rooney, whose speculative long-range effort is blocked before it can get anywhere close to testing Mejias.

United continue to enjoy more of the ball, but much like the first hour of the game, Middlesbrough are defending deep to limit the space on offer.

END OF FIRST EXTRA PERIOD: A quick turnaround at Old Trafford. 15 minutes remain in extra time. Will there be a late twist?

Just a few words from the coaches in the short interval as the game gets back underway.

Mejias may have spilled that Memphis shot earlier in the day, but he is a very confident goalkeeper and displays as much by claiming Young's cross.

Pereira appears to be battling cramp as the medical staff come on the pitch for a few moments. United do not have any substitutions remaining.

Ayala has been absolutely fantastic this evening. He has made so many key contributions at the back. Martial beats three defenders on a brilliant run, but he is denied by Ayala's block in the box.

No signs of the game being stretched enough to create clear chances. It's going to take a moment of magic or a big error over the next nine minutes. Middlesbrough enjoying a decent spell again.

SUB! Karanka uses his final change to bring Adam Clayton on for Stephens.

It just isn't clicking in attacking areas for either side and it's clear that many of the players are tiring as we head to what now appears to be an inevitable penalty shootout.

CLOSE! Middlesbrough are caught in possession high up the pitch and Fellaini releases Pereira, who beats one defender before shooting just wide of the post from the edge of the box.

United want a penalty once again. Martial flicks the ball against Ayala, but the defender is much too close to the Frenchman for a penalty to be given.

CHANCE! United waste a good opportunity to snatch the win. Pereira delivers a corner into a great area, but Fellaini can only head wide of the post.

CHANCE! Martial should have clinched the game. Lingard rises highest to flick a cross on, but Martial is only able to nod wide of the post from close range. Fellaini then somehow manages to head over from a corner just before the final whistle.

FULL TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 0-0 MIDDLESBROUGH

It's time for penalties at Old Trafford. Middlesbrough must be proud of their defensive display, but will they complete a shock in the shootout?

MAN UTD 0-1 MIDDLESBROUGH: Leadbitter makes no mistake as he drills the first penalty into the top corner.

MAN UTD 0-1 MIDDLESBROUGH: Save! Mejias guesses correctly to make a superb save from Rooney's penalty.

MAN UTD 0-1 MIDDLESBROUGH: Oh my word! Nugent sends a penalty over the crossbar.

MAN UTD 1-1 MIDDLESBROUGH: No mistake from Pereira as he draws United level by sending Mejias the wrong way.

MAN UTD 1-2 MIDDLESBROUGH: Downing listens to the jeers before just sending the ball beyond Romero's hand.

MAN UTD 1-2 MIDDLESBROUGH: Awful from Carrick as he follows Nugent's lead by clearing the crossbar. Middlesbrough get the lead back after six penalties.

MAN UTD 1-3 MIDDLESBROUGH: Ben Gibson looks like a strike as he hammers the ball straight down the middle. United must score their next penalty.

MAN UTD 1-3 MIDDLESBROUGH: Save! Middlesbrough are through to the quarter-finals. Mejias is the hero as he dives across to beat Young's penalty away. Another shock in the fourth round of the League Cup as the Championship side stun Van Gaal's side.

It's finally all over at Old Trafford. Both teams had chances to win the game in normal time, but it's Middlesbrough who progress thanks to the heroics of Mejias in the shootout.

That's all from our live coverage. Thanks for joining me tonight. Goodbye everyone!

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Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on September 26, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
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