Nemanja Vidic does not want to go through the drama of another penalty shoot-out in Sunday’s Carling Cup final. Instead, he says the Reds are determined to do the business inside 90 minutes for the first time at the new Wembley.
Vidic returned to action for his first outing in 2010 in the 3-0 league win over West Ham on Tuesday, and he is likely to start alongside Wes Brown or Jonny Evans in the centre of United’s defence against Aston Villa.
The Serbian is looking forward to playing in a final so soon after resuming first-team duties, but the prospect of penalties is something he says the players would rather avoid.
“Wembley is a great place, it’ll be a full stadium and it’s always nice to play in a final,” he told MUTV. “But I hope we do well and finish before 90 minutes – we don’t want penalties again!”
Five of United's six visits to the new Wembley have had to resort to a shoot-out, the other ending with extra-time defeat to Chelsea, just three minutes away from spot-kicks.
United have won three and lost three of those six outings at the national stadium, beating Chelsea (2007, 3-0 pens) and Portsmouth (2008 3-1 pens) in the Community Shield and, of course, Tottenham (2009, 4-2 pens) in last year's Carling Cup final.
FA Cup defeats to Chelsea (2007 final, 1-0 AET) and Everton (2009 semi, 4-2 pens) still rankle, while Chelsea clinched the Community Shield last summer after a 2-2 draw in 90 minutes resulted in the Blues winning 4-1 on spot-kicks.
Sir Alex Ferguson admitted on Thursday that his team had not yet practiced spot-kicks, but he said they will do before Sunday’s final.