Dimitar Berbatov cleared off the line twice as United beat Leeds 3-0 in the League Cup last night. Later in the game, he switched to play as a centre back, Ezekiel Fryers’ cramp, who was making his debut in defence.

Michael Owen has said it is no surprise Berba volunteered for the role, given that the Bulgarian sometimes plays there in training.

“Berba can play there, he does it occasionally in training,” said Owen. “It was no surprise when he put his hand up and said he would do it.”

Berbatov put in a good shift in defence, but Owen was also happy with his own contribution, after scoring two goals.

“I am very satisfied,” he said. “It is great to play in such a good team that is so full of confidence. We killed the game in the first half. They didn’t want to lose by five or six, so they stuck one up front and made it a bit more compact after half-time. We managed to contain them and they hardly had a kick until the last minute. All in all, it was a good night.”