The Carling Cup Final
28 Feb 2010
Wayne Rooney lit up the historic 50th League Cup Final after his 74th minute goal won it for Manchester United and sealed a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley.
England star Rooney was left out of United’s team for the Carling Cup Final after complaining of a sore knee.
But when team-mate Michael Owen was forced off with a pulled muscle after 42 minutes the number 10 came on to make yet another mark in football's history book.
He rose to send a superb, dipping header up and over goalkeeper Brad Friedel with 16 minutes to go and that was enough to clinch the trophy for United for the second season in a row.
It was a bitter pill for Villa to swallow because Martin O’Neill’s side had started the game in roaring fashion and put everything into an incredibly entertaining match.
They went ahead after only five minutes when Nemanja Vidic hauled down Gabriel Agbonlahor and England team-mate James Milner converted the penalty with aplomb.
But United are never ones to let an opportunity to win silverware slip and they were level after 12 minutes.
Dimitar Berbatov set off on a muscular run down the right and when he was stopped by Richard Dunne the ball fell perfectly for Owen to score with a superb, first-time finish.
With England Manager Fabio Capello watching from the stands it was a big moment for the United star but his joy was short-lived because he pulled up injured before half-time and was unable to continue.
In his absence, however, United continued to create chances. They hit the post through Park Ji-Sung and then saw Michael Carrick denied just after the break by a fine save from Friedel.
Rooney’s header eventually sealed the match, Antonio Valencia crossing for the striker to score his 28th goal of an amazing season.
Rooney also hit the post with another header seconds later while at the other end United keeper Kusczcak had to react quickly to tip a header from his own player Jonny Evans over the bar.
In the end it was United who celebrated victory but Villa can also feel proud of the way they played in an excellent final.
1 Brad Friedel, 25 Stephen Warnock, 2 Richard Dunne, 29 James Collins, 24 Carlos Cuellar (10 John Carew 80), 6 Stewart Downing, 8 James Milner, 19 Stiliyan Petrov, 11 Gabriel Agbonlahor, 18 Emile Heskey
Subs not used
22 Brad Guzan, 2 Luke Young, 23 Habib Beye, 4 Steven Sidwell, 16 Fabian Delph,14 Nathan Delfouneso
29 Tomasz Kuszczak; 21 Rafael Da Silva (2 Gary Neville 66), 15 Nemanja Vidic, 23 Jonny Evans, 3 Patrice Evra, 25 Atonio Valencia, 16 Michael Carrick, 13 Ji-Sung Park n(28 Darron Gibson 85), 24 Darren Fletcher, 7 Michael Owen (10 Wayne Rooney 42), 9 Dimitar Berbatov
Subs not used
12 Ben Foster, 6 Wes Brown, 18 Paul Scholes, 28 Darron Gibson, 32 Mame Diouf
Sir Alex Ferguson
Shaun Procter-Green, David Richardson