The introduction of Wayne Rooney led to the winning goal which gave Manchester United the 2010 Carling Cup in this afternoon’s final which took place at a packed Wembley against Premier League Aston Villa. United won 2-1 having trailed 1-0 to a James Milner 6th minute penalty.
The pace of Agbonlahor led to Aston Villa’s early penalty as he sprinted round Nemanja Vidic. The mis-timed tackle from behind the big Serbian produced led to a simple decision for referee Phil Dowd.
James Milner slotted the penalty coolly into the bottom corner, leaving Kuszczak in the United goal little chance to make the save.
Michael Owen soon restored parity, however, in the twelfth minute after Dimitar berbatov, his strike partner, tee’d him up with a lovely pass following a mistake from Richard Dunne.
Following this, the sides cancelled each other out largely, until the introduction of Wayne Rooney, on for Michael Owen at the end of the first half, led to more drive up front for the English Champions. Rooney scored with a header into the top corner on 75 minutes, before hitting the foot of the post with another header to clinch a dream final for the substitute.
Despite some late pressure, Martin O’Neill’s Aston villa side were unable to get back on level terms – with a headed opportunity and chance to make amends falling to Richard Dunne in the final minutes ending with a tame effort from within six yards.
Manchester United will hope this cup win is the first of three – they are one point from the summit of the Barclays Premier League, and carry a lead into the second leg of the UEFA Champion’s League last 16 match against Milan.