Football: Fergie's Left Mif-Fed as United Slide; CARLING CUP THIRD ROUND ACTION AND ANALYSIS Man Utd 0 Coventry 2
Byline: David McDONNELL
SIR ALEX FERGUSON and his Manchester United youngsters were bitten by the man dubbed the Mosquito last night and sent spinning out of the Carling Cup.
In front of a virtual sell-out crowd of 74,055 at Old Trafford, Fergie gave the world a glimpse of the next generation of his superstars but they came unstuck against Iain Dowie's spirited Championship battlers.
Coventry's hero was striker Michael Mifsud, who according to City assistant boss Tim Flowers gets his nickname because "he's always buzzing around and once he gets behind defenders, they aren't going to catch him".
United defenders Gerard Pique and Jonny Evans will testify to that assessment of the Maltese striker, who left both flat-footed as he put Coventry ahead on 27 minutes.
There was no place for Wayne Rooney even on the United bench and the only senior player in an almost unrecognisable line-up was stand-in skipper John O'Shea, with recent signings Nani and Anderson brought in to bolster an inexperienced side.
Fergie did not waver from his policy of using the competition to give youth and fringe players a taste of first-team action.
He made 11 changes from the side that beat Chelsea 2-0 on Sunday, while Coventry counterpart Dowie made five changes from a line-up that lost 4-1 at Ipswich on Satueday.
But there was little quality on offer for a record Carling Cup crowd early on, with the only glimmer of a chance coming on five minutes when Coventry keeper Andy Marshall raced off his line to meet an under-hit backpass.
His clearance fell invitingly for Nani, but the Portugal international ballooned his effort way over the bar. …