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Match report: Manchester United 3 – 1 Reading

by Zoe Hodges

Manchester United have beaten Reading 3-1 in the FA Cup at Old Trafford.

The first real chance fell to the hosts, Wan-Bissaka crossed it to Weghorst who was waiting by the far post but his attempt was deflected wide.

Moments later and United had a free-kick in a dangerous area. Eriksen’s delivery was a good one but unfortunately it was just wide of goal.

The best chance came for Marcus Rashford following another free kick from 30 yards out, he struck it well and it was moving all over the place but it was well saved by the Reading keeper. Eriksen followed up but his shot was blocked.

17 minutes in and Antony had a chance to curl a shot in but it was a fraction wide of the post.

Rashford burst into the box, but the defenders cut out the threat and Eriksen had another shot that was well blocked. Weghorst was getting into some good positions.

Antony made a run down the right before cutting inside and instead of taking the shot on himself he played it through the middle after spotting the run of Fernandes, but the Portuguese dragged his shot wide.

In the 35th minute, Marcus Rashford thought he’d made the breakthrough after heading it in from just a few yards out but a VAR check was taking place. There was an offside in the build up.

Despite United having 81% of possesion, and having several chances, it was almost Reading that took the lead on the stroke of half time as Malacia made the mistake of chesting it down in his own area and was challenged by a Reading player who luckily missed the target.

Reading came out fighting in the second half, United didn’t have quite as much possession but they were more clinical in front of goal. There was some feisty challenges from both sides.

Ten minutes into the restart and it was Casemiro who made the breakthrough and this time there was no VAR check. Eriksen crossed it to Antony who spotted the run of Casemiro who chipped it over the keeper.

Just two minutes later and Casemiro, the unlikely hero, found the net once again. His goal came as a surprise to himself as he received it five yards outside the area, in space, and smashed it goalwards to see it nestle in the bottom corner.

More flying challenges came flying in and Andy Carroll just didn’t know when to stop. He was lucky to not get punished after sliding in almost two footed on Eriksen but he made one tackle too many and saw red after picking up two yellows in quick succession.

United instantly punished the ten-man visitors as substitute Fred flicked it through his legs and the keeper’s at the near post.

David de Gea had little to do all game and he and his defence were caught napping as Reading got a free header from a corner and found the target. With twenty minutes still on the clock was this a glimmer of hope or a consolation prize?

The game opened up a bit after that as Ten Hag gave a chance to the likes of Elanga, Pellistri and Garnacho, they were bright sparks who looked good going forward but Reading had a new energy about them too and as they charged forward it looked like a great opportunity; as Long found himself in the box and in space but he just hesitated when trying to take a shot and was dispossessed.

Another chance fell to Garnacho before the final whistle blew but he couldn’t quite dance his way past Reading’s goalscorer, Mbengue.

It was an assured victory from the Reds who currently have their tails up as they make progress in three cup competitions.

Team: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Malacia, Casemiro (Mainoo 73), Eriksen (Fred 57), Antony, Fernandes (Pellistri 68), Rashford (Garnacho 68), Weghorst (Elanga 73)

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