Manchester United thrashed 4-0 by third Division side in League Cup
Manchester United sank to new depths on Tuesday when they crashed out of the League Cup in the second round following a 4-0 defeat at third-division Milton Keynes Dons.
United had announced the signing of Angel di Maria from Real Madrid in a British-record £59.7 million (S$123.4 million) deal shortly before kick-off, but they were brought down to earth with a painful bump as their second-string team fell apart at Stadium MK.
Van Gaal made 10 changes to his starting XI, with goalkeeper David de Gea the only player to hold onto his place from Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Sunderland in the Premier League.
The visitors received an early setback when Shinji Kagawa had to go off after a clash of heads and in the 25th minute they gifted their hosts the lead.
Jonny Evans, United’s captain for the day, passed the ball straight to Ben Reeves inside his own area and the Dons number 10 squared to Grigg for a simple tap-in.
MK Dons Northern Irish striker Will Grigg (C) celebrating his opening goal in the English League Cup. Photo: AFP
The home side were aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty early in the second half when a shot from Dean Bowditch struck Evans on the arm, but in the 63rd minute they added a second goal.
After United again conceded possession cheaply, Grigg sprayed a pass wide to Reeves, who crossed back to him, as he went on to beat De Gea with an outrageous chested finish from 10 metres.
With 20 minutes remaining, Reeves displayed his disdain for the visiting defence with a showy no-look through ball for on-loan Arsenal striker Afobe, who held his nerve to sweep the ball past De Gea.
Belatedly, United rallied, with Adnan Januzaj hitting the post, but with six minutes left Afobe charged through three weak challenges before slamming home to complete a humiliating night for English football’s misfiring giants.
Asked if he had a message for United’s fans, the shell shocked van Gaal said: “They have to believe in our philosophy. We are building up a team and you cannot make it in one month, not in one year.
Van Gaal, shell shocked. Photo: Reuters
“Of course it’s very disappointing, but I hope they shall maintain their confidence in the club and our philosophy because that philosophy takes time.”
“I’m a little bit in shock, to be walking around and seeing the scoreline,” said MK Dons manager Karl Robinson.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s something that dreams are made of for these players.”