Match Report: Manchester United 2-1 Reading
By Lee Savery
Manchester United booked their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a deserved victory over Reading.
Sir Alex Ferguson made eight changes from the side that drew with Real Madrid with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra sitting out. Despite the changes, the Red Devils dominated from start to finish.
The Red Devils took the lead on 69 minutes when Nani, who had been a first half substitute, found the bottom corner of the net after being fed by Antonio Valencia from just 12 yards out.
The Portuguese winger would turn provider, three minutes later, when his cross from the right found Javier Hernandez at the near post who found the net with his head.
Reading made sure of a possible nervy finish when Jobi McAnuff latched onto a loose ball in the box, after Chris Smalling failed to clear a cross, before finding the bottom corner.
However, Reading could not find an equaliser in a game where they created very few chances. David de Gea had to save from Adam Le Fondre when his stinging effort, from the inside the box, was palmed away by the Spaniard. Smalling also made up for his error, during stoppage time, when his defensive header made sure a late cross was cleared.
United had been frustrated by Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici who saved from the likes of Anderson, Nani and Danny Welbeck. Nani also hit the post with a terrific effort from just outside the box.
Relief etched on all within Old Trafford when United finally got the goals they deserved on what could easily have been one of those nights. Nani was the difference between the two sides with a goal and an assist and an impressive display throughout. He had replaced Phil Jones who limped off in the first half.
United will play either Middlesbrough or Chelsea in the quarter-finals on the weekend of the 9th & 10th March.
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