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United 2 Villa 1

Let’s face it, the Carling Cup is our lowest priority at the start of the season and winning it does not rank that high on people’s agendas. But winning a trophy at Wembley is always great and doing it in a great game after being a goal down is extra special. The celebrations may have been slightly muted- certainly compared to a league title or European Cup- but it was a fantastic day out none-the-less. Walking up Wenbley way was surreal- it was as if Norwich were in a final! Green and gold was everywhere and inside the stadium it was even more spectacular. The teams came out to a sea of green and gold (ok, yellow) balloons and scarves, easily drowning out the amount of red on display and grabbing the headlines on both Sky and BBC. Our seats were towards the back of the lower tier on the corner, and the atmopshere was better than usual at Wembley but still nothing special.

The penalty decision after just a few minutes was obviously contraversial. Clear pen and I still don’t know why it was not a red, or even yellow, card. But who am I to complain eh?! Luckily Vidic stayed on and conceeding the early goal spurred United on- it only took a few minutes were Owen to equalise and until he got injured I thought it was easiily his best performance for us. The goal aside, he was more involved in the play, had a better touch and even had a great fast run at goal at one point. “You scouse bastard” was still the cry when he scored though!

As the game went on United fully deserved to win. Villa are a good side but Fletcher, Valencia and Rooney were a class apart, while at the back we contained their impressive combination of Downing, Ashley Young, Agbonlahor, Carew (and Heskey…errr). Rooney’s winner was a stunning header, perfectly placed, and he should have finsihed the game off a few minutes later when he crashed another header into the post. He really needs to practice those headers. Not.

The final whistle went and Villa fans poured for the exists, although credit to the 10% or so who stayed to applaud their team off and even watched us lift the cup. When the Villa players went to collect their losers medals the whole United end applauded them- a great gesture and one that shows the admiration for their manager and young impressive team. I hope they win the FA Cup now and get at least one more trip to Wembley for the semis.

I got home with a big grin on my face. United lift a cup, Chelsea lost in the title race and Wembley’s show of green and gold was a massive boost to teh anti-Glazer campaign. What a weekend!

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