Sir Alex apologies to fans as Palace knock them from Cup

Sir Alex says sorry to Old Trafford fans as brave Palace stun champions

Man U -1 Crystal Palace – 2

Sir Alex Ferguson apologised to Manchester United fans after his side were knocked out of the Carling Cup at home by Crystal Palace.

Solemn: Sir Alex Ferguson was far from pleased with his side's performanceGlenn Murray’s extra-time header won it for the visitors and Ferguson said: ‘That was not a Manchester United performance, and I have to apologise to our supporters. I don’t want to take anything away from Palace, because it was a fantastic, mammoth effort from their players.

‘Every one of them worked their socks off for a place in the semis, and I hope they reach the final now. But I’m very disappointed with the way we played. When it went to extra-time, I thought we must win, but it was not to be.

‘The second goal was offside, and it seems we are not having much luck with linesmen at the moment. But that’s not to detract from the way Palace fought so hard to get the result they deserved. They played their part in what was a hard, hard game, physically.

‘We had a lot of possession but just didn’t do anything with it. Their keeper didn’t have a save to make in the first half. There was too much short passing, but I don’t want to go into the ins and outs. We were beaten, and it was a very disappointing night for Manchester United.

‘It was hard for the youngsters, with the team not playing well around them, but it won’t do them any harm.’

The goal by journeyman striker Murray, who has played for the likes of Workington, Carlisle, Rochdale and Brighton, secured a semi-final tie against fellow Championship side Cardiff.

Palace manager Dougie Freedman (left), whose side avoided Barclays Premier League giants Liverpool and Manchester City, said: ‘Cardiff are an exceptional side, full of quality players, and it will be a very difficult task.

‘But this has been a wonderful night for the club, especially after all the difficulties we have been through. It was a real privilege coming here, and it’s great that we not only won but deserved to.

‘The players have a real belief in each other, and they showed a lot of desire to see the game out. That takes you a long way.’