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Played
December 1, 2012 5:30 PM GMT
Madejski Stadium — Reading, Berkshire
Referee:‬ M. Halsey‎
Attendance:‬ 24095‎
 
Top of the Match
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Flop of the Match
Rafael
Rafael
Manchester United
Rafael
Rafael
Manchester United

Reading 3-4 Manchester United: Rooney & Van Persie fire visitors three points clear

The Red Devils capitalised after Manchester City were held by Everton earlier in the day with Anderson netting one of seven first-half goals in an incredible opening period

Reading v Manchester United - Premier League
فان بيرسي وأندرسون مباراة المان يونايتد وريدينج
By Stephen Darwin at the Madejski Stadium

Manchester United pulled three points clear of rivals Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table as goals from Anderson, Robin van Persie and two from Wayne Rooney secured a 4-3 victory against Reading.

All seven strikes came in a quite remarkable first half of football, with both sides swapping the lead before Rooney, with his second, and Van Persie both found the net to score the goals that ultimately secured the three points for the visitors.

The Royals, who were unchanged, took an early lead as Jobi McAnuff's in-swinging cross from the left was only partially cleared by Jonny Evans and Hal Robson-Kanu capitalised on the loose ball, hammering an effort high into the far corner past a helpless Anders Lindegaard.

United's response, however, was immediate and lethal. Just four minutes after Robson-Kanu's strike Anderson raced onto Ashley Young's through ball and lashed past Federici to pull Sir Alex's men level with a second to follow shortly after.

Referee Mark Halsey pointed to the spot after Evans was bundled over in the area by Jay Tabb and Rooney stepped up and duly answered his manager's call for more goals by slamming the ball into the far corner, sending Federici the wrong way.

This astonishing first half witnessed a further twist, however, as the pendulum swung back in Reading's favour courtesy of two quick-fire goals from corners.

Nicky Shorey's pin-point deliveries from the right-hand-side were powerfully headed home with, firstly, Adam Le Fondre getting on the scoresheet a day before his 26th birthday before Sean Morrison climbed above Evans to make it 3-2 Reading.

The first-half drama ceased to reach a conclusion there, though, and United once again hit back to equalise. Young and Patrice Evra linked up superbly well on the left-hand-side before the latter squared for Rooney to bury from close range.

And, to the astonishment of everyone in the ground, the goals kept on coming. Sir Alex's side once again regaining the lead as, after 34 minutes, Van Persie latched onto Michael Carrick's through ball and slotted home his 10th league goal of the campaign with supreme composure.

The Dutch striker was unfortunate not to add to his tally before half-time as his close-range effort was cleared from underneath the crossbar but replays suggested that the ball had, in fact, crossed the line.

A comparatively dull start to the second half saw United slow the tempo although there were shouts for a penalty from the home support as Adrian Mariappa fell to the ground under a challenge from Evra but the Frenchman got just enough of a foot on the ball and no spot-kick forthcame.

Van Persie then wasted a glorious chance to grab his second of the match as he amazingly fired wide after robbing Federici.

The former Arsenal striker closed down the Reading goalkeeper and looked certain to make it 5-3 although, almost replicating Fernando Torres' infamous miss against the Red Devils, smashed his shot off target with Ferderici scrambling and the goal gaping.

Reading continued to pour forward in search of an equaliser although rarely troubled Lindegaard in the second period, with Tabb clearing the bar before Morrison forced the United goalkeeper to tip over in stoppage time.

The result moves Sir Alex's side three points clear of City with next weekend's Manchester derby looking increasingly pivotal while the Royals remain in the drop zone.


Reading

1
Adam Federici
Goalkeeper
2.50
20
Nicky Shorey
Defender
19′ 23′
2.50
3
Adrian Mariappa
Defender
3.00
15
Sean Morrison
Defender
23′
2.50
24
Shaun Cummings
Defender
1.50
8
Mikele Leigertwood
Midfielder
2.50
11
Jobi McAnuff
Midfielder
79′
4.00
16
Jay Tabb
Midfielder
79′
2.00
19
3.50
9
3.00
30
Jason Roberts
Striker
69′
3.50

Manchester United

2.00
13
1.00
2
Rafael
Defender
28′ 31′
3.00
3
3.00
5
2.00
6
Jonny Evans
Defender
3.50
8
Anderson
Midfielder
13′ 45′
3.00
16
4.00
18
Ashley Young
Midfielder
13′
2.50
24
4.50
10
3.00
20

Substitutes

12
Stuart Taylor
Goalkeeper
 - 
26
Alex Pearce
Defender
 - 
23
Ian Harte
Defender
 - 
12
2.50
35
Danny Guthrie
Midfielder
 - 
29
2.50
10
Noel Hunt
Striker
83′
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
1
David de Gea
Goalkeeper
2.50
4
Phil Jones
Defender
45′
3.50
12
 - 
11
Ryan Giggs
Midfielder
 - 
23
Tom Cleverley
Midfielder
 - 
14
3.00
19

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
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
Manchester United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0