Manchester United 5 Burton Albion 0
It would have made for surely the biggest shock in FA Cup history if they'd pulled it off.
But Old Trafford was still a theatre of broken dreams for Nigel Clough's brave Burton Albion last night as the non-League minnows did exactly what was expected of them.
Another gutsy showing it might have been, to match the one Burton had put on in the first game. But, with one change to the Manchester United team that had started at the Pirelli Stadium, Sir Alex Ferguson's lesser-known fledglings this time made no mistake.
Five quality goals, two scored and two made by United starlet Giuseppe Rossi, proved enough to finally highlight the obvious gulf in class between the Nationwide Conference and the Barclay-card Premiership Reserve League.
Not that being so outplayed would have caused too much despondency for Burton's players, most of whom were experiencing the greatest night of their lives.
Given the amount of noise made by the reportedly 11,000-strong visiting contingent, there was but one real hope for Clough's men.
Old Trafford, like many Premiership grounds these days, can be as quiet as a graveyard. There was always the chance that the effect of having to play in front of what was for once a vociferous crowd might prove more of a distraction for United's youngsters than Burton's part-timers.
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But all it would have taken to intimidate the visitors was a quick glance at United's bench . . . Van der Sar - Neville - Ferdinand - Van Nistelrooy - Giggs . . . arguably the greatest ever?
Sure enough, it did not take long for United's second string to silence the Burton contingent.
Having said that, just like Nuneaton at the Riverside the previous night, Burton had one excellent third-minute chance. Like Nuneaton, they missed it.
Jake Sedgemore's cross picked out Jon Shaw's run into the penalty area but the Burton striker failed to connect powerfully with his header, allowing United keeper Tim Howard to save.
Former West Bromwich Albion loan man Kieran Richardson's delightful low cross picked out Louis Saha unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box and the French-man's finish was flawless.
Fifteen minutes later the lead was doubled. United captain for the night, OleGunnar Solskjaer, sent a right-wing cross too deep. But when Mikael Silvestre pinged the ball back in again the diminutive Rossi timed his leap to head home.
Burton lost the bemused Shaw midway through the first half after he was caught in the mouth by the flailing arm of Phil Bardsley. Their graft kept the arrears to two at half time.
Only twice more did United truly threaten before the interval. Solskjaer's low pass flew across the six-yard box untouched and Sedgemore got back to make a brilliant cover tackle to ward off Saha after he had been sent clear by Rossi's delightful chip.
Another deft touch by the outstanding Rossi sent Richardson racing clear to kill the tie on 52 minutes.
The thoughtful Ferguson responded with a triple whammy of substitutions, creating the innovative pairing of Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs in central midfield.
Giggs took only six minutes to score United's fourth, drilled across the once again helpless Burton keeper Saul Deeney after being picked out by Rossi's quality ball floated over the visiting defence.
Rossi completed the rout, drilling home in injury time. But that could not deflate those Burton fans who bade farewell to their team with a deafening chorus of 'Albion, Albion, Albion'.