Neville's red card and crowd trouble mar United victory

Barnsley 0 Manchester United 2

Mark Robins may once have saved Alex Ferguson's bacon, but he was unable to give his old boss the Barnsley chop on a night of trouble on and off the pitch at Oakwell.

A Manchester United team showing 11 changes from the one that lost to Liverpool were too slick for the side fifth from the foot of the Championship, reaching the fifth round despite the dismissal of Gary Neville shortly after Michael Owen put them 2-0 up. Owen's goal, his third since arriving on a free transfer from Newcastle, increased the lead secured by Danny Welbeck's header in the opening minutes and was hailed by Sir Alex as "fantastic – unbelievably good feet and a marvellous quick finish".

The three-time League Cup winners appeared to be in an unassailable position, but Neville's sending-off by Chris Foy, for clattering into Adam Hammill, forced them to play for 27 minutes with 10 men. Ferguson, who had earlier accepted a charge of improper conduct from the Football Association, did not seek to defend his captain. "He followed through and caught the boy – not high, but just above the ankle," the United manager said. "I think in the present climate the referee was correct."

The tie was further soured by reports that United supporters had wrecked the catering outlets in the North Stand, which could bring the club before the FA again. A Barnsley spokesman confirmed that they have launched a "full investigation" into the incidents, in which tills were looted. Staff, who were forced to barricade themselves in a store room for fear of injury, were later interviewed by the South Yorkshire Police.

Robins, weary of being asked about whether the goal he scored at Nottingham Forest 20 years ago next January really did save Ferguson's job, praised his old club. "They've got quality everywhere," the Barnsley manager said, "whatever team they put out. But look at the stats: we had 17 efforts on goal – you'll be hard-pressed to find any team that makes that many chances against any United side." Pressed to comment on Neville's dismissal, Robins added: "His foot was fairly high, and if he has caught Adam the referee has to make a decision."

Robins may have felt an uneasy sense of déjà vu about United's opener. For, like Robins' effort at the City Ground, it came from a free header. From an Anderson corner, Welbeck headed firmly past Luke Steele, the former United reserve goalkeeper. And unlike Robins in the quagmire, he did not have Stuart Pearce breathing down his neck.

Welbeck, bringing down a pass by Anderson, might have doubled United's tally within minutes but for a sprawling save by Steele. At that point, United's second string looked as if they were enjoying a kick-about at Carrington.

Like their Championship hosts, however, they proved fallible in the face of a set-piece speared into the six-yard box, Stephen Foster meeting Hammill's corner with a header that smacked the bar on its way over. The near-miss galvanised Barnsley. Their Libya-born striker Daniel Bogdanovic caused problems with his robust approach, once sending a low cross which was just too far ahead of Hugo Colace as it flashed across the goal.

Memories are fresh in Barnsley of their epic victories over Liverpool and Chelsea en route to the FA Cup semi-finals last year. They kept probing admirably, but after Bogdanovic evaded Rafael da Siilva, and fed Anderson da Silva, he skewed his shot wide. By that stage Welbeck had left the fray. It said much for the depth of United's resources that the player who replaced him, Zoran Tosic, is a full international with Serbia and may yet be playing in next year's World Cup finals.

Whether the same can be said for Owen still appears unlikely, yet in the 59th minute he confirmed he still has much to offer. Receiving a throw-in from Fabio da Silva, he turned, nutmegged Darren Moore and broke into the penalty area before driving the ball with the outside of his right foot beyond Steele and into the far corner of the net.

Four minutes later, Neville fouled Hammill, a Liverpudlian, and the pair exchanged shoves. Mr Foy reached straight for the red card for the veteran defender, the fourth United have incurred this season.

Barnsley (4-4-2): Steele; Kozluk, Foster, Moore, Gray; Anderson de Silva (Campbell-Ryce, 71), Hallfredsson, Colace (Butterfield, 77), Hammill; Macken (Hume, 65), Bogdanovic. Substitutes not used: Preece (gk),Hassell, Thompson, Devaney.

Manchester United (4-4-2): Foster; Neville, Brown, J Evans, Fabio; Obertan, Rafael, Anderson, Welbeck (Tosic, 53); Owen (De Laet, 65), Macheda. Substitutes not used: Amos (gk), O'Shea, C Evans, King, James.

Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).

11

Changes Sir Alex Ferguson made to his starting line-up for last night's tie with Barnsley.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on