Manchester Utd 2 Reading 1
Manchester United 2 Reading 1, Old Trafford Stadium, English FA Cup Fifth Round, February 18, 2013. A goal and an assist from Luis Nani in the second period secured Manchester United a place in the quarter-finals. The Portuguese hammered United into the lead in the 69th minute before he crossed for Javier Hernandez who headed home three minutes later.
After defeating Fulham 4-1 at Old Trafford in the FA Cup Fourth Round through a brace by dangerman Javier Hernandez and a goal apiece from Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney, Manchester United played host to Reading in the in the next stage of the competition. The Berkshire club, meanwhile, had qualified for the fifth round of the FA Cup thanks to a fine 4-0 triumph over Sheffield United at Madejski Stadium with Noel Hunt scoring a double and Mikele Leigertwood and Garath McCleary netting a single each for the home outfit. Manchester United had not won the FA Cup since the 2003-04 season when The Red Devils beat Football League First Division underdogs Milllwall by a convincing 3-0 margin at the 75,000 capacity Millennium Stadium in Cardiff courtesy of a headed goal from Portugal international Cristiano Ronaldo and a brace from fellow forward Ruud van Nistelrooy. The last time Manchester United had reached the FA Cup Final, however, was in the 2006-07 campaign when they succumbed to a close 1-0 defeat at the hands of fierce rivals Chelsea at Wembley. By comparison, though, Reading had never reached beyond the semi finals of the competition.
Luis Carlos Almeida da Cunha, commonly known as just Nani, had been in and out of the Manchester United first team for much of the 2012-13 season, and his last goal prior to the clash with Reading was in the high scoring 5-4 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup Fourth Round on the 31st of October 2012. The Iberian nevertheless made an immediate and veritable impact on the FA Cup Fifth Round fixture against The Royals after coming on from the bench as a substitute for the injured Phil Jones shortly before the sound of the half time signal, and the flanker was instrumental in winning the match for United. Nani had only been on the field for four minutes when he hit the post with a volley from the edge of the penalty area, and moments later, he put Adam Federici in the Reading goal to the test with a difficult long shot from 30 yards. But then, in the 69th minute, a low and short cross from Antonio Valencia found the on running Nani who managed to powerfully smash the ball past the outstretched hands of Federici and into the net.
And just three minutes later in the game, Nani whipped an excellent cross onto the head of Chicharito who directed the ball beyond the reach of the Reading shot stopper to make it 2-0 to Manchester United. Despite seeing much less of the ball than United, Reading still managed to create a few goal scoring chances, and Jamaican international midfielder Jobi McAnuff eventually found the back of the net for The Biscuitmen in the 80th minute of the encounter, but it ended up as a consolation goal. Manchester United could have scored more if they had capitalised on their opportunities, but the victory was a formality in the end. And although Reading scored a late goal, Sir Alex Ferguson´s treble challengers were never really troubled by Brian McDermott´s plucky players. Manchester United Team: David de Gea, Chris Smalling, Alexander Buttner, Nemanja Vidic, Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young, Javier Hernandez, Oliveira Anderson, Danny Welbeck. Substitutes: Anders Lindegard, Ben Amos, Robin van Persie, Luis Nani, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Shinji Kagawa. Reading Team: Adam Federici, Stephen Kelly, Sean Morrison, Adrian Mariappa, Garath McCleary, Nicky Shorey, Mikele Leigertwood, Noel Hunt, Adam Le Fondre, Jem Karacan, Jobi McAnuff. Substitutes: Mikkel Andersen, Danny Guthrie, Hal Robson-Kanu, Alex Pearce, Pavel Pogrebnyak.
Manchester United Quickfacts
Manchester United defeated Reading 3-0 in an FA Cup Third Round Replay at Old Trafford on the 29th of February 1912 through a brace by Sandy Turnbull and one goal from Harold Halse.