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Where are they now… The Manchester United XI v Coventry City in 2007 as FA Cup semi-final approaches

Manchester United face Coventry City this weekend in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, a huge game for manager Erik ten Hag.

Erik ten Hag‘s side are heavy favourites to win the game, but there are no guarantees. Just ask Sir Alex Ferguson, who saw his Manchester United team defeated by Coventry City at Old Trafford back in 2007.

One of the players in the starting line-up that day still remarkably plays for Manchester United.

If you have forgotten that particular match, we can’t blame you. So let’s take a trip down memory lane…

Manchester United v Coventry City
Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images

Manchester United XI v Coventry City in 2007

Sir Alex Ferguson selected one of his most experimental line-ups ever when Coventry City visited Old Trafford in 2007 for an EFL Cup clash.

And he paid the price, with the Red Devils dumped out of the cup by Maltese striker Michael Mifsud scoring a brace in a 2-0 away win.

When you look at the line-up below, it is not a surprise. These players went on to have wildly varied careers.

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Where are they now…

Tomasz Kuszcsak: After 61 total appearances as a back-up to Edwin van der Sar, Tomasz Kuszcsak left Manchester United for Brighton in 2012. He retired in 2019 after four seasons at Birmingham City. He currently works as Poland’s goalkeeper coach.

Phil Bardsley: Phil Bardsley announced his retirement in June 2023 after a spell with Stockport County. He currently works as a pundit for MUTV. He made more than 400 professional appearances including 18 for Manchester United, with long spells at Sunderland, Stoke City and Burnley.

Jonny Evans: Jonny Evans made an unlikely return to Manchester United last summer when he signed a one-year deal. He has more than 100 caps with Northern Ireland, and won the Premier League with Manchester United three times, plus the FA Cup with Leicester City.

Manchester United v Coventry City
Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Gerard Pique: After being part of Manchester United’s Champions League winning squad later in 2007/08, Gerard Pique returned to Barcelona, where he lifted the trophy against United a year later. And that was just the start. He retired last season after more than 600 club appearances, nine La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues with Barcelona, and one World Cup win with Spain.

Danny Simpson: Danny Simpson left United in 2010 after five loan spells and saw his career kick on at Newcastle. His real success came as a regular in the Leicester City team which won the Premier League in 2015/16. He retired in 2022 after a stint with Bristol City, and like Bardsley, is a pundit for MUTV.

John O’Shea: This game was during the spell Sir Alex experimented with John O’Shea as a central midfielder. Another MUTV pundit, O’Shea retired in 2019 after a stint with Reading. He made 393 appearances for United and went onto play more than 250 times for Sunderland, who he joined in 2011.

Anderson: This game was one of Anderson’s first in a Manchester United shirt after his big money move from Porto. Within a year, he was a Champions League and Premier League winner. He did not quite fulfil his potential, only scoring nine goals in 181 appearances, leaving the club in 2015. He retired in 2020 after a spell with Turkish second tier side Adana Demirspor.

Manchester United v Coventry City
Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Lee Martin: This was one of three appearances Lee Martin played for Manchester United after a £1 million move from Wimbledon as a teenager. He has had a varied career through the Football League since, and is one of three players along with Evans who is still playing. He is active at non-league level. After spells at Ebbsfleet and then Dover, the 36-year-old is now with Ramsgate.

Nani: On the other wing was Portuguese dribbler Nani, who like Anderson, was just getting settled at Old Trafford. He is still playing too, currently playing for the club the Brazilian ended his career with, Adana Demirspor, after a spell in Australia with Melbourne Victory. The 36-year-old played 230 times for Manchester United, scoring 40 goals.

Chris Eagles: Chris Eagles made his debut in the EFL Cup in 2003. This game was one of six appearances he made in 2007/08, 18 total for the club. He then left to join Burnley. Eagles made 423 professional appearances in total, and retired in 2020 after a stint with Oldham Athletic.

Dong Fangzhuo (L) of Manchester United f
Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP via Getty Images

Dong Fanghzou: Manchester United’s only ever Chinese player, Dong Fangzhou made his Champions League debut weeks after this against Roma. But after the 2007/08 season, his time was up. His contract was terminated and he returned to his homeland. His career did not take off, with spells in Armenia, Poland and Portugal before he retired in 2014.

Substitutes used: Wes Brown, Fraizer Campbell, Michael Carrick.

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