Manchester United vs Reading Match Analysis

Manchester United beat Reading 3-1 at Old Trafford to advance to the fifth round of the FA Cup. A second-half brace from Casemiro and a piece of inspiration from Fred was enough to see off Paul Ince’s side. Andy Carroll was sent off in the second half, after receiving two yellow cards.

First Half: United struggle to break down Reading

Erik ten Hag named a strong side to face the Championship side. The Reds began the game brightly and had multiple opportunities to open the scoring. The visitors sat deep and tried to frustrate the Red Devils.

Although United were on top, they were very complacent in the final third. Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes both had efforts blocked from the edge of the area. Antony saw plenty of the ball in the early exchanges and became even more threatening as the game went on.

Marcus Rashford thought he had broke the deadlock, when he scored for the 10th consecutive game at Old Trafford. However, Rashford’s header was ruled out as Wout Weghorst was deemed to be in an offside position in the build-up to the goal. Groans of frustration echoed around Old Trafford.

Bruno Fernandes’ curling effort went just wide of the target, as did Antony’s long-range effort. Reading made one chance in the first-half and almost took the lead. United were sloppy in possession and got caught-out at the back.

Tyrell Malacia wasn’t aware of his surroundings and David de Gea was forced into making a crucial save. Hoilett got the ball off the fullback before unleashing an effort towards goal. De Gea got his body in the way of the shot and the Reds were let off.

Second half: Brazilian brilliance unlocks stubborn Reading defence

In the second half, Eriksen got on the ball more and the home side made more clear-cut chances. Brazilian international Antony cut in from the right flank and found Casemiro in the box. The defensive midfielder lobbed the keeper with a delicate chip and made it 1-0.

Casemiro took his goal like a poacher to break the deadlock. Minutes later and Casemiro got his second of the night with an accurate finish into the bottom right-hand corner. However, his effort did take a deflection on the way, which made it even harder for the Reading keeper.

Andy Carroll made a horrific challenge on Eriksen and somehow didn’t get a booking. Following the challenge from Carroll, Eriksen began limping. Things went from bad to worse for Ince’s side when Andy Carol was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Fred then came on for the injured Eriksen and made it 3-0. Fernandes found the box-to-box midfielder, who guided the ball in with a back heel. However, there was a suggestion that the midfielder found the back of the net from an offside position.

The visitors did get a late consolation goal with Mbengue finding the back of the net from a corner. David de Gea will be furious with his defenders for their lack of concentration, which cost him a clean-sheet in this encounter. Both sides then made numerous changes, which disrupted the tempo of the match.

The full time whistle went and Ten Hag’s men ran out 3-1 winners and booked their place in the next round of the FA Cup against either Derby County or West Ham United. The Dutchman will now turn his attentions side to the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest.

Author: Rajan Sangha

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