LONDON (AP) Wayne Rooney’s spot kick was saved as Manchester United was eliminated from the League Cup by second-tier Middlesbrough in a shootout on Wednesday in the latest fourth-round shock.
Michael Carrick and Ashley Young joined Rooney in also missing from the spot for United as Middlesbrough advanced 3-1 on penalties after the game finished 0-0 after extra time.
It was the second successive stalemate at Old Trafford for United after being held 0-0 by Manchester City on Sunday.
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”(In) football what only matters is a goal,” United manager Louis van Gaal said. ”It is a concern, but I do know also that it can easily turn around in the next game.”
Marouane Fellaini – twice – and Anthony Martial missed guilt-edged chances in front of goal in extra time against Middlesbrough.
”When you are not finishing the chances – and they were very easy chances in front of the goal or in front of the goalkeeper – then it is very difficult to win a game because the goals are counting, not the chances,” Van Gaal said.
”My players have given everything and that’s why I am also proud of them because until the end they have done it. Penalties is a casino – you never know.”
Middlesbrough’s reward for beating the 20-time English champions was being drawn to host Everton in the quarterfinals in a month’s time.
”The main thing is the performance,” said Aitor Karanka, the Spanish manager of Middlesbrough. ”And the performance today against Man United, a big team, it was amazing.”
United’s embarrassment came a day after Arsenal was ousted by second-tier Sheffield Wednesday and Chelsea was beaten by Stoke.
But Juergen Klopp finally celebrated his first victory as Liverpool manager following three draws, with his new team advancing in the cup by beating Bournemouth 1-0 on Wednesday.
”I feel much better than after a draw but I don’t think the other games were so much worse than today, the result is the biggest difference,” Klopp said.
Nathaniel Clyne scored in the first half to secure Liverpool’s win and a return to former club Southampton in the next round. Maya Yoshida and Graziano Pelle sent Southampton through with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.
Premier League leader Manchester City eased to a 5-1 victory over Crystal Palace which was started by Wilfried Bony’s 22nd-mintue goal.
Kelechi Iheanacho, a 19-year-old Nigerian playing up front with Bony, teed up goals for Kevin De Bruyne and fellow teenager Manu Garcia while getting on the score sheet himself. Yaya Toure also scored from the penalty spot.
City next hosts Hull of the League Championship, while Stoke hosts Sheffield Wednesday.