Van Persie celebrates his goal

Reading   3

Robson-Kanu (8), Le Fondre (19), Morrison (23)

Man United   4

Anderson (13), Rooney (16, 30), van Persie (34)

Saturday 1 December Madejski Stadium | Attendance: 24,095

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Reading
1Federici
24Cummings
3Shorey
6Mariappa
15Morrisongoal
8Leigertwood
16Tabbyellow card
11McAnuffsub12
19Robson-Kanugoalsub10
9Le Fondregoal
33Robertssub7
Subs:
41Taylor
5Pearce
23Harte
20Guthrie
12McClearysub11
7Pogrebnyaksub33
10Huntsub19
Man United
13Lindegaard
2Rafaelyellow cardsub12
6Evans
5Ferdinand
3Evra
8Andersongoalsub4
24Fletcher
16Carrick
18Young
20van Persiegoalsub19
10Rooneygoalgoal
Subs:
1De Gea
4Jonessub8
12Smallingsub2
11Giggs
14Hernandez
19Welbecksub20
23Cleverley

Report

01/12/2012 19:33, Report by Steve Bartram
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Reading 3 United 4

scenes of ghastly defending from the Reds.

Nicky Shorey’s whipped, in-swinging deliveries provided the problems, dipping into dangerous areas where the Royals had all too easily found space. First, Le Fondre was completely unmarked and nodded between Lindegaard and van Persie, then Morrison escaped Evans to power home a thunderous effort.

United were rocked and looked liable to further concessions with every forward foray from the hosts. Yet, by the time Sir Alex introduced Chris Smalling in place of Rafael, who had been booked for a foul on Jobi McAnuff, the Reds had drawn level once again.

Evra fed Young and raced onto the winger’s neat flick, then slid a superb ball back into the path of the onrushing Rooney for a simple side-footed finish. Three minutes later, the goalscorer turned provider with a beautifully faint flick which released van Persie – played onside by Shorey – for a clinical, right-footed finish past Federici.

The Dutchman then seemed to have bagged his second goal in the 40th minute, only for his close-range finish to escape the officials’ collective attention. Smalling’s back post header rebounded off Federici’s shoulder and was volleyed goalwards by van Persie. Though Adrian Mariappa was behind the line when he deflected the ball to safety, referee Halsey and his assistants failed to award the goal.

United’s hopes were dealt a setback when Anderson limped from the fray with an apparent hamstring injury, ending an thrilling, yet occasionally horrifying half on a low point and providing further food for thought for Sir Alex and his coaching staff.

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