Manchester Utd 2 Reading 1

Luis Nani

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.

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