Manchester United have been eliminated in the Carabao Cup, falling to Bristol City after a 94th minute winner by the Championship side.
Mourinho didn’t undervalue the lower league opponent, going with a stronger lineup than some expected. Interestingly enough, the United manager went with 3 at the back, with Rojo, Blind, and Lindelof in the center back positions. Romero got the start in goal, with Darmian and Shaw playing as the wingbacks out wide. Pogba returned to the side, and was paired with McTominay in the centre of midfield. Martial and Rashford started on the wing, and Ibrahimovic was given the nod up top with the captain’s armband.
It was almost a disastrous start to the evening when Pogba was dispossessed in the midfield. The Bristol attackers looked to have plenty of room to attack, but Blind was able to close down the space and block the shot.
United had a quality chance to score 10 minutes in but were denied by the crossbar. A cross to the back post by Marial found Ibrahimovic, who volleyed it onto goal. His attempt deflected off a Bristol defender onto the crossbar and out of play.
Manchester continued the pressure, and almost scored one of the goals of the season. A Pogba long ball by Rashford found Rashford, who chested it down to McTominay. The youngster went for the spectacular volley, but hit it well over the bar.
United were denied by the woodwork a second time in the match, when Rashfords shot from outside the penalty area smashed against the far post. The rebound fell to Ibra, but he was too far wide to try and get a shot off himself.
Pogba came close to grabbing a goal himself. He drove the ball forward into space as the Bristol defence backed off. Pogba released a shot from 20 yards out, but curled it just wide of the post.
Bristol City scored the first goal of the game, but it was correctly called off. Romero was blocked off as he tried to throw the ball away, and the Bristol player kicked the ball into an empty net. However, the referee had already called for a foul, much to the chagrin of the Bristol support.
Bristol would’ve had a goal right before the end of the half if not for a heroic tackle by Blind. Some nifty play from the Championship side lead to a clear shooting chance, but Blind was able to get a sliding challenge in before a shot was taken, and United were just about able to clear it away from danger.
Bristol grabbed the opening goal of the match at the start at the second half, and time time, the goal stood. Left back Bryan made a lung busting run down the left flank, and was played through on goal. It looked like the shooting angle was too tight, but Bryan blasted it past Romero into the far corner. It was a goal worthy of the Carabao Cup, and it sent the Bristol fans into scenes of jubilation.
The joy was not long lived for Bristol, as United grabbed an equaliser less than 5 minutes after the Bristol goal. Pogba won a free kick in a decent position, and looked poised to take it himself. However, Ibrahimovic was the man for the job, as he smashed it to the far post. It went right through the Bristol keeper, who should’ve done better.
United increased the attacking impetus, as Lukaku came on for Daley Blind.
Mkhitaryan replaces Ibrahimovic soon after, as the Armenian was given a chance to prove his worth.
United could’ve, and probably should’ve grabbed a second goal 15 minutes from time. A through ball by Shaw created a 2 on 1 for United, with Lukaku running in support of Rashford. However, the lone Bristol defender was able to block the passing lane, and tackle the ball away from Rashford.
United kept up the pressure, and created another chance. A cross from Pogba picked out Lukaku in the area, and the Belgians header looked like it was heading for the corner. However, the Bristol keeper was able to save the effort, and get it out of play.
The game opened up as both sides looked to grab a winner before full time. Bristol attacker Paterson cut inside from the left, and went for a curling shot to the far post, but the effort flew just wide of the post.
It would prove to be heartbreaking affair for United, as Bristol City grabbed a winner in injury time. Some wonderful work in the midfield led to a dinked ball over the top to Smith. He brought the pass down, and calmly slotted his finish passed Romero.
United’s next match is on Saturday, as the Red Devils travel to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City.