August 2013Smalling made only one appearance in the first month of the season, from the bench, against Wigan in the Community Shield at Wembley.
With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic reinstated to the Reds' starting XI, Smalling continued to find opportunities hard to come by early in the month. However, he reprised his role as right-back against Bayer Leverkusen and Manchester City, before moving back into the heart of the defence, spearheading United’s defensive shut-out in the 1-0 Capital One Cup win over Liverpool.
Smalling grabbed his opportunity in the United side as injuries to Ferdinand and Vidic created a opportunity for the Reds’ no.12 to make his mark on the campaign. The defender featured in all of United’s seven fixtures as the champions rallied after some disappointing results.
Smalling was part of the United backline that kept consecutive clean sheets against Real Sociedad and Arsenal, and then impressed at the other end when he scored in the 5-0 hammering of Bayer Leverkusen.