United's scorers were pleased with the team's progress, if not entirely by the performance, after booking a place in the Carling Cup quarter-finals.
Danny Welbeck and Michael Owen admitted the Reds could have played better against Barnsley - a tie that threatened to become tricky for the champions.
Owen said: "We didn’t play as well as we could have, especially in the first half when we were average. But we’re happy to be through."
"We needed to pass the ball a bit more," concurred Welbeck, "but the team controlled the game in the second half. The young players did well and the experienced players helped us massively."
Welbeck was especially grateful to Anderson for setting up his early goal. "Anderson said he was going to hit it to the front post so I thought I could get it. The area was free so I drifted in and got my head onto it."
Owen doubled United's lead after the break and conceded that his goal may colour press perceptions of his display. "That’s how people judge me unfortunately," he said.
"I started the recent game against Bolton, we won 2-1 and when I came off I was pleased. I thought I’d played really well but didn’t score. When I looked in the papers the next day, I was given threes and fours out of ten! Tonight I played pretty average but I’ve scored so I’ll probably get a six or a seven."
Eight might be the number on Welbeck's mind, with the Reds now in the last eight of the competition won last season at Wembley. "It's great to go far in the cups. I'm already looking forward to the quarter-finals. We'll enjoy it and do our best."