The Capital One Cup semi-final draw means we could have an all-Manchester Final, but United boss David Moyes is not thinking that far ahead
A Manchester derby at Wembley is in prospect after United, with a 2-0 win at Stoke City in bizarre weather conditions, followed their arch rivals City into the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup.
Play at the Britannia Stadium had to be halted by referee Mark Clattenburg for 10 minutes midway through the first half due to a hailstorm and United manager David Moyes said: “It's some of the worst conditions I've played or managed in.
“The referee probably made the right decision at the time. It was unfortunate for the supporters, but he claimed he couldn’t see through the hail-stones. The pitch may have got a bit slippy, but the decision was made and we got on with it.”
United got on with it better than their Premier League rivals, second-half goals by winger Ashley Young and left-back Patrice Evra giving the visitors victory and a two-leg semi-final against Sunderland, shock winners against Chelsea.
In the other semi, Manchester City will face West Ham United, conquerors of Tottenham Hotspur. Would Moyes like to face what his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson called United’s ‘noisy neighbours’ in the Final?
“I’d like to see Manchester United in the final – that’s what I’d like to see”, he said.
“I can’t do anything about the draw and whoever you got, you take. You just never know with the cup competitions. I'm just glad we're through, and we certainly won’t be taking anything lightly in the semi-final.
“It will be tough against Sunderland. They played well to beat Chelsea so anything can happen, but we are really pleased to be in the last four.
“It is great to get through. The game was quite tight. It wasn’t a game with many chances. The conditions were a leveller and it was really difficult to play.
“But I thought we were always more liable to make the opportunities to score and that’s the way it turned out. Once we got the first goal we felt confident.”
Like his opposite number at Manchester City, Manuel Pellegrini, Moyes is one tie away from lifting his first trophy as manager of United after replacing the retired Ferguson as the Old Trafford supremo during the close season.
But the former Everton boss is looking no further than next month’s semi-final, the first leg of which will be played at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.
“After you see what Sunderland did against Chelsea,” said Moyes, “we are going to have to play well over two legs to get to the Final. This club is used to these situations though, and hopefully over the two legs can show that.
"This club is also used to winning trophies, so it’s business as usual.”