Manchester United survived a freakish first-half hailstorm to beat Stoke City 2-0 and book a place in the Capital One Cup semi-finals courtesy of Ashley Young’s first goal in 17 months and a rare right-footed Patrice Evra effort.
The Reds faced a typically resolute Stoke home display and the game had to be stopped for around eight minutes during the first half as hailstones rattled through the Britannia Stadium and forced referee Mark Clattenburg to lead the players off the field.
The opening 45 minutes offered little to excite the senses, except that stormy interlude, but Young had its best chance after three minutes with an angled shot from 15 yards that hit the side-netting. On 22 minutes Anderson tested Thomas Sorensen with a low drive, while Stoke fizzed a few dangerous crosses into the United box without truly threatening David De Gea’s goal.
In the second half, Evra and Welbeck had half-chance headers from corners, but David Moyes recognised a need for greater urgency and speed to his side’s play. Javier Hernandez replaced Anderson before the hour and made an immediate impact in the build-up to the first goal. But Young’s finish was simply breathtaking, rifling the ball into the roof of the net on 62 minutes – his
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