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4 - 0
W. Rooney (7)
A. Martial (15)
M. Rashford (75)
M. Rashford (79)
Manchester United v Reading Live Commentary,
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Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
United's defence of their FA Cup crown has started with an easy win, and it's certainly a well-deserved one. Straight from the start, they were comfortably on the front foot and caused plenty of problems for Reading, who, at both ends of the pitch, failed to muster up enough of a challenge to trouble an impressive United side.
FULL-TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 4-0 READING
With 92 minutes on the clock, Reading are finally able to test Romero with their first shot on target, but Obita's 30-yard effort fails to beat the Argentine and is instead easily saved in the middle of the United goal.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be two minutes of added time.
McCleary and Gunter link up well deep down the right flank before the latter skips past Blind before being cynically tripped over by the Dutchman, resulting in a free-kick for Reading in a dangerous position. Kelly steps up and curls a cross over to Moore, but the defender is unable to hit the target with his close-range header.
McCleary, who has arguably been one of Reading's better players during the second half, gets himself into a good position deep down the left wing before trying to pick out a teammate with a low pass into the penalty area, but he's unable to do so and United easily hold on.
Fellaini goes close! The corner fails to result in a chance on goal but allows Rooney to dart into the penalty area and set up Fallaini, but the Belgian is unable to beat Al-Habsi from close range and sees his toe-poked effort pushed away by the goalkeeper.
United almost make it 5-0! Martial flies into the left-hand side of the Reading box before trying to poke a pass back to Rooney, but the visitors' back line are just about to deal with the danger as the ball dangerously pinballs around the penalty area and out for a corner.
Reading desperately try to find a consolation goal as they attempt to keep the ball well away from a hungry United side, but Beerens brings a promising attacking move to an end with a clumsy handball deep down the left wing.
GOAL! What a howler from Al-Habsi! The goalkeeper receives the ball inside his penalty area and is quickly closed down by Rashford, who forces the Oman international into completely fluffing his attempted clearance and gifting the young striker with one of the easiest goals he'll ever score.
And the second is Bastian Schweinsteiger, who receives a rousing round of applause from the home fans as he replaces Mata.
United have decided to make a double substitution. The first player to come on is Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who takes the place of Carrick.
Reading have made their final alteration of the afternoon, with Kermorgant making way for Dominic Samuel.
Swift bursts forward on a promising run as he tries to get Reading back into the game, but his long-range strike isn't hit well enough to test Romero and instead bounces several yards wide of the United goal.
Carrick showed great vision to pick out Rashford with that bouncing pass, but Moore really should have done more as he tried to cut out the danger to stop the ball from reaching the striker.
GOAL! It's 3-0! Carrick picks up the ball and quickly fires a long pass forward towards Rashford. It bounces past Moore and into the path of the youngster, who controls it well and heads into the penalty area before easily beating Al-Habsi with a side-footed finish.
Rashford is dragged back as he tries to dart down the right wing, resulting in a free-kick for United that Smalling heads off a Reading player and out for a corner. Blind steps up and curls a dangerous cross into the middle of the box, but it's easily dealt with by the visitors.
Obita cuts inside from the left wing and skips away from Young before teeing up Daniel Williams, but the midfielder's thumping strike from 30 yards out fails to test Romero and instead sails well wide of the goal.
McCleary breaks down the right flank before trying to take on Carrick, but the midfielder comes out on top and pokes the ball out for a corner. It's whipped in by Kelly and finds Gunter, but the defender is unable to pick out a teammate with his header towards the penalty spot.
Reading come back once again as they continue putting pressure on United. This time it's Swift who charges forward before teeing up Beerens to his left, but the Dutchman's final touch is poor and sends the ball bouncing away from his feet.
A poor pass from Rooney is easily cut out by McCleary, who then breaks away on a quick counter-attack. He weaves his way towards the United box before teeing up Kermorgant, but the Frenchman is unable to fire his shot past Jones.
McCleary and Swift play a nice one-two between themselves before the latter breaks into right-hand side of the United box and tries to beat Romero, but the Argentine rushes out quickly to close down the angle before poking the ball out for a corner.
Martial and Rooney link up beautifully in the middle of the pitch before the latter skips into the penalty area and tries to shoot, but he's slightly too slow in doing so and loses out before he can test Al-Habsi.
Great touch by Van den Berg! Rooney bursts into the left-hand side of the Reading box before trying to tee up Rashford with a low pass across the face of goal, but just as it looks as if the youngster is going to side-foot the ball into the back of the net, Van den Berg gets a touch on the cross to send it away from the striker.
What a chance for Mata! Rooney is left all alone in far too much space in the middle of the pitch and quickly threads a through-ball into the path of Mata, but the Spaniard is immediately flagged offside, sparing his blushes as he fires his shot the wrong side of the near post.
Reading have managed their second change of the game and, unsurprisingly, it's an attacking one, with John Swift coming on to replace Evans.
Rooney almost makes it 3-0! Fellaini muscles his way into the Reading penalty area and plays a quick one-two with Rashford before shooting, but his low strike is saved by Al-Habsi before the goalkeeper stops Rooney's close-range follow-up.
Young and Obita both dive in as they attempt to pick up a loose ball over the right wing, but the latter comes off the worst after being caught by a late challenge and it's the United full-back who receives a yellow card as a result.
Carrick goes close! The midfielder takes Al-Habsi by surprise as he unleashes a wonderful curling strike from 30 yards out, but the Reading goalkeeper gets down well and pushes the ball away with a smart diving save.
Young gets himself into a good position deep down the right flank and quickly tries to skip past Beerens on the edge of the Reading penalty area, but the Dutchman stands tall and denies the United man a way through on goal.
Ouch! Kermorgant and Carrick clash heads as they battle for the ball in the air, and the collision leaves the United midfielder in a heap on the floor and with a nasty cut on the side of his head. There's a brief break in play as the two players receive medical attention before the game gets underway once again.
Almost a second goal for Rooney! Jones rampages into the Reading half of he pitch before setting up Rashford over on the right wing. The youngster takes a quick touch before firing a low cross towards the far post, but it's sent slightly too far in front of Rooney and, as a result, the captain is unable to hit the target with his first-time effort.
Reading have made one substitution during the half-time break, with Blackett making way for Jordan Obita.
And we're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half.
So far, so good for United, who, thanks to a wonderful start to the game, head into the half-time break with a well-deserved two-goal lead. They've certainly been the better of the two sides, with the Reading back line continually failing to deal with Martial, Rashford and Rooney, all of whom have been brilliant. At the other end, the visitors started to cause more problems as the half wore on, with Kelly and McCleary managing to get into the game, but so far they've failed to give Romero much to think about.
HALF-TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 2-0 READING
An attempted Reading attacking move breaks down and United hit the visitors on another quick counter-attack. Once again, it's Mata who ploughs forward before trying to set up Rooney, but the ball ends up hitting the heel of the captain and bounces away before he can get it under control.
Kermorgant is caught sleeping in possession inside the United half of the pitch and is easily dispossessed by Fellaini. The Belgian then quickly tees up Mata, who bursts forward before trying to slot a through-ball into the path of Rashford, but Gunter is there to cut out the danger with a sliding interception.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be two minutes of added time.
And now Martial goes close! Rashford breaks into the right-hand side of the Reading box before firing a low cross towards Martial at the near post, but the Frenchman is put off by the presence of Gunter at the vital moment and ends up firing his close-range effort just wide of the goal.
Another golden opportunity for Mata! Martial twists and turns as he weaves his way down the left wing before setting up Mata on the edge of the box, but, once again, the midfielder is unable to test Al-Habsi and instead curls a first-time shot a few yards over the top of the crossbar.
Vital block by Evans! Young easily skips past Beerens on the right-hand side of the Reading box and then tees up Mata with a clever pass into the middle of the penalty area, but Evans is there to throw his body in the way of the Spaniard to stop him from firing in United's third goal.
Young is found by Rooney in plenty of space over on the right flank and quickly fires a low cross towards Mata at the near post, but Van den Berg dives in front of the Spaniard to stop him from reaching the ball before the linesman's flag is eventually raised for offside against the former Chelsea midfielder.
Reading move the ball around nicely deep inside the United half of the pitch as they try to carve out their first chance on goal, but Kelly, who has arguably been their best player thus far, loses his concentration at the vital moment and plays a pass right into the feet of Blind.
Mata steps up and unleashes a shot from the free-kick, but it fails to beat the wall of blue and white shirts camped on the edge of the box and is eventually cleared away by the head of Tyler Blackett.
The first corner results in a second, which is then quickly followed by a third, but each set-piece is well dealt with before Ashley Young is eventually tripped over by Roy Beerens and wins United a free-kick in a very dangerous position 25 yards away from goal.
Rashford tests Al-Habsi again! Rooney tees up Rashford with another wonderful flick that finds the youngster on the edge of the penalty area, but Al-Habsi does well to close down the angle and parries the striker's shot out for a corner.
McCleary effortlessly beats Blind deep down the right flank before firing a low cross into the middle of the United box. It looks set to find Kermorgant in a promising position in front of goal, but Mata is in the right place at the right time to stop the ball from reaching the striker.
Rashford battles with Van den Berg over on the right wing before eventually losing out to the defender. The Dutchman's attempted clearance is poor and can only find Rooney on the edge of the box, and the captain then unleashes a cheeky chipped shot that sails a few yards over the top of the crossbar.
Kelly breaks into the right-hand side of the United penalty area and latches on to a lovely lofted pass forward before fizzing the ball across the face of goal, but it's sent slightly too near to Sergio Romero, who is easily able to collect the pass before it can pick out Kermorgant.
Rashford is presented with another opportunity to increase United's lead, this time from 30 yards out. His shot isn't particularly well hit, however, and Al-Habsi is able to watch it bounce comfortably wide of the Reading goal.
What a chance for Rashford! Chris Smalling ploughs into the Reading half of the pitch before driving a wonderful pass into the feet of Rashford on the edge of the penalty area. He skips into the box and rounds Al-Habsi before shooting, but he can only find the side-netting with his shot from a tight angle.
Reading, who have seen a lot of the ball over the past few minutes, put United under pressure once again before winning themselves another corner. It's fired in by Kelly and finds Van den Berg on the edge of the box, but the Dutchman's thumping shot flies just pas the outstretched foot of Moore before bouncing wide of the far post.
Kelly puts Daley Blind under pressure before winning his side a corner. It fails to result in a chance on goal, however, and instead gifts United with a chance to counter quickly, which they do. Martial flies down the left wing on a marauding run before testing Al-Habsi with another low shot, but this time the goalkeeper is able to stop it from finding the back of the net.
McCleary does well to get into a good position deep down the left flank before whipping a dangerous cross towards the far post. It picks out Kelly, who then fizzes a cross-cum-shot across the face of goal, but Carrick is there to cut out the danger with a vital interception.
Rashford twists and turns on the right-hand side of the Reading penalty area as he takes on Joey van den Berg. He eventually manages to beat the defender before firing a low cross towards Martial, but the linesman raises his flag to indicate that the ball went out of play.
United are cruising at 2-0 but seem to have been handed a significant blow. Rojo has been limping for the past two minutes and is eventually forced off the pitch to be replaced by Phil Jones.
Reading are finally able to push forward on their first attacking move as Gareth McCleary gets himself into a good position deep down the right wing. He then fires a cross into the middle of the box in search of Yann Kermorgant, but Marouane Fellaini is there to thump the ball away from danger.
Rooney did well to tee up Martial and set up the Frenchman with a route through on goal, but, once again, the Reading defence were all over the place and failed to put enough pressure on the United forward line.
GOAL! It's 2-0! Rojo pushes into the Reading half of the pitch before playing the ball into the feet of Rooney, who then quickly tees up Martial. The Frenchman bursts into the box and takes on Moore, who steps off the forward and allows him to side-foot a shot through the defender's legs and into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
Rashford bursts through the middle of the pitch and towards the edge of the Reading box. He easily beats George Evans before teeing up Martial, who takes slightly too long on the ball and eventually has the ball stolen from him as he tries to set up Mata.
Reading are continually leaving too much space available on the edge of their penalty area, and it's making life far too easy for United. This time it's Martial who's able to get a shot away after linking up well with Mata, but his chipped strike is comfortably saved by Al-Habsi.
United put pressure on the Reading back line once again as Rooney darts down the left flank. He then cuts towards the penalty area before teeing up Michael Carrick, but the midfielder's shot isn't hit cleanly enough to test Al-Habsi and instead rolls harmlessly wide of the near post.
Reading are presented with their first chance to push forward after a lofted pass is fired up towards the United box, but Liam Kelly is beaten to the ball by Chris Smalling and is unable to skip past the defender on the edge of the penalty area.
GOAL! Rooney's done it! He's equalled Sir Bobby Charlton's goal-scoring record! Martial cuts inside from the left flank and beats Chris Gunter far too easily before knocking the ball back to Mata, who then chips it up to Rooney. The striker is in a pocket of space in front of goal and comfortably manages to knee a shot past the outstretched limbs of Al-Habsi and into the back of the net.
Mata did well to set up Rooney with a deft chipped pass, but questions have to be asked of the Reading defence. They haven't started at all well, with space opening up in and around the penalty area far too easily.
Juan Mata cuts inside from the right wing and quickly tries to pick out Anthony Martial with a curling cross into the middle of the Reading penalty area. Moore is there to cut out the danger, however, before the linesman eventually raises his flag for offside.
And now Rooney goes close! A lofted pass is thumped forward from Marcos Rojo and finds Rooney inside the box. He easily skips past Liam Moore and brings the ball down beautifully before shooting, but Ali Al-Habsi pulls off a good diving save to deny the captain.
Early chance for Marcus Rashford! The youngster finds himself in a pocket of space just outside of the Reading penalty area after latching on to a flick forward from Wayne Rooney, but his curling shot from 20 yards out ends up bouncing a few yards wide of the far post.
And we're off! Reading get us underway, attacing from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out on to the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Reading boss Jaap Stam has made just two alterations to the team that featured in their last outing, with George Evans and Liam Kelly coming into the starting line-up to replace Paul McShane and John Swift, respectively.
Jose Mourinho has decided to make nine changes to the United side that started the victory against West Ham United on Monday evening, with only Marcos Rojo and Michael Carrick retaining their places in a heavily-altered line-up.
Reading substitutes: Moore, Watson, Cooper, Meite, Obita, Samuel, Swift.
Reading XI (4-2-3-1): Al-Habsi; Gunter, Evans, Moore, Blackett; Van den Berg, Williams; Beerens, Kelly, McCleary; Kermorgant.
Manchester United substitutes: Pereira, Fosu-Mensah, Jones, Schweinsteiger, Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic.
Manchester United XI (4-2-3-1): Romero; Young, Smalling, Rojo, Blind; Fellaini, Carrick; Mata, Rooney, Martial; Rashford.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this afternoon…
After three games out with a thigh injury, Rooney is back in the United starting line-up as he searches for that all-important 249th goal. If he hits the back of the net today, the 31-year-old striker will equal Sir Bobby Charlton’s record and become United’s joint-highest goalscorer of all time.
It’s now almost exactly 90 years since Reading last beat United in an FA Cup tie, with the Red Devils winning six of the last eight subsequent meetings between the two sides. United were also victorious in the last Premier League game between the two, with that fixture ending in a 1-0 win thanks to a first-half goal from Wayne Rooney.
Stam’s first taste of full-time management has proven to be a big success thus far, with the Dutchman managing to guide his Reading side to third place in the Championship table thanks to Monday’s spirit comeback against Bristol City. The Royals have been one of the standout teams in a very impressive division this season, and they will be quietly confident about their chances of pulling off an upset today.
United are unbeaten in their previous 24 FA Cup meetings against second-tier sides, with their last defeat coming against Watford in 1982. However, they will be well aware of the embarrassment they suffered at the hands of MK Dons two seasons ago, and Jaap Stam is certainly bringing an impressive Reading team with him on his return to Old Trafford.
It’s been a good two months for United, who head into today’s cup tie unbeaten in 13 games, their longest run since March 2013. The last seven of those ended in victories, setting them up perfectly for the defence of their FA Cup crown. It took until extra-time to beat Crystal Palace in May’s final, but with his United side looking far more slick than they did earlier in the season, Jose Mourinho will be hoping for an easier day this afternoon.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s FA Cup third round game between Manchester United and Reading at Old Trafford.