MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Darren Ambrose of Crystal Palace celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Carling Cup Quarter Final match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on November 30, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
A year ago, it was a shock 4-0 away defeat by West Ham United in the Carling Cup quarter-final. This season, it is another shock defeat in the Carling Cup quarter-final -- this time by Championship side Crystal Palace at Old Trafford. And once again, the defeat is deserved. A mix of youth and experience was fielded by manager Sir Alex Ferguson in his starting XI. By the start of the 2nd half, two of the more experienced players -- Fabio and Dimitar Berbatov -- were off due to injury. United's final substitution was again used on an experienced player due to injury when Paul Pogba came on for Rafael. Nonetheless, it was a very poor and uninspired performance from Fergie's side. Palace defended bravely and took their few chances well and it is a famous victory for the South London club.
Youngsters Pogba, Ravel Morrison, and Zeki Fryers were able to gain valuable experience on this gloomy night at Old Trafford. Each had bright moments. Fringe squad players -- such as Mame Biram Diouf and Federico Macheda -- failed to show Fergie that they are deserving of regular playing time. Kiko took his penalty well and showed moments of fine play but his night was plagued by inconsistency. Diouf was simply poor and to put it harshly, he does not look to be United material. Chris Smalling and Antonio Valencia put in solid efforts. The former was class in defense while the latter was the focal point in attack.
What are your thoughts on this shock defeat? Are you gutted to be out of the Carling Cup again in the quarterfinal, or are you ready to shrug it off and focus on the other three more important competitions? What are your thoughts on the youngsters?