News and Views

Good Performance At Manchester United

19 February 2013
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading made the expected exit out of the FA Cup, at the hands of Manchester United, but put in a respectable performance before eventually losing out 1-2 at Old Trafford. This was always going to be a near impossible task against the Premier League leaders but the Royals did more than just compete with a performance packed with effort and some decent football too. Both sides featured plenty of changes, given this was a cup encounter, but that didn't stop both managers naming very strong line-ups based on their resources. Unfortunately Manchester United's resources are obviously much greater than ours and that gulf in class showed during the early exchanges.

Adam Federici was in for a good showing throughout, pulling off plenty of solid saves, and was called into action right from the off as the home side had a couple of opportunities to go ahead in the opening couple of minutes. After the initial onslaught Reading settled down well. Rather than United dominating possession it was well balanced with Reading enjoying plenty of the ball and impressing with some crisp passing. We were quick to close the home side down too with some solid, but fair, tackles. It was still United that looked most dangerous but as the half went on Reading started converting possession to chances and could have pulled ahead before the break when Le Fondre, enjoying a start, put in a great effort that needed a good save from the United goalkeeper.

Manchester United had been frustrated in the first half in which either team might have sneaked ahead but, after a brief positive spell from Reading, United started to dominate with Reading struggling to get hold of the ball. After ten minutes of solid possession United quickly scored two goals with twenty minutes left to play to effectively take them through to the quarter finals. However, as we've seen so many times this season, Reading continued to battle for a way back. Reading's determination was rewarded by a another late goal from McAnuff who made the most of hesitation in the home defence to work his way in the middle with a neat finish to make it 1-2 with nine minutes on the clock.

United immediately tried to to run the clock down and stop Reading completing another late comeback, and then it was Reading who were frustrated by United's ability to keep the ball with time running out. Federici came racing forward for a free-kick and stayed up for the corner as Reading pushed for a late equaliser. However, United remained calm in injury time and Federici was required to get back for another save to stop United adding a third. It was hard to complain with the result or performance from Reading - and in the end it was a good outcome to keep the morale up ahead on the continued relegation battle.

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