Two Manchester United players may not be too happy despite their side's win over Stoke.
It wasn't pleasant, especially in the first half, but Manchester United overcame Stoke City at the Britannia to win 2-0 and progress to the League Cup semi-finals.
David Moyes picked a relatively strong side, and it's fair to say there were a couple of players in the line-up playing for their futures.
Ashley Young will grab the headlines, thanks to his superb opening goal which he celebrated rapturously with teammates and the travelling fans.
The winger has been out of form for almost two years now, and was linked recently with a return to former club Aston Villa, before netting his first goal in 36 games tonight.
This goal could be the confidence lift he needed, and give him a spark to kick on over the festive period. It is a lifeline, but if he fails to take it - it'll just be one to add to his YouTube highlight reel, and to impress potential clubs looking to sign him in January.
Midfielder Anderson is one who is considered even closer to an Old Trafford exit. The Brazilian was picked to start the game, his first since September 29, with only a small number of substitute appearances since.
This was his big night to impress, and while he didn't have a shocker, he did little to convince he deserves a more regular starting spot, or will be threatening to keep any new signings out of the side.
With the League Cup usually used to give run-outs to fringe players, Anderson was Moyes' joker in the pack tonight, and it's hard to see him winning another start between now and January.
While there may be a need to rotate between now and New Year, it could well turn out to be his last ever game for United.
One player who didn't even get that far was winger Wilfried Zaha, who was picked in the last round to start against Norwich.
He was named as a substitute but David Moyes did not give the new £15 million signing an opportunity. Zaha starred for Crystal Palace away at Stoke in the League Cup last season and would have fancied his chances of a repeat.
It further indicates the England under-21 winger is not in the manager's immediate plans, lending credence to increasing rumours he will be loaned out in January, with West Brom and Newcastle recently linked.
Tonight should have been an opportunity for them both. One got it, one didn't - and the one that did failed to seize it.
image: © nasmac