Man United   1

Rooney (21)

Reading   0

Saturday 16 March Old Trafford | Attendance: 75,605

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Man United
1De Gea
12Smalling
5Ferdinand
15Vidic
28Buttner
18Youngsub16
8Andersonsub26
11Giggs
19Welbeck
10Rooneygoal
20van Persie
Subs:
14Hernandez
13Lindegaard
6Evans
16Carricksub18
26Kagawasub8
25Powell
7Valencia
Reading
41Taylor
27Kellyyellow cardsub15
5Pearce
6Mariappa
3Shorey
4Karacan
8Leigertwood
11McAnuff
12McCleary
19Robson-Kanusub30
10Huntyellow cardsub9
Subs:
21McCarthy
15Morrisonsub27
2Gunter
23Harte
28Akpan
30Blackmansub19
9Le Fondresub10

Report

16/03/2013 19:00, Report by Ben Hibbs
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United 1 Reading 0

Reading’s recent dismissal of Brian McDermott was a controversial step, but a managerless team sometimes conjures inspiration and despite being in 19th place in the league and seven points adrift of safety, their 4-3 league defeat and 2-1 FA Cup loss against the Reds earlier this season at least showed determination to make life difficult.

After 15 minutes there had been a dearth of excitement but United soon created a scoring chance when Ferdinand’s stunning 50-yard diagonal pass found Young and the winger ignored the darting runs of van Persie and Rooney to fizz a shot across goal. 

After that, United improved somewhat. On 18 minutes Welbeck sliced a volleyed effort over the bar and two minutes later Reading goalkeeper Stuart Taylor had to race out of his area to prevent Young reaching Giggs’ excellent through-ball. A goal seemed inevitable and after 21 minutes United got it as Ferdinand’s bounding run out of defence created space for Rooney, who lashed a shot into the ground and courtesy of a slight deflection off Alex Pearce it beat Taylor. “We shall not be moved,” chorused the Old Trafford crowd.

Later in the half, Rooney and van Persie had long-range efforts that Taylor nervously saved, while Reading’s sole testing shot came when Hal Robson-Kanu curled a 20-yard strike round David De Gea’s right post. Ferdinand seemed to epitomise United’s first-half performance; cruising around the pitch at a canter, rarely troubled whilst calmly doing everything he needed to do.

Reading started the second half with a greater sense of adventure and United had to be alert in defending a flurry of corners in the opening ten minutes of the half. The Reds, however, regained control and Welbeck, Young and

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