Manchester United’s defence of the Carabao Cup ended as Bristol City struck a stoppage-time winner at Ashton Gate.
Joe Bryan had put the home side ahead with a superb drive before Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his first start of the season with a well-taken equaliser. And, after both sides missed further chances, Korey Smith struck the Robins’ winner in the 93rd minute to spark wild celebrations among the Championship side’s fans.
It was a heartbreaking end to an entertaining tie in which both sides played their part, with ex-United goalkeeper Luke Steele making several saves to deny his former club. Jose Mourinho’s men must now focus on Premier League matters over the Christmas period.
Josh Brownhill produced the first chance of the match after Paul Pogba brought down Marlon Pack in the United half. Brownhill’s free-kick was powerful but down the middle of the goal and that allowed Sergio Romero to tip it over the bar.
The Reds were knocking on the door moments later as Anthony Martial found Ibrahimovic at the back post and, despite the angle, he appeared to have Steele beaten, only for his deflected effort to hit the crossbar and stay out.
With the match nearing the latter stages, both sides looked keen to find a winner in normal time, as City brought on Matty Taylor and United introduced Romelu Lukaku and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
United pushed for a winner and Bryan had to make a last-ditch tackle after Luke Shaw had played Rashford in behind, before Lukaku forced Steele into two diving saves with a header and a low shot.
It was to be the hosts that would claim the victory, however, as Smith found the net from close range, prompting jubilant celebrations from the home fans and a pitch invasion at full-time.