Manchester United safely booked our passage through to the fourth round of this season’s FA Cup with a 2-0 victory over Reading at Old Trafford this afternoon.
VAR awarded us a penalty midway through the first half as Juan Mata was fouled by Omar Richards. The Spaniard picked himself up to convert into the bottom corner.
Romelu Lukaku made it 2-0 in first half stoppage time with a well-time and angled run to get onto Alexis Sanchez’s delicious through ball, before rounding the Reading goalkeeper.
19-year-old winger Tahith Chong made his Manchester United debut on the hour.
Here are how our players fared:
Sergio Romero 8 – One good stop towards the end of the first half and another in the opening 10 minutes of the second. Sergio Romero was forced into a one-handed save to deny Sone Aluko in the final 20 minutes during a rare start for the Argentine.
Diogo Dalot 8 – Offered width down the right wing at times. Narrowly missed Lukaku and Pereira with one cross in the final 10 minutes. Largely kept the tricky Garath McCleary at bay. Diogo Dalot was beaten by a lovely move by Reading down our right-hand side that eventually saw Callum Marriott denied by the legs of Sergio Romero 10 minutes into the second half.
Phil Jones 8 – Good leadership at the back from Phil Jones alongside Matteo Dariman at centre-back and with a teenager on the right. Reading got in good positions to create chances but ultimately didn’t cause Sergio Romero too many problems, particularly in the first half as we went in 2-0 at the break.
Matteo Darmian 7 – It wasn’t the strongest of defensive performances from us but Matteo Darmian did what he could as a makeshift centre-back and we came away with a clean sheet.
Ashley Young 6 – Callum Marriott caused us a few problems down the right wing. Ashley Young was decent in possession himself but didn’t fire many crosses into the Reading box.
Andreas Pereira 7 – Energetic performance in a rare start for the Brazilian midfielder. Denied by a good save from a 25-yard drive in the final minute of stoppage time.
Scott McTominay 7 – Comfortable in possession and won his fair share of aerial battles. Scott McTominay supported the attack in the final third. Made a number of tackles in the middle of the park to win the ball back for us too.
Fred 5 – Saw a lot of the ball but Fred was very poor in possession today in giving the ball away inside his own half at times today. Fred didn’t always track back but did make a number of tackles. Replaced just after the hour.
Juan Mata 6 – Sent goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot to open the scoring midway through the first half after winning the penalty himself.
Romelu Lukaku 7 – Made it three goals in three appearances under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, killing the game off in first half stoppage time by making it 2-0 which included an excellent first touch to take the ball past the goalkeeper. Romelu Lukaku failed to control a through ball from Andreas Pereira early in the second half that otherwise would have seen him one-on-one with Anssi Jaakkola. Otherwise the Belgian didn’t see too many touches nor chances as our striker today.
Alexis Sanchez 7 – Hardworking effort off the ball. Looked a threat despite often picking the ball up from deep. Superb through ball for Lukaku to make it 2-0. Limped off just after the hour though having only just returned from a hamstring injury this week.
Tahith Chong (30 mins) 6 – Made his senior Manchester United debut for the final half hour by replacing Juan Mata to link up with our front three. Looked lively. Made a good run into the penalty area in the final 20 minutes only to be denied by an excellent challenge from Liam Moore. Picked up a yellow card.
Marouane Fellaini (30 mins) 6 – Had an effort on goal but otherwise little of note from Marouane Fellaini after being introduced 15 minutes into the second half. Good defending to deny Yakou Meite space for a free cross inside our penalty area in the final 10 minutes.
Marcus Rashford (28 mins) N/A – Replaced the injured Alexis Sanchez but saw very little of the ball as we allowed Reading a lot of the possession in the final half hour. Missed a good chance in the final minute.