x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Michael Owen at the double to help Man United beat Leeds

Ryan Giggs also scores in Manchester United's 3-0 Carling Cup win at old rivals Leeds United.

LEEDS // In the competition Manchester United use to blood their kids, Michael Owen and Ryan Giggs combined to see off Leeds 3-0 and ease the Red Devils into the Carling Cup fourth round.

Owen had not kicked a ball in a competitive match before the contest began but scored twice to take his tally to an impressive 11 goals in 12 starts. Then Giggs followed up his effort in Benfica last week by curling home his 161st career goal, nutmegging Tom Lees in the process.

The game won by half-time, Sir Alex Ferguson did give youth a chance afterwards, Danny Welbeck among those introduced after the England man recovered from his hamstring injury.

But the Championship club were never a threat to United, even though the visitors ended the game with 10 men after the debutant Ezekiel Fryers limped off, leaving last season's joint Golden Boot winner Dimitar Berbatov to partner Michael Carrick in central defence.

A gap of eight years between visits to Elland Road, punctuated by their 2010 FA Cup triumph at Old Trafford when Simon Grayson's team were still in League One (third tier of English football), had heightened anticipation among the white rose contingent.

Had either Lees' header, or Ross McCormack's follow-up gone in, the roof would have come off this famous old stadium. As it was, Ferguson found an unlikely saviour in Berbatov, who booted off the line on both occasions, allowing United to assume total control by half-time.

Owen's first goal involved a little jink inside Lees after he had collected Park Ji-sung's square pass, then a rather scruffy finish that ended up in the bottom corner.

Andy Lonergan had no chance there, and he was equally helpless with Owen's second. Again, the cross came from the right, this time delivered by Mame Biram Diouf. The finish was clinical, one touch to control, the second to belt it into the top corner.

Giggs provided the perfect ending to the first-half for the Premier League champions, pushing the ball through Lees' legs after collecting Park's return pass from a short corner, then curling home a deflected effort with the outside of his trusty left foot.

It proved to be the end of the veteran Welshman's contribution as promising midfielder Paul Pogba was given his first taste of senior action at the break.

Elsewhere, Arsenal had to come from behind to beat League 2 outfit Shrewsbury Town.

Arsenal's terrible start to the domestic season looked like continuing when they fell behind to James Collins's 16th minute header for Shrewsbury but Kieran Gibbs levelled in the 33rd. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 18, put last year's runners-up ahead just before the hour and Yossi Benayoun also got his first Arsenal goal to ease the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger.

Third round results

Aldershot 2-1 Rochdale
Arsenal 3-1 Shrewsbury
Aston Villa 0-2 Bolton
Blackburn 3-2 Leyton Orient 2
Burnley 2-1 Milton Keynes Dons
Crystal Palace 2-1 Middlesbrough
Leeds 0-3 Man Utd
Nottingham Forest 3-4 Newcastle 4
Stoke 0-0 Tottenham aet, Stoke won 7-6 on penalties
Wolves 5-0 Millwall

Today's matches

Brighton v Liverpool
Cardiff v Leicester
Chelsea v Fulham
Man City v Birmingham
Southampton v Preston
Everton v West Brom