Stunning strikes from Ashley Young and Patrice Evra against Stoke set Manchester United up for a Capital One Cup semi-final against Sunderland.

Rain hindered the flow of the first half, with play temporarily suspended in the 29th minute because of hail.

But then Young lit up the match with an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box which gave United the lead.

Evra then made sure of their place in the last four with a rare curling right-footed effort.

There was a time when a Manchester United manager used this competition to blood the squad's youngsters.

But, unlike his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes does not have two decades of unprecedented success to cushion him from the criticisms which would have come his way had his team lost this tie.

United's inconsistency in the Premier League this season, which has left them 10 points adrift of league leaders Arsenal, combined with Moyes's desire to secure a first trophy of the new United era, meant it was unsurprising the Scot selected a team full of familiar names.

LUCKY 13 FOR UNITED?

  • Man Utd have now reached the League Cup semi-finals for the 13th time. Only Arsenal, Villa & Liverpool (all 14) have done better
  • Patrice Evra has never scored in the Premier League with his right foot.

The injured Wayne Rooney, however, was one star name missing from the squad, though his manager said before the match that he hoped the England striker would be available for the busy festive season.

For the majority of the game, those United players charged with replacing the effervescence usually supplied by injured strikers Rooney and Robin van Persie lacked poise and composure, and even after an hour the weather continued to overshadow the football as a talking point.

It was arguably a blessing the players were given the chance to regroup midway through the first half as no-one had stood out, although the men on the pitch could rightly blame the gusts and heavy rain for making life difficult.

United did begin with gusto, with Young hitting the side-netting in the second minute after being put through by Danny Welbeck.

But the visitors failed to maintain that attacking urgency and after an uneventful half-hour, the skies opened and dumped hailstones over the Britannia Stadium.

Peter Crouch shields himself from the hail

Referee Mark Clattenburg said he was unable to see the players and quickly called them from the pitch, with the teams re-emerging 10 minutes later when the elements were a little calmer.

The players leave the pitch due to hail

Ultimately, it will be a match remembered for the weather and Young's show-stopping strike. The forward stylishly grabbed the opener after a clever one-two with substitute Javier Hernandez, who had been on the pitch for only a matter of minutes.

Jonathan Walters nearly inspired a Stoke fightback, the striker first launching a dangerous cross across the box, which Chris Smalling had to head away, before wasting two great chances to restore parity.

Stoke paid the price for their profligacy and it was another superb goal which ended the home team's hopes, with Evra weaving in from the left and beating Thomas Sorensen with his weaker foot.

Manchester United manager David Moyes:

"The conditions, especially in the first half, made it really difficult for the players.

"I think the first goal, whoever scored, was going to make a big difference.

"It was a tight game. I don't think Stoke created too many chances, either.

"Manchester United Football Club are used to winning trophies, it's just business as usual, but I've got to say we're all delighted that we're in the semi-final."

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes:

"I thought we made a fair fist of it in the first half against all the elements and thought we were in decent shape.

"Our organisation was good, United weren't creating too many chances. But United, on the night, deserved to win.

"They just had a little bit more power and pace. We weren't able to ask enough questions of them in the second half."

Check out the best photos from tonight's Capital One Cup ties on the BBC Sport Facebook page. 

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (4)

Stoke City

  • 29 Sørensen
  • 20 Cameron
  • 03 Pieters
  • 06 Whelan
  • 17 Shawcross (Adam - 76' )
  • 12 Wilson
  • 19 Walters
  • 08 Palacios
  • 25 Crouch
  • 32 Ireland
  • 24 Assaidi (Arnautovic - 62' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Begovic
  • 05 Muniesa
  • 07 Pennant
  • 09 Jones
  • 10 Arnautovic
  • 16 Adam
  • 28 Wilkinson

Manchester United

  • 01 de Gea
  • 02 Rafael
  • 03 Evra
  • 04 Jones
  • 12 Smalling
  • 06 Evans
  • 23 Cleverley
  • 08 Anderson (Hernández - 58' )
  • 19 Welbeck (Fletcher - 82' )
  • 25 Antonio Valencia
  • 18 Young Booked

Substitutes

  • 14 Hernández
  • 17 Nani
  • 24 Fletcher
  • 26 Kagawa
  • 28 Büttner
  • 29 Zaha
  • 50 Johnstone
Ref: Mark Clattenburg
Att: 25,928

Match Stats

Shots

12 12

On target

0 5

Corners

6 9

Fouls

11 9

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Stoke City 0, Manchester United 2.

90:00 +3:01 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Stoke City 0, Manchester United 2.

90:00 +2:46

Attempt missed. Glenn Whelan (Stoke City) right footed shot from more than 40 yards on the right wing misses to the right.

90:00 +0:54

Attempt missed. Charlie Adam (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Glenn Whelan.

87:17

Ashley Young (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

87:17

Foul by Glenn Whelan (Stoke City).

86:29

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Jonny Evans.

85:34

Attempt missed. Stephen Ireland (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

85:10

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Rafael.

84:53

Attempt saved. Javier Hernández (Manchester United) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.

83:10

Attempt blocked. Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marc Wilson.

82:05

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Jonny Evans.

81:32 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Darren Fletcher replaces Danny Welbeck.

80:20

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Erik Pieters.

79:41

Tom Cleverley (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:41

Foul by Charlie Adam (Stoke City).

77:38 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Stoke City 0, Manchester United 2. Patrice Evra (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Ashley Young.

75:59 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Stoke City. Charlie Adam replaces Ryan Shawcross because of an injury.

75:32

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

74:28

Delay in match Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City) because of an injury.

73:26

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Jonny Evans.

73:23

Attempt blocked. Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Peter Crouch.

70:54

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Luis Antonio Valencia.

68:36

Offside, Stoke City. Marko Arnautovic tries a through ball, but Jonathan Walters is caught offside.

66:40

Attempt missed. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

65:49

Attempt missed. Wilson Palacios (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Stephen Ireland.

64:40

Foul by Jonny Evans (Manchester United).

64:40

Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:10

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Erik Pieters.

62:52

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Ryan Shawcross.

62:05 Booking

Booking Ashley Young (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

61:31 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Stoke City 0, Manchester United 1. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Javier Hernández.

61:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Stoke City. Marko Arnautovic replaces Oussama Assaidi.

61:00

Ashley Young (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:00

Foul by Wilson Palacios (Stoke City).

60:18

Attempt missed. Danny Welbeck (Manchester United) header from the left side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Ashley Young with a cross following a corner.

59:51

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Marc Wilson.

59:36

Ashley Young (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

59:36

Foul by Stephen Ireland (Stoke City).

57:44

Chris Smalling (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

57:44

Foul by Stephen Ireland (Stoke City).

57:03 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Javier Hernández replaces Anderson.

56:45

Hand ball by Patrice Evra (Manchester United).

54:47

Patrice Evra (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

54:47

Foul by Glenn Whelan (Stoke City).

54:12

Attempt blocked. Peter Crouch (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Geoff Cameron with a cross.

52:41

Attempt missed. Anderson (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Danny Welbeck.

50:55

Attempt missed. Glenn Whelan (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

50:25

Attempt missed. Patrice Evra (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Tom Cleverley with a cross following a corner.

50:02

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Erik Pieters.

49:58

Attempt blocked. Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Danny Welbeck.

49:48

Hand ball by Wilson Palacios (Stoke City).

45:00

Second Half begins Stoke City 0, Manchester United 0.

45:00 +2:10 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Stoke City 0, Manchester United 0.

45:00 +1:44

Offside, Stoke City. Marc Wilson tries a through ball, but Jonathan Walters is caught offside.

45:00 +1:04

Attempt missed. Chris Smalling (Manchester United) header from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Tom Cleverley with a cross following a corner.

45:00 +0:43

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Ryan Shawcross.

44:54

Attempt missed. Glenn Whelan (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

44:10

Foul by Anderson (Manchester United).

44:10

Glenn Whelan (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

44:03

Attempt blocked. Oussama Assaidi (Stoke City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonathan Walters with a headed pass.

42:58

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

41:53

Delay in match Wilson Palacios (Stoke City) because of an injury.

41:27

Foul by Tom Cleverley (Manchester United).

41:27

Wilson Palacios (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:04

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Erik Pieters.

33:58

Foul by Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

33:58

Erik Pieters (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:10

Ashley Young (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

32:10

Foul by Geoff Cameron (Stoke City).

31:50

Foul by Ashley Young (Manchester United).

31:50

Geoff Cameron (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:15

Offside, Stoke City. Stephen Ireland tries a through ball, but Oussama Assaidi is caught offside.

30:03

Offside, Stoke City. Stephen Ireland tries a through ball, but Oussama Assaidi is caught offside.

29:38

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Chris Smalling.

28:40

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

28:39

Delay in match (Manchester United).

28:30

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Marc Wilson.

24:49

Attempt saved. Tom Cleverley (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

23:11

Patrice Evra (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

23:11

Foul by Jonathan Walters (Stoke City).

22:00

Attempt saved. Anderson (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Danny Welbeck.

20:57

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Geoff Cameron.

20:44

Tom Cleverley (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:44

Foul by Wilson Palacios (Stoke City).

18:29

Attempt missed. Oussama Assaidi (Stoke City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Glenn Whelan.

17:47

Foul by Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).

17:47

Wilson Palacios (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:06

Foul by Wilson Palacios (Stoke City).

11:06

Tom Cleverley (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

10:13

Attempt missed. Geoff Cameron (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jonathan Walters.

5:15

Offside, Stoke City. Erik Pieters tries a through ball, but Peter Crouch is caught offside.

4:50

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

4:22

Delay in match Patrice Evra (Manchester United) because of an injury.

2:53

Attempt missed. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Danny Welbeck.

2:05

Offside, Stoke City. Thomas Sørensen tries a through ball, but Peter Crouch is caught offside.

1:39

Marc Wilson (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:39

Foul by Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

0:39

Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

0:39

Foul by Patrice Evra (Manchester United).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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