The Holders Are Out
Sir Alex Ferguson fielded a team looking very-strong, with ten full internationals on the pitch, including Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Yet it seems our in-form youngsters simply cannot live without the backing of Scholes, Carrick, Vidic, Ferdinand. In the first half, Southend played at a really high tempo and United struggled to find their pace and rhytm. We had some half-chances but Southend looked more convincing.
The home side took the lead just before the half-hour mark, with a brilliantly executed 25-yard free-kick by Freddie Eastwood. United could have equalised instantly but David Jones' powerful drive came off the post.
It was predictably one-way traffic after the interval but United never really managed to hit the form that demoralised so many teams this season. Rooney and Ronaldo were lively but David Jones and Darren Fletcher were simply not up to the task today. Having said that, I must admit that the Shimpers' keeper was in magnificent form, he denied only Ronaldo three times.
Before the final whistle, United bombarded Southend's penalty area but they held on resolutely to produce a shocking but well-deserved victory.
United: Kuszczak - Brown, O'Shea (Lee), Silvestre, Heinze - Ronaldo, Fletcher, Jones (Shawcross), Richardson - Rooney, Smith (Evra)
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