FOOTBALL NEWS

“It will take a couple of days to get over this because a lot of us came into it with great confidence and we felt we were going to win this game. At least we have a good game on Monday (City) but we need to make sure we rally together and win this title with aplomb."

- Chris Smalling

01/04/2013 15:15, Report by Mark Froggatt
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Smalling's derby focus

well and we were on top, playing some good football so a lot of us are disappointed that we didn’t carry that on into the second half, which wasn’t like us.

“We were very confident that we would score today and judging by our first-half performance, we thought we wouldn’t concede either because they didn’t create too many chances - but it was really unlike us not to score.

“In the last half an hour, the game started to stretch which wasn’t ideal for us but before that we felt comfortable as a team and played some good football in the first half. The biggest disappointment is that we didn’t carry that on in the second half. That’s what everyone is really down about.”

Naturally, after defeat in the replay, the mind automatically wanders back to when United were 2-0 up in the initial sixth-round meeting at Old Trafford and seemingly cruising towards the semi-finals - but Smalling says such thinking is futile.

“At the start of the day, we saw this replay as a new challenge and a fresh start so you can’t think about the lead in the first match and what might have been. We need to make sure that we remember this defeat next season and not let it slip again.”

More - Chelsea 1 United 0 report | Photo gallery: Bridge too far | Man of the Match poll

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