Chelsea 5-4 Manchester United (3-3 after regular time)
Roberto Di Matteo:
Di Matteo summarised a night of frenetic activity at Stamford Bridge, and was full of praise for his young side who worked hard to overcome United.
‘I am very pleased with the players tonight, who performed on the big stage and will play a big part in our season.
‘I think we showed on Sunday already that we have big characters in the dressing room and we had to show it again tonight. We showed big, big heart and passion and pride and didn’t want to lose this game. It was a very exciting game of football to watch, a typical cup game, quite open at times and a lot of mistakes from both teams, because there were a lot of young players involved in this game.
‘Over the last two days we have seen some exciting thrilling football games typical of cup competition and a lot of future stars in these games. That’s what we should promote, and not the other stuff.
‘We will have to assess the team over the next few days. Playing extra-time has taken more out of us than we would have liked but on the other hand spirit is sky high and when the mood is positive you feel the fatigue a little bit less.
‘We had a few suspensions tonight so people will be back for Saturday and we will see which players are freshest and most energised for Saturday.’
Sir Alex Ferguson:
“We gave the ball away for the third goal,” he said. “We were in complete control of the match at that point, playing really good football and all we needed to do was see the game out and keep possession.
“Nani decided to try and beat a player, lost the ball and we ended up conceding a penalty kick.
“It’s disappointing [to go out]. Some of our football was terrific.
“Our counter-attacking was very good, but if you are winning 3-2 in the final seconds of the game then you should see it out. We only have ourselves to blame, really.”
Nani wasn’t the only player to make an error that led to a goal. Alexander Buttner and Scott Wootton both conceded penalties, and Wootton’s soft header back to goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard at the beginning of extra-time allowed Daniel Sturridge to pounce and put Chelsea ahead.
“We took a gamble in terms of the centre-backs,” Sir Alex conceded. “It’s very difficult because one’s 19 [Michael Keane] and one’s 20 [Wootton]. It’s not easy.