On a tensed night at Old Trafford, Manchester United needed penalties to beat Rochdale in the Carabao Cup third round.
Mason Greenwood put United ahead with a low strike. However, Rochdale’s 16-year-old Luke Matheson smashed home a famous equalizer 14 minutes from time forcing in penalties.
Jimmy Keohane failed to score in the shootout. Sergio Romero saved his effort and United scored all five efforts.
Manchester United who had 31 shots during the 90 minutes left the pitch sheepishly. On the other hand, Rochdale earned a standing ovation from the 5,500 traveling supporters.
United thought they had freed themselves from Rochdale’s grasp through Greenwood’s low drive.
But a team who conceded six at Peterborough and beaten by Manchester City under 21 proved more difficult to get rid of.
Eight minutes after Greenwood’s goal, Matheson drove a volley into the ground. This after advancing into the box and set it bouncing over Romero.
Matheson, who became the youngest player in Rochdale’s history, was mobbed by ecstatic team-mates.
United’s efforts to regain the lead met with the same disappointment when Pogba headed their best chance over in the first half and Marcos Rojo sent three long-range shots way off target.
Yet, even the relief at a win came with a sting for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer whose ailing side will face a tougher test in the next round.
Failure to deliver
It not easy for Manchester United. Solskjaer is under pressure.
The manager is not making a particularly convincing job of making fans believe better times are on the horizon.
There were positives against Rochdale. However, they were mainly through Greenwood, scoring for the second time this season, and 19-year-old defender Brandon Williams, who was introduced for his debut at half-time.
But too many experienced players are failing to deliver and Monday’s Premier League encounter with Arsenal does not promise much in the way of a change of fortune.