Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic started at the back after both missing out on starting places for the Manchester derby. It will also be pleasing for United fans that Tom Cleverley has returned from injury and was given a starting place in the midfield.
It is also nice to be able to name a Man of the Match for this clash rather than the temporary ‘Least Worst Player of the Match’ feature we ran at the weekend. Mr Cool himself Dimitar Berbatov put in a fancy performance in an attempt to catch his manager’s eye and challenge for a regular place in the team.
Early into the match Berbatov latched onto Diouf’s header to control the ball and knock it back towards Tom Cleverley just outside the area for a chance. The returning midfielder’s shot whizzed over the bar however.
It was Berbatov who then provided the first goal of the game and put United ahead in the 15th minute. The striker did what he is best at and found himself some space in the box to make himself available as the last man in a fast passing move from United to apply a simple finish past the Aldershot keeper.
Berbatov could have won his side a freekick on the edge of the area had the referee given it. After picking the ball up, Berbatov weaved his way towards the defence working his way through each one with fast footwork before being felled.
Despite not being the scorer, Berbatov was the key component in the second goal. The Bulgarian chased a long ball forward, picking it up on the right side of the area. He moved in on his marker sending him every which way with some quick movement on the ball before poking the ball into Michael Owen in the box, who was left with a simple finish thanks to Berbatov’s had work.
Dimitar Berbatov can be one of the most entertaining players to watch when at his best, which he was against Aldershot. The striker kept composed throughout to look like his normal calm and comfortable self in front of goal and amongst the opposition defence. He was classy on the ball moving it around the attackers well and making tricky runs in behind the defence. A fantastic performance saw him help a second string United side through to the next round of the cup and showed his manager he has yet another strong option in attack.