United are another step closer to retaining the Carling Cup after seeing off a spirited challenge from Championship side Barnsley.
The Reds made the perfect start at Oakwell, taking a sixth-minute lead when Danny Welbeck buried a free header from Anderson’s right-wing corner. A masterclass in finishing from Michael Owen early in the second half sealed a place in the last eight of the competition, despite Gary Neville's red card then reducing United to ten men.
The night was also notable for Gabriel Obertan's senior debut, more than three months after signing for United. The Frenchman completed a full 90 minutes, switching from one flank to another and showing flashes of promise.
Obertan started on the right and helped to create United's early breakthrough with a jinking run on that flank. The corner he forced was whipped in by Anderson and although he had defenders on either side of him, Welbeck was unchallenged as he nodded the ball past former United goalkeeper Luke Steele.
The cool-as-you-like youngster nearly had a second reason to show us his Usain Bolt style celebration when he killed a ball into the Barnsley box with a sublime first touch and fired in a low strike that Steele did well to save. It was an impressive move, even if Owen was in a position that cried out for a pass rather than a shot from Welbeck. A third chance for Welbeck was more difficult, his header sailing high and wide from Obertan's cross.
Corner kicks at the other end threatened to give Barnsley a way back into the contest. Daniel Bogdanovic came the closest to an equaliser when he beat Federico Macheda at the near post and clipped the outside of the woodwork with his header. Tykes skipper and boyhood United fan Steve Foster caused further moments of alarm for Foster and his back four when he met corners