Manchester United 3
- Scholes 52,
- Carrick 71,
- Rooney 90
Manchester City 1
- Tevez 76
Wembley again for United, in the most dramatic of circumstances. And it was fitting the one player United would not sell at any price had the final, dramatic say at the end of another exhausting, exhilerating and epic duel between Manchester's rival tribes. Manchester United extended their Premiership lead to nine points with a win over neighbours Manchester City
City may now have untold riches, but no amount of money in the world could prise Wayne Rooney away from United, and the inspirational striker unerlined his status as their prized asset with the late, late winner.
The game came to life immediately after the restart, Micah Richards forcing a fingertip save from van der Sar, while Tevez was cautioned for diving in on Rafael, the yellow card bringing out the loudest cheer of the night from United fans.
The chance had been laid on by Bellamy, who ought to be a candidate for the footballer of the year award. His side was also vigorous and, before the interval, neither team had been in command for long. Mancini has had an early impact at the club by instilling a touch of rigour into the defence. This has occurred despite the current need to put a youngster such as Dedryck Boyata at the core of the back four while Joleon Lescott recovers from surgery.
Fears of crowd trouble were realised in the 50th minute when Craig Bellamy was felled by a coin thrown from the crowd as he prepared to take a corner, but thankfully the City striker was able to continue, despite being hit on the back of the head
After Carlos Tevez had threatened to take the semi-final into extra-time when he quite brilliantly turned home Craig Bellamy's cross 14 minutes from time, up popped Rooney, who nodded home Ryan Giggs' cross to secure a Carling Cup final meeting with Aston Villa on February 28.
We played very well. We were only under pressure for 10 minutes and in those 10 minutes we were very unlucky, but the rest of the game we played very well and I feel very sorry for the players and the fans. I only give compliments to my players, we can go on and win the FA Cup now," Macini said
Ferguson will have appreciated that his men, for all the endeavour, had not been at their sharpest. A great deal rested with Rooney, who has been in prime form, to wreak havoc. By playing in a supporting role he contributed to a goal in the 52nd minute. Rooney picked out Ryan Giggs on the right and after a challenge by Nani the ball was laid back to Scholes by Michael Carrick
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick, Nani, Rooney, Giggs. Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Owen, Berbatov, Park, Vidic, Valencia.
Man City: Given, Richards, Kompany, Boyata, Garrido, De Jong, Barry, Zabaleta, Wright-Phillips, Tevez, Bellamy. Subs: Taylor, Onuoha, Ireland, Sylvinho, Petrov, Adebayor, Ibrahim.