The Man United team that lost to MK Dons two years ago shows just how much change there's been

There aren’t many players left from that eventful night in Milton Keynes.


TONIGHT SEES A number of Premier League clubs feature in the second round of the League Cup.

Some heavyweights like Liverpool and Chelsea are in action and the competition always conjures some standout giant-killing moments.

One of the most recent was when Manchester United faced MK Dons almost two years ago exactly.

It was early days of the Louis van Gaal reign and the Dutchman had already struggled through his first two games – losing 2-1 at home to Swansea and then being held 1-1 by Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

As usual, United played a second-string side against the League One outfit but could still count on the experience of David de Gea, Jonny Evans, Shinji Kagawa, Anderson, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez.

Source: MKDons FC/YouTube

But, despite the talent, they were humiliated.

Evans’ mistake after 25 minutes gifted the opener to Will Grigg (yes, the same one).

Just past the hour mark and the Dons grabbed a second. Another giveaway from United led to Ben Reeves sending in a perfect cross for Griggs to chest home.

Reeves then set up Benik Afobe to rifle home a third before more horror defending from United allowed him power through to make it 4-0 with six minutes left.

That evening, van Gaal selected a number of youngsters and senior players with a lot to prove.

It proved a death knell for the likes of Anderson and Welbeck while Kagawa went off injured after only 20 minutes. He’d never play for the club again. What an ignominious end to his United career.

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Some of the raw, inexperienced players did remain involved with the senior side under van Gaal.

James Wilson, Paddy McNair and Tom Thorpe all got game time while Andreas Pereira remains at the club.

But, damningly, he – along with Wilson and David de Gea – are the only three remaining players involved in that loss two years that are still with United.

So much change in such a short space of time.

Man United squad (that lost 4-0 to MK Dons on 26 August 2014):

Starting XI: David de Gea (Man United), Jonny Evans (West Brom, Marnick Vermiji (Sheffield Wednesday), Saidy Janko (Celtic), Michael Keane (Burnley), Reece James (Wigan), Nick Powell (Wigan), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), Anderson (Internacional), Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).

Subs: Ben Amos (Bolton), Paddy McNair (Sunderland), Tom Thorpe (Rotherham), Adnan Januzaj (Sunderland), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Andreas Pereira (Man United), James Wilson (Man United).

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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