Just a day after Fabio Capello described him as his "tormentor", Michael Owen kept up the pressure on England's manager to pick him with a superb goal in Manchester United's 2-0 victory over Barnsley in the Carling Cup last night. Not everything went to plan for United, though, as Gary Neville was sent off for serious foul play after he was deemed to have made a high tackle on Adam Hammill.
Sir Alex Ferguson was effusive in his praise for Owen and, perhaps surprisingly, accepted that Neville deserved to be sent off. "It was a fantastic goal [by Owen], he had such quick feet, it was a marvellous finish," Ferguson said afterwards. "Gary did follow through with the tackle and caught the player. It was not high, just above the ankle, but in the present climate I would say that the referee was probably correct."
Danny Welbeck had put a young United team ahead after six minutes but it did not prove a cakewalk for the visitors. While Barnsley had their moments, the manager Mark Robins, once of Old Trafford, will be disappointed that his side only managed to get the ball in the net when two home supporters invaded the field and kicked the ball into the goal whilst United 'keeper Ben Foster was preparing to take a goal-kick.
Also into the quarter-finals are Tottenham, who enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 victory at White Hart Lane over Everton. Tom Huddlestone opened the scoring for the Londoners, who have reached the final in the last two seasons, with a sweetly-hit drive that beat Tim Howard. Robbie Keane struck the home side's second on the rebound having missed a penalty.