Manchester U 1 Reading 0
Manchester United 1 Reading 0, Old Trafford, English Premier League, March 16, 2013. Manchester United managed to edge out Reading 1-0 thanks to a brilliant goal from Wayne Rooney in the 21st minute of the tie. Sir Alex Ferguson´s Premiership chasers now only needed to win another thirteen points to guarantee themselves the Premier League trophy.
Following a disappointing 2-2 FA Cup Quarter-Final draw against longtime rivals Chelsea at Old Trafford, it was back to the bread and butter of the Premier League for Manchester United as they took on Reading at Old Trafford. High-flying Manchester United had beaten Southampton, Fulham, Everton, Queens Park Rangers, and Norwich City in their previous five Premier League fixtures, while relegation candidates Reading had managed to overcome Sunderland, and lost against Stoke City, Wigan Athletic, Everton, and Aston Villa. In the reverse encounter of the 2012-13 season, United had defeated The Royals of Berkshire to the merry tune of 4-3 at Madejski Stadium on the 1st of December 2012 courtesy of a double by Wayne Rooney and a goal apiece from Oliviera Anderson and Robin van Persie. And in their last meeting on the 18th of February 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson´s lads had edged out Reading by a 2-1 margin at Old Trafford in the fifth round of the FA Cup thanks to second half goals by Luis Nani and Javier Hernandez respectively. This time around, though, a single goal from Rooney was enough to overcome the The Biscuitmen at The Theatre of Dreams.
Manchester United dominated the possession of the ball from the start and the home team eventually went into the lead in the 21st minute of proceedings when former England defender Rio Ferdinand went on a long run upfield before he sent the ball to Wayne Rooney who hammered home to record his seventh goal in eight games at Old Trafford in 2013. After the break, Robin van Persie came close three minutes past the hour mark, but his well executed from 25 yards out was saved by Reading goalkeeper Stuart Taylor. During the closing stages, Wazza was once more the danger man as he went on to try a shot with five minutes left, only to see his effort go slightly over the crossbar. After defeating Reading 1-0, Manchester United now topped the Premier League table with 74 points gained from 29 matches played, 15 points clear of second placed Manchester City, 19 in front of Chelsea in third position, and 20 ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in fourth spot. Manchester United Team: David de Gea, Alexander Buttner, Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Ashley Young, Danny Welbeck, Oliveira Anderson, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie. Substitutes: Antonio Valencia, Jonathan Evans, Michael Carrick, Shinji Kagawa, Nick Powell, Javier Hernandez, Anders Lindegaard. Reading Team: Stuart Taylor, Adrian Mariappa, Alex Pearce, Stephen Kelly, Mikele Leigertwood, Nicky Shorey, Jem Karacan, Jobi McAnuff, Garath McCleary, Noel Hunt, Hal Robson-Kanu. Substitutes: Sean Morrison, Chris Gunter, Ian Harte, Hope Akpan, Nick Blackman, Adam Le Fondre, Alex McCarthy.