By Robert Morris
On the end of their first defeat of the season, Manchester United were dumped out of the Carling Cup with a 4-0 loss against West Ham United on Tuesday night. Alex Ferguson’s side, who netted seven in their last fixture, were unable to grab a single goal against a team that are currently struggling at the opposite end of the table.
Despite the cold weather, United were red hot in the early minutes, as Gabriel Obertan’s low shot had to be tipped onto the post by goalkeeper Robert Green. However, against the run of play, the Hammers took the lead through former United midfielder Jonathan Spector. Victor Obinna delivered a sumptuous cross which allowed Spector to out-jump Darren Fletcher and place a header past Thomas Kuszczak in the United net.
Spector scored his second and doubled the lead just before the break, firing home from close range.
Ferguson’s response was to substitute Bebe for Federico Macheda in order to pose more of an attacking threat. It didn’t work. Obinna picked up his third assist of the evening by crossing a perfect ball in for Carlton Cole to nod past Kuszczak with ease. 3-0 West Ham with just 56 minutes on the clock.
The Red Devils, who had been truly awful defensively all evening, would have been especially embarrassed to concede a fourth goal; but they did just that 10 minutes later. Obinna, again with some wonderful trickery down the flank, fed a pass to Cole who spun Johnny Evans before drilling a low shot into the net.
The game was over with 20 minutes remaining and Manchester United were out of the competition they had so easily won the previous two seasons. Sir Alex Ferguson will be furious, however, the reds must transfer their focus back on to the league this Saturday with a tough away fixture to Blackpool.