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Played
December 1, 2012 11:00 PM IST
Madejski Stadium — Reading, Berkshire
Referee:‬ M. Halsey‎
Attendance:‬ 24095‎
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Reading 3-4 Manchester United

Wayne Rooney led the way for the visitors as they overcame some atrocious set piece defending to emerge victors after a remarkable first half at the Madejski Stadium

By Oliver Platt

  • Adam Federici
    6
    7
    2.50

    Adam Federici

    Might have done better with Anderson's shot, which beat him at the near post, but it was very powerfully struck. Had little chance to deal with the other three goals that flew past him in the first half but was very lucky that Van Persie contrived to miss after he tried to dribble past the striker and lost the ball.

  • Nicky Shorey
    10
    7
    2.50

    Nicky Shorey

    His corner kicks were superb and led to two Reading goals. First, Le Fondre headed home before Morrison rose to meet another. Largely untested defensively as everything went down the United left flank but made a costly error when he played Van Persie onside for the visitors' fourth goal.

  • Adrian Mariappa
    6
    6
    3.00

    Adrian Mariappa

    Probably Reading's best defender on the evening but still had regular problems with Van Persie and Rooney's interplay.

  • Sean Morrison
    9
    6
    2.50

    Sean Morrison

    A giant at set pieces, scoring Reading's third goal from a corner, but too often unfocused and sluggish defensively, failing to cover Cummings when he was drawn out to deal with Young.

  • Shaun Cummings
    3
    7
    1.50

    Shaun Cummings

    Full of endeavour but absolutely tormented by Young at right-back. The winger pulled Cummings out of position to complete one-twos in the build-up to the first and third United goals and escaped his attention to cross to the back post before Van Persie's shot was wrongly ruled not to have crossed the line.

  • Mikele Leigertwood
    4
    8
    2.50

    Mikele Leigertwood

    Could not get a grip on Rooney when he drifted into the hole behind Van Persie at all, and will have been relieved to see him stick more to the right flank after the break.

  • Jobi McAnuff
    11
    6
    4.00

    Jobi McAnuff

    Gave Rafael all kinds of problems on the left flank, cutting inside onto his right foot in similar fashion to his United counterpart Young. His cross led to Robson-Kanu's opening goal and he led to the subbing of the Brazilian after beating him and drawing a foul.

  • Jay Tabb
    4
    12
    2.00

    Jay Tabb

    His challenge on Evans was unnecessary and bizarre and allowed Rooney to score from the penalty spot. The defender was heading away from goal and barely had control of the ball. His energy and enthusiasm is valuable in midfield - he hit passes left and right and tackled well - but can also lead to those kind of incomprehensible errors.

  • Hal Robson-Kanu
    12
    6
    3.50

    Hal Robson-Kanu

    Totally left-footed, but United allowed him to shift the ball onto his preferred boot time and time again. Hammered home the first goal and supplied plenty of ammo from the right, nearly scoring directly from one cross that Lindegaard just managed to block.

  • Adam Le Fondre
    9
    6
    3.00

    Adam Le Fondre

    Did well, for such a small striker, to rise to meet the first of Shorey's corners. Otherwise Reading's emphasis on crosses didn't totally suit him but he remained an alert presence in the penalty area.

  • Jason Roberts
    10
    6
    3.50

    Jason Roberts

    If he scored more goals, he would be some asset. Played a significant part in Reading's success from corners as a presence United failed to deal with, blocking Lindegaard's route to the ball. Almost flicked a Robson-Kanu cross beyond the goalkeeper but the delivery just flew over his head.

Substitutions

  • Garath McCleary
    4
    9
    2.50

    Garath McCleary

    Replaced McAnuff as Reading searched for an equaliser but could not inject any life into a fading side.

  • Pavel Pogrebnyak
    5
    8
    2.50

    Pavel Pogrebnyak

    Replaced Roberts in an attempt to spark Reading into life as the game died out in the second half but the home side provided him with less crosses to attack than they did Roberts.

  • Noel Hunt
    6
    8

    Noel Hunt

    Came on for the last 10 minutes as Reading sought a fourth goal.

  • Anders Lindegaard
    35
    55
    2.00

    Anders Lindegaard

    Caused all sorts of problems by Roberts' stationing of himself in the six-yard box and appeared hapless at times in dealing with crosses and corners, totally relying on his defenders to clear the ball no matter how deep it was delivered. Better in the second half, but it is difficult to understand why David de Gea is on the bench.

  • Rafael
    42
    55
    1.00

    Rafael Flop of the Match

    Had a dreadful, and subsequently brief, evening at right-back. Could not cope with McAnuff's quick feet and was substituted in the first half before he was sent off after receiving a yellow card for a cynical challenge on the winger.

  • Patrice Evra
    73
    8
    3.00

    Patrice Evra

    Dynamic in attack, frequently racing past Young and supplying dangerous low crosses, including the delivery that Rooney converted for United's third goal. Did a better job on Robson-Kanu than Rafael did on McAnuff, but still struggled with the winger's trickery at times.

  • Rio Ferdinand
    49
    19
    3.00

    Rio Ferdinand

    Usually marking Le Fondre and he generally did a good job, positioning himself well to ensure that through balls were very rarely a problem. Not directly at fault for any of his side's set piece woes and cannot have been helped by the lack of confidence inspired by Lindegaard.

  • Jonny Evans
    36
    36
    2.00

    Jonny Evans

    Had real problems keeping up with Morrison at set pieces. A weak clearing header led to the first goal for Robson-Kanu. When Roberts created the necessary space, he failed to deal with the centre-back in aerial duels. Did win a penalty from Tabb, though he knew little about it.

  • Anderson
    121
    5
    3.50

    Anderson

    Cannot really be held responsible for the way United struggled to defend in the wide areas and provided the kind of energy the Red Devils have missed in midfield. Ended a superb run by crashing the visitors' first goal past Federici but was withdrawn before half-time with an injury.

  • Michael Carrick
    56
    16
    3.00

    Michael Carrick

    Tidy as always in midfield and helped to ensure things remained tepid in the second half as United closed out their victory. But most of the action in this match came out wide.

  • Ashley Young
    84
    17
    4.00

    Ashley Young

    A real return to form. Drew Cummings out of position to play in Anderson to score United's first, and then did the same to allow Evra to race forward to cross for Rooney for the visitors' third goal. Also aimed a superb delivery to the back post which led to Van Persie shooting across the line, but the 'goal' was incorrectly not awarded.

  • Darren Fletcher
    39
    28
    2.50

    Darren Fletcher

    Distributed the ball cleanly enough but something of a spare part in midfield, really. All of Reading's attacking threat came down the flanks.

  • Wayne Rooney
    152
    10
    4.50

    Wayne Rooney Top of the Match

    Provided some wonderful touches in between the lines and as much as United suffered at the back, he instigated some brilliant attacking play up front. Scored two goals for himself, supplied the corner from which Evans won a penalty and laid a goal on for Van Persie with an exquisite flick.

  • Robin van Persie
    105
    12
    3.00

    Robin van Persie

    Should have had a hat-trick. After he beat Federici following Rooney's sublime flick, he was denied a second when the linesman incorrectly ruled that his volley had not crossed the line when it was blocked. When he next had sight of goal, though, he only had himself to blame, incredibly managing to miss the target after stealing the ball off Federici on the edge of the six-yard box.

Substitutions

  • Phil Jones
    48
    19
    2.50

    Phil Jones

    Did not really seem to know where to put himself in midfield. Useful when he broke forward as Anderson had been doing and nearly set-up a Van Persie goal, but he is a defensive player and was reluctant to rush ahead frequently.

  • Chris Smalling
    79
    8
    3.50

    Chris Smalling

    Very strong at right-back, dealing with McAnuff far more convincingly than Rafael had. Broke forward regularly without failing to fulfil his defensive duties, too.

  • Danny Welbeck
    32
    32
    3.00

    Danny Welbeck

    Replaced Van Persie in attack but service was not frequently forthcoming as United passed their way to three points.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man. United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0