The Reds were beaten on penalties after both teams failed to score in 120 minutes. Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Ashley Young all missed as ‘Boro won the shootout 3-1 and Man United’s chances of winning the first silverware on offer this season disappeared.
It was a poor performance from United, who seemed short of ideas and struggled hugely to break down their opposition.
After a such a dismal night, it is important the team puts it behind them as quick as possible, something Smalling is urging them to do against Crystal Palace this weekend.
“Everyone’s very flat in the dressing room. I think we put in our all for the entire 120 minutes and I think as the game got on we got stronger. We had quite a lot of chances but it just didn’t break our way today,” he said after the game.
“I think we’ll take the disappointment tonight but tomorrow we need to turn our attentions immediately to Saturday, because it’s another big game, an away game, and we need a response from tonight.”
United will have their work cut out when they make the trip to London to take on Palace. The Eagles have made an impressive start to the season and currently lie in seventh in the Premier League, just five points behind their opponents. After a disappointing 0-0 draw with Manchester City, United will be eager to get their title push back on track.
Anything less than a win will be a poor result for the Reds, who have to keep tabs on Arsenal and City ahead of them in the league. United are without a goal in their last two games and supporters will be hoping the firepower returns for the trip to Selhurst Park.