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

Inevitably, both sides began the second half with greater caution, having left themselves so exposed in a maddeningly open first period. It took until the 64th minute for a real opening to present itself, as Evra embarked on another lung-busting run down the left flank and pulled back for Rooney. The striker opted against shooting from a tight angle, instead finding Fletcher, whose misplaced flick to van Persie heralded the move’s disappointing climax.

Nevertheless, the opening pricked United’s attacking ambitions once more, and within a minute another forward surge, this time from substitute Phil Jones, culminated in van Persie firing over Federici’s near post. The Dutchman then had a glaring opportunity to establish a two-goal lead when he pounced on Federici’s dally, only to blaze wide of an open goal.

That miss left Reading with a glimmer of hope, especially after the haphazard porousness on show in the Reds’ first half defending, but they came no closer to a share of the spoils than when Morrison's downward header was comfortably tipped over by Lindegaard in the first minute of injury-time.

Instead, United’s defensive improvement – with Evans and Ferdinand more imposing and controlled, while Reading’s steady supply of crosses was curtailed – secured a victory which laid bare the good and bad of the Reds’ season to date.

4 of 4 Previous