Rowell Report: Manchester United memories still great for Sunderland

Phil Bardsley scores in last season's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg

Phil Bardsley scores in last season's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg

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IT’S just over a year ago that Sunderland fans enjoyed one of the great nights in the club’s history when we beat Manchester United on penalties to reach the Capital One Cup final.

The celebrations were wild that night at Old Trafford, as 9,000 Sunderland fans didn’t have to dream of going to Wembley anymore – the team had made it a reality.

To knock United out over two legs was a great achievement, even if it was by the worst penalty shoot-out I’ve ever seen.

But somehow all those missed penalties by both sides added to the drama and when Vito Mannone saved the last spot-kick from Rafael, the Sunderland end of the ground exploded.

I’ve been around a while now and I’ve experienced some great occasions, both as a fan and wearing the red and white shirt myself, but that night at Old Trafford is one of my favourites and up there with the best.

There’s a lot of negativity around our football club at the moment, so it’s great to look back and remember a special night, especially with a trip to that very ground coming up next.