- Manchester United advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory
- Casemiro scored twice as Fred sealed the win over Championship side Reading at Old Trafford
- Man United is still competing on four fronts this season
Manchester United advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory over Championship side Reading at Old Trafford.
Casemiro scored twice for the 20-time English champions, while Fred scored as Erik ten Hag’s side proved too strong for their opponents on Saturday night.
Reading, who scored a late consolation goal, finished the game with ten men after experienced forward Andy Carroll was sent off in the 65th minute for the second of two bookings in five minutes.
Man United, who last won the FA Cup in 2016, is still competing on four fronts this season, with the team also contending for Premier League, EFL Cup and Europa League.
How the game unfolded
Reading had an early chance to put Man United goalkeeper David de Gea to the test at Old Trafford, but Tom Ince’s free kick from a great position hit the home side’s wall.
Wout Weghorst’s flick from an Aaron Wan-Bissaka cross was then deflected behind for a corner, giving the Red Devils a half-chance.
Christian Eriksen came close next, hitting a free kick just wide of the Reading post in the eighth minute; the Denmark international had another chance in the 14th minute, but his goal-bound strike was blocked after Marcus Rashford’s free-kick was parried by Joe Lumley.
In the 17th minute, Antony bent one just wide of Lumley’s goal before Weghorst had a shot that appeared to be heading in blocked behind for a corner, with Man United on the front foot on home soil.
As the pressure increased from Ten Hag’s side, Tom Holmes impressed at the heart of the Reading defence, throwing his body in the way of several shots, and Bruno Fernandes only just missed the post with a placed effort in the 27th minute.
Fernandes had another chance in the 32nd minute after good work from Antony down the right, but he fired wide off the far post.
Man United thought Rashford had given them the lead in the 35th minute when Weghorst headed into a dangerous area, and Rashford was on hand to nod home at the far post, with Lumley unable to prevent the ball from crossing the line. Still, a VAR check revealed that Weghorst had been offside in the build-up.
The home team had a penalty shout in the 40th minute when Casemiro went down inside the box under a challenge from Junior Hoilett. Still, the referee was uninterested, and VAR agreed.
Perfect second half
Antony missed another curler in the following period, with the Brazil international causing problems for the Championship side with his movement.
Casemiro then doubled Man United’s lead just before the hour mark, as the summer signing from Real Madrid found the bottom corner with a long-range strike, albeit with the assistance of a deflection off Holmes.
Reading was reduced to ten men in the 65th minute of the match when Carroll collided with Casemiro, earning the experienced striker his second yellow card
Man United added a third goal less than a minute later, with Fred expertly flicking a Fernandes cross through the legs of Reading’s goalkeeper.
Man United will now turn their attention to the EFL Cup, where they lead Nottingham Forest 3-0 going into the second leg of their semi-final on Wednesday.
Reading, meanwhile, will return to Championship action against Watford at home next weekend, looking for their first league victory since the end of December.
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