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February 18, 2013
• Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 75213
J. Hernández 72'
J. McAnuff 81'
Manchester United go through to the FA Cup quarter finals to play either Middlesbrough or Chelsea after a fairly routine 2-1 win over Reading at Old Trafford. Goals from Nani and Hernandez secured the win in a match they generally controlled, but Reading did threaten towards the end of both halves. Nevertheless, United progress a step closer to Wembley and Reading are left with concentrating on making sure they don't get relegated. Thanks for joining me tonight, I hope you enjoyed the match. Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @RyanRyanBenson.
90' + 5'
Nani lines up the free kick and goes for goal, but his effort is just a little too high and the referee blows his whistle for full-time as the ball bounces around in the crowd.
90' + 4'
The resulting corner is cleared easily by United and they get moving towards the Reading goal. Van Persie plays the ball to Nani with a clever pass, and the winger beats two men before being fouled.
90' + 3'
Frederici comes up for the free kick. It is delivered into the box and flicked on by Morrison before Le Fondre heads it towards goal. A deflection takes his effort just over. Corner.
90' + 2'
Good chance for Reading here as Nani gives away a foolish free kick on the left. Excellent chance for a late Reading goal.
90' + 1'
United are just looking to see this through now. Possession presents itself to them as van Persie steals the ball, but Cleverley oddly decides to just smash the ball up field.
United play the corner short and Hernandez tries to shield the ball from Guthrie. The Mexican gets a throw-in.
Van Persie picks out another good pass, this time for Welbeck, but Morrison puts a foot in and concedes a corner.
United have another good chance to break as van Persie slips Hernandez through. The Mexican has three players in his way but opts to beat them head on. He shoots at goal from the edge of the box, forcing Frederici to palm it away and Nani almost puts the rebound into the net from a tight angle, but it only hits the side netting.
A Reading attack breaks down and United counter. Nani does brilliantly to beat two men, leaving United with a 3v3 situation. Nani plays Welbeck in to his left and after looking to cut inside, the forward knocks the ball on to his right foot with his left and it goes out of play. He won't want to see that later. Straight from the Emile Heskey files.
McAnuff is causing problems down the left again as he beats Valencia and crosses, but Vidic beats Hunt in the air and United clear.
GOAL!!! Reading are back in this with ten minutes to go! Guthrie plays a hopeful ball into the area which Smalling fails to deal with, allowing the ball to drop to McAnuff who held off Buttner and put the ball past De Gea.
A United attack comes up short again as they lose possession sloppily in the final third.
Reading are being gifted some possession here, but they aren't doing a lot with it. Every time the hosts win the ball back Nani and Co. look like scoring on the break.
Van Persie has been on for about ten minutes and has already played some outrageous long-range passes. This time he picks out Nani on the right who then crosses for Anderson, but Leigertwood puts a foot in to halt the Brazilian.
United are in a confident mood now they are two up. Welbeck comes in from the left and evades three tackles before laying the ball off to Nani on the edge of the area. Nani shapes to shoot and then returns the ball to Welbeck who produces a clever flick for his teammate to run on to, but it is just too far ahead and Frederici jumps on the ball.
GOAL!!! Manchester United double their lead! Nani is involved again as he hits in an early cross from the right and Hernandez beats both Mariappa and Frederici to the ball and heads it into the net. Game over?
What a save by De Gea! McAnuff crosses from the left and Hunt heads the ball back to Le Fondre who volleys at goal, but the Spanish goalkeeper keeps it out excellently.
GOAL!!! Manchester United take the lead at Old Trafford! Valencia attacks Shorey and picks out Nani just inside the area. The Portuguese star controls the ball, allowing it to bobble up for him before smashing a volley into the bottom far corner. Lovely finish.
Manchester United have had 85 per cent of possession in the last five minutes.
Back come Ferguson's men. Valencia and Nani link-up well down the right yet again, but the resulting cross his blocked and put behind for United's sixth corner. Can Reading hold off the onslaught?
Nani receives the ball in an innocuous area on the right. However, he quickly moves inside and fires a ferocious shot towards goal, but it narrowly misses the far post. Very good effort.
Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie is now on for the hosts and Cleverley immediately puts in another cross after beating Shorey, but again it is knocked away.
Nani goes close this time! A United corner drops to the winger just inside the area and he swings a left foot at it, but it trickles just past the post.
United are getting closer. Valencia unleashes a burst of pace and then stretches to flick a pass in towards Welbeck. The forward halts play and the finds Cleverley on the right. Cleverley crosses, but Mariappa clears it from under Hernandez's nose.
Anderson plays the corner short to Nani. The winger jinks side-to-side before scooping the ball into the area, but Morrison heads it away ahead of Welbeck.
Excellent play by Anderson as he drives forward, holding off Mariappa before shooting at Frederici. Corner to United.
Young delivers the corner and Vidic meets it with his head. A deflection off Morrison sees his effort go towards the goal, but Shorey clears it from the goal line.
The corner is headed away by pretty much the first man, but they soon win themselves another.
The hosts get possession back in near their penalty area and march forward with speed. Nani urgently surges towards the Reading area and feeds Hernandez in to his right. The forward tries to cross, but it is deflected behind for a corner.
Yellow CardNoel Hunt
United win themselves a free kick in their own half and Hunt is booked. Smalling muscles the forward off the ball, but after thinking he was fouled, Hunt proceeds to unleash a rather wild tackle on his opponent.
It has taken United fans 52 minutes to start singing Robin van Persie's name. The longer this match remains goalless, the more likely his introduction will be.
Good play by Nani as he steals possession back after losing it and then produces an excellent pass to Valencia. The Ecuadorian crosses, but it is nowhere near Welbeck or Hernandez.
A penalty area melee ensues, but Reading hack the ball away. Positive start to the second half for United.
United are keeping Reading in their penalty area currently. Cleverley fakes to shoot but picks out Welbeck. The forward has a great chance to thread Valencia in, but his pass is poor. Valencia gets the ball belatedly and cuts it back to Cleverley, but his effort is blocked.
Reading are currently sitting very deep, allowing United possession in areas that aren't particularly threatening.
Hernandez and Anderson link-up down the right and the Brazilian crosses. However, it goes to no one and gives Reading a goal kick.
Reading get the second half started at Old Trafford.
Is there something specific that you feel either side has to do in order to win this match? Must United be more active on the wings? Tell me what you think on Twitter at @RyanRyanBenson.
After a fairly troubling opening five minutes, Reading have grown into the match and have improved. Manchester United definitely created the better chances, with Frederici the busier goalkeeper, but until Nani came on the final minutes United offered little threat down the wings with Young and Valencia.
45' + 4'
Nothing comes of the resulting corner and it gives the referee a good opportunity to blow for halftime.
45' + 3'
Nani goes close again! Valencia goes down the right before cutting the ball back for Nani. The winger takes a touch and shoots from 30-yards with his left foot, but Frederici palms it behind for a corner.
45' + 2'
Nani involved again as he cuts inside from the right and plays a reverse ball into the area for Hernandez, but the Mexican failed to anticipate a pass and was on his heels.
What an effort by Nani! Welbeck crosses the ball in towards Hernandez and it is partially cleared, but in comes the Portuguese winger who volleys the ball through a body of players and sees his strike bounce back off the post and to safety. That would have been some goal.
Reading have definitely grown in confidence in this first half. Morrison plays a pass into Le Fondre which bypasses the midfield and the forward tries his luck from range, but De Gea holds on.
On comes Nani for the injured Jones. The anonymous Valencia goes to right-back and the Portugal international takes his place on the right of midfield.
Morrison is given a lot of space on the right-hand side and decides to shoot from range, with Buttner sitting back. However, the defender's effort bobbles past De Gea's post.
Le Fondre holds Vidic off with his strength and then crosses, but there is no one there. Nevertheless, Reading keep the ball in an offensive area.
It doesn't look good for Jones who is helped off the pitch and he appears to be heading for the tunnel.
A fierce clash between Jones and McAnuff sees the young England defender needing medical attention. He appears to be in some pain and Rio Ferdinand begins his warm-up.
TV cameras pan over to the Manchester United substitutes bench where Robin van Persie can be seen producing a never ending yawn. Who can blame him?
A petty foul near the halfway line gives Reading a free kick. Shorey decides against lofting the ball into the area and United concede a throw-in.
Corner to United. Anderson delivers it left footed and Smalling meets it with his head, but it flies well over.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side enjoy a period of possession in their own half as they knock it around amongst themselves, but Cleverley gets the ball and puts it out of play. Jones' flailing arms say a lot.
McAnuff's pace is giving Jones plenty to think about at the moment. Again the Jamaican tries to beat him round the outside and looks to get a cross in, but the winger runs the ball out of play. He thinks he was fouled by the England international.
The crowd and United players are left unimpressed as McCleary pushes Hernandez over near the halfway line, but the referee sees nothing wrong with it.
McAnuff gets forward down the left again for Reading, twisting and turning his way past Jones before crossing, but Buttner heads it behind for a corner at the far post.
Valencia continues to have little impact, while the ball is played out to Jones on the same flank. The defender crosses towards the back post, but much to the disappointment of the crowd it just goes straight out for a goal kick.
Reading are looking far more involved at the moment than they were towards the beginning of the match, but United look dangerous on the break. They're just lacking the final ball so far.
Great saves by Frederici! The ball drops nicely for Cleverley about 30-yards from goal and he fires towards the bottom corner. Frederici gets down to palm it away, and then tips the subsequent rebound-shot from Young round the post.
From the previous free kick United start a counterattack. The ball is booted up towards Hernandez who appears to be hauled down by a defender, but the referee gives Reading the decision. Replays show that the forward backed into his marker and handled the ball.
Reading win themselves a free kick on the right wing. McAnuff curls it in and just when Morrison looked certain to nod it in to the goal, up pops Vidic to knock it away.
Things look promising for Reading for a moment as McAnuff attacks down the left, but with Reading down to ten men currently, no one is in the danger area, thus gifting possession back to the hosts.
Antonio Valencia has hardly touched the ball so far and a searching ball from Young towards the Ecuadorian gives Reading the opportunity to break as Shorey intercepts. However, the full-back loses out to Smalling near the United penalty area.
A clash of heads between Vidic and Hunt leads to a break in play, with blood gushing from the Reading forward's head like a scene from Grant Theft Auto. Vidic is straight back on, while Hunt gets some attention on the sidelines.
Proceedings burst back into life as Cleverley finds Welbeck with an excellent pass into the area. The forward is held up so picks out Jones on the right. The defender whips in a teasing cross for Hernandez, but Frederici just beats him to it.
Play has already gone a bit stale, matching the somewhat flat atmosphere at the Theatre of Dreams.
In goes the corner and it seems to miss everyone and go straight to the far post for Morrison, but Jones does well to get in front of the defender.
The hosts showcase some sloppy passing in their own half as Cleverley eventually puts the ball out of play, bizarrely. Reading take their throw-in and Le Fondre wins Brian McDermott's side a corner.
Reading win themselves a throw-in in the United half and Le Fondre gets his first touch of the match, but on him like a hawk is Nemanja Vidic.
This already looks as though it'll be a long evening for Reading. They finally get a break as McCleary takes possession on the right wing, but the winger fouls Buttner and United start again.
United slice open their visitors again as Young plays an excellent reverse pass into the area for Welbeck, but the forward shoots straight at Frederici.
Great start for United! A lovely quick passing move on the edge of the area between Welbeck, Hernandez and Valencia sees the Mexican's eventual shot blocked after turning a defender, and the latter heads a subsequent effort into the air for Frederici.
Man United kick off the action at Old Trafford.
Kick-off is just a couple of minutes away at Old Trafford. What do you think the score will be? Feel free to send your predictions to @RyanRyanBenson on Twitter.
In his last seven Reading appearances, Le Fondre has seven goals.
The Red Devils' last loss to Reading came in this competition back in 1927.
Seven goals were scored in the first 35 minutes when the two sides met at the Madejski Stadium earlier this season.
Manchester United have emerged victorious in 15 of their last 19 FA Cup matches at Old Trafford, losing just two
And the Reading team is: Federici; Kelly, Mariappa, Morrison, Shorey; Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, McCleary; Hunt, Le Fondre. SUBS: Andersen, Gunter, Pearce, Carrico, Guthrie, Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak
First of all, the teams. Manchester United line-up like this: De Gea; Jones, Smalling, Vidic, Buttner; Valencia, Anderson, Cleverley, Young; Hernandez, Welbeck. SUBS: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Giggs, Carrick, Nani, van Persie, Kagawa.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE play-by-play for the FA Cup fifth round tie between Manchester United and Reading. My name is Ryan Benson (@RyanRyanBenson) and I will be describing the action for you tonight.
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