United end Derby dream

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United end Derby dream

Post  Admin on Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:13 am

Manchester United booked their place in the Carling Cup final as brave Derby's dreams of Wembley were ended at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils raced into a 3-0 lead before the interval thanks to goals from Nani, John O'Shea and Carlos Tevez to cancel out the Rams' slender advantage from the first leg at Pride Park.

But Nigel Clough's side were much improved after the interval and set up a tense finale as Giles Barnes slammed home from the penalty spot, only for fellow substitute Cristiano Ronaldo to respond with a spot-kick of his own.

Derby still refused to lie down and Barnes reduced the arrears again with a splendid free-kick in added time, but they could not snatch a dramatic third which would have seen them force extra time.

The game started at a rapid pace, with Kris Commons coming close to repeating his spectacular strike in the first leg as he unleashed a shot from 30 yards out which looked destined for the top corner before bending away from Ben Foster's goal at the last minute.

Derby were initially defending well and the only work Roy Carroll had to do in the opening 10 minutes was to pluck a deflected Ryan Giggs cross out of the air at his far post shortly after Commons' attempt.

But Carroll was beaten in the 16th minute when Nani collected Giggs' crossfield ball just inside the Derby half, advanced towards the box and rifled home a stunning strike which the Rams 'keeper got his fingers to but could not keep out.

United moved ahead in the tie for the first time just five minutes later as Tevez and Danny Welbeck combined to set up O'Shea, who was left in acres of space to slot home as Derby's offside trap fell apart with Gary Teale particularly culpable.

From Sky Sports

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