Manchester United 3 Ipswich Town 0
Over the years, United has traditionally used the League Cup as a springboard for their young talent, a platform on which to gain valuable big game experience. The likes of Beckham, Scholes and Neville all benefitted from playing in the competition at the start of their illustrious careers as has been true for many youngsters seeking to break into the first team.
This time round it was the chance of the young Brazilian Pereira to showcase his talents on the big stage and he certainly rose to the occasion with a display fitting of his heritage.
Since the rise and domination of the Premier League the status of the League Cup has diminished and is seen merely as an inconvenience and an early exit is not deemed disastrous as there are bigger challenges over the season. Having said that to lose to a team from the lower leagues is an embarrassment for the big clubs, just ask the United players who were humiliated last season by MK Dons 4-0, but that is not possible as nine of the players who started that match have all left Old Trafford.
United started this season's League Cup campaign against Ipswich Town at Old Trafford. Championship side Ipswich last played United in 2002 in the league, however, the result that sticks in people's minds is the 9-0 thrashing that United handed out to the Tractor Boys back in 1995 with Andy Cole famously netting five goals.
On paper a strong looking team with a first competitive start for Andreas Pereira and a chance for him to show off his talent in front of the Old Trafford faithful. Young and Valencia slotted in as full-backs and Rooney would spearhead the attack supported by Fellaini, Pereira and Mata.
Subs: Romero, Darmian, Jones, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Memphis and Martial. Phil Jones returned to the squad after his thrombosis problem, but not fit enough to start the match.
United and especially Pereira started the match brightly and almost took the lead through the youngster on a couple of occasions.
United enjoyed so much of the ball it was a surprise that they had only managed to score the one goal in the first half of the match if it hadn't been for some erratic crossing and dithering on the ball it would have been a higher scoreline, same old story so far this season.
A first half that was bossed by United but one they would have preferred to have gone in at half-time having more to show for their efforts as not for the first time this season their buildup in attacks looked nice, but lacked that final thrust proven by the fact that they won no corners in the first 45 minutes.
It was the away side that started the second half on the front foot and United had to use all their experience to defend against the threats from both wings as Ipswich peppered the home box with cross after cross. Interestingly, with all the forward momentum enjoyed by the visitors they didn't muster one shot on goal.
Because of the visitors pressure United struggled to get into any rhythm as they failed to keep hold of the ball and knew they were certainly in a cup tie as the visitors had no intention of rolling over in submission.
It took the reds ten minutes to mount their first meaningful foray forward and it was the lively Pereira on the left who started a move that ended up with a shot from Valencia that was well saved by the keeper.
A superb effort from the youngster who had the confidence to step up and show his ability in front of the Stretford End, no mean task seeing as United have been woeful with free-kicks so far this season.
Martial immediately got in the thick of the action with an effort that followed a one-two with Rooney which the French forward put over the bar. Memphis, then made an appearance for scorer Rooney in the 80th minute which meant that De Gea would see out the final ten minutes as captain.
The excellent Pereira almost added his second in the last moments of the tie, but his effort was saved by the keeper and Memphis was almost played through on goal, but the ball ran away from him.
United saw out the match in a comfortable fashion and booked their place into the 4th round draw thanks mainly to the man of the match performance from Pereira, a youngster with so much talent in his feet and the confidence he showed on the ball was a joy to watch.
United are blessed with young forwards who all have an abundance of talent with Memphis, Martial and Pereira all possessing the skill and ability to turn a match in a split second and with United busy on four fronts this season there should be plenty of opportunities for all of them to flourish as the season progresses.
After the match, the draw took place for the 4th round and it produced a favourable home tie for United against another Championship team, Middlesbrough.
Thanks for reading.