Manchester United fans could be forgiven for summoning the spirit of Dante Hicks and bemoaning “I’m not even suppose to be here today.” It was the League Cup second round, a phase the team’s league finish normally allows them to miss, but after an embarrassing result Stadium mk, the Red Devils were given another reminder of how bad things have become.
With two goals each from William Grigg and Benik Afobe, Milton Keynes Dons, currently 51st on the English ladder (League One), posted a 4-0 victory over a United team that included David de Gea, Jonny Evans, Shinji Kagawa, Danny Welbeck, and Javier Hernández. Going 72 minutes without a shot on target, Louis van Gaal’s side exits the competition at this early stage for the first time in 19 years.
To the embarrassment of fans, they did so in what was often comic fashion. The first goal resulted from an Evans giveaway deep in this own half. Failure to hold the ball also allowed Ben Reeves to set up Afobe’s first, while a Marnick Vermijl giveaway (succeeded by three poor tackles) allowed MK Dons to pile on the feeble favorite.
In the long run, being rid of the League Cup may prove a blessing for a rebuilding squad, but on a day that started with elation, Manchester United was handed one of its most striking results in recent memory. For as bad as things got under David Moyes, the Scot never delivered this kind of result.
The loss was so bad, United blog The Busby Baby posted a nine-word review: “Help us, Angel di Maria. You’re our only hope.” The only thing accompanying the analysis? A video titled “The Exploding Whale.”
Other Premier League results
United wasn’t the only top-tier side to bow out early:
- After penalty kicks, West Ham United lost at the Boleyn Ground, with third-tier Sheffield United scoring another upset for League One (1-1).
- Andrew Mangan’s first half goal for Shrewsbury Town allowed the fourth division side to win at Leicester City (1-0), …
- while a late penalty converted by Atdhe Nuhiu saw Sheffield Wednesday down Burnley, 1-0.
- West Brom got the better of their trip to penalty kicks, defeating Oxford United 7-6 after extra time ended at 1-1;
- Bafetimbi Gomis’s first competitive goal for Swansea City put Garry Monk’s team into the third round (1-0);
- Southampton’s first victory under Ronald Koeman saw Saints win at Millwall (2-0);
- John Egan’s own goal allowed Newcastle to claim a 1-0 result at Gillingham;
- while Crystal Palace got a hat trick from Dwight Gayle in a 3-0 win at Walsall.
Port Vale 2-3 Cardiff City
Middlesbrough 3-1 Preston North End
Huddersfield Town 0-2 Nottingham Forest
Swansea City 1-0 Rotherham United
Watford 1-2 Doncaster Rovers
Millwall 0-2 Southampton
AFC Bournemouth 3-0 Northampton Town
Brentford 0-1 Fulham
Scunthorpe 0-1 Reading
Derby County 1-0 Charlton Athletic
West Ham United 1-1 (p.k., 4-5) Sheffield United
Swindon Town 2-3 (a.e.t) Brighton & Hove Albion
Leicester City 0-1 Shrewsbury Town
Crewe Alexandra 2-3 (a.e.t.) Bolton Wanderers
Gillingham 0-1 Newcastle United
Norwich City 2-1 Crawley Town
Nurley 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday
Walsall 0-3 Crystal Palace
West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Oxford United
Milton Keynes Dons 4-0 Manchester United
Burton Albion vs. Queens Park Rangers
Stoke City vs. Portsmouth
Birmingham City vs. Sunderland
Bradford City vs. Leeds United
Aston Villa vs. Leyton Orient