JOHN O’SHEA says Sunderland’s Capital One Cup semi-final victory is among his most memorable nights at Old Trafford.
The Sunderland skipper spent 12 years at Manchester United, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side lifting five league titles, an FA Cup, three League Cups and the Champions League during his time at the club.
But O’Shea insists sealing a place at Wembley with Sunderland ranks among them after almost 9,000 euphoric travelling fans saw the Black Cats seal a place in their first major final since the 1992 FA Cup final.
O’Shea told the Echo: “It’s up there, it’s got to be.
“I was in the shower afterwards, thinking ‘what has just happened?’
“Hopefully there will be one or two more nights like this.
“For the fans to witness that occasion was amazing. You can imagine the emotions we had, but for those that travelled down, they must have floated back to the North East.”
O’Shea admits he thought the tie was over when Phil Bardsley levelled the scores on the night and gave Sunderland the lead on aggregate with just a minute remaining of extra time.
But Manchester United were level seconds later when Javier Hernandez sent the game to penalties.
O’Shea says Sunderland were emotionally shattered by that hammer blow, but revealed how head coach Gus Poyet picked his players up before the spot-kicks.
“We thought that was it – it was done when Phil scored,” added the Republic of Ireland international.
“It was so emotionally draining after Untied scored that second goal with 10 seconds to go.
“But the courage the boys showed was amazing.
“We will be practising penalties for sure! I’ve never seen a scoreline like that in a shoot-out.
“But maybe because the boys had put so much into the game, their bodies must have been like jelly and that scoreline was incredible.
“The manager spoke to us before the penalties and he said ‘Believe, where you put the ball and Vito (Mannone) will save a couple.’ It was great to see that happen.
“When Vito saved the last penalty, we were jumping around everywhere and it was incredible stuff.”