23/09/2009 20:06, Report by Steve Bartram
United 1 Wolves 0
A superb goal from Danny Welbeck took United through to the fourth round of the Carling Cup, but the reigning holders were made to work for their progress after surviving the first-half dismissal of Fabio.
The Brazilian full-back was red-carded just before the half-hour mark for hauling down Michael Kightly as the last man, but Welbeck popped up midway through the second half with a wonderfully crisp finish, bagging his first goal of the season at a perfect time.
The England youth international provided the outstanding moment of quality in a largely bitty affair. Clear-cut chances were at a premium, with Wolves' ambition barely galvanised by their numerical advantage.
Predictably, Sir Alex Ferguson made wholesale changes from the side which edged Sunday's epic Manchester derby. Only Michael Owen and Michael Carrick, both late substitutes against the Blues, started against Mick McCarthy's side. An influx of youth and fringe players prevailed, with senior squad debutants Joshua King and Magnus Eikrem named on the bench.
United bossed possession from the first whistle, but were frequently denied by stout defending from the visitors. On the rare occasions an opening presented itself, goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann was quick to spot the danger, clutching one particularly dangerous cross from Nani when Owen was lurking.
It was the visitors who came closest to an opening goal, however, when Sylvan Ebanks-Blake fashioned space, swivelled and curled a 20 yard shot just over Kuszczak's goal. The former United striker was asking plenty of questions of Wes Brown and Jonny Evans, but the Reds' central defensive partnership largely kept the 23-year-old on a short leash.
Wolves' most promising first half foray ended in disaster for United. Brown and Stefan Maierhofer leapt for the