The tough part of being a boss is leaving out players who don't deserve to be dropped, and Sir Alex Ferguson had difficult decisions to make last night.
Until Nani's red card, Ferguson had appeared to get his selection spot on with United then heading for victory. Nevertheless there are four players who will feel hard done by not to have featured more in the two legs:
After bagging a hattrick against Norwich at the weekend Shinji Kagawa would have fancied his chances of starting last night's fixture. Instead he was selected on the bench, but what's worse is he wasn't brought on to try and change the game. Kagawa was bought by United for this type of match, and to not get the opportunity to show what he can do, while his former Borussia Dortmund teammates reached the last eight, will have hurt him.
Jonny Evans has been United's most consistent and best defender this season, and for much of last, so will have been disappointed to be dropped. Vidic and Ferdinand didn't do much wrong, but Evans has shown that he can handle the big occasion too and deserved a starting spot.
If any player can feel hard done by not to feature at all over the two legs it's Javier Hernandez. Robin van Persie had 10 shots on goal over the two matches and didn't score a single one. Would Chicharito have been more clinical? You bet. Somehow the Mexican has slipped down to fourth choice in the pecking order. Danny Welbeck was excellent, but Hernandez surely was deserving of bringing off the bench.
Wayne Rooney was the most high profile casualty of Sir Alex's team selection before kick-off, and he'll still be scratching his head this morning trying to work out why he was dropped. It's amazing United didn't find space for either Kagawa or Rooney, and it's hard to believe Nani did a better job than either of them would, even before his sending off.
Who was the unluckiest of the four?
image: © Marcel Sigg