The Madejski Stadium looked more like hell today for the Red Devils than a football ground, as Reading gave them a big scare in the first half, but eventually Manchester United edged this encounter on a 3-4 scoreline, with all seven goals scored in the first 34 minutes, but with a more subdued second half by both teams, which actually gave the impression that a settlement was done at half-time between the two teams as neither came up with the same spirit in the second half
Old habits die hard, and United proved it as they went behind on the 8th minute as Robson-Kanu volleyed one past Lindegaard to give Reading the lead. United reacted on the 13th minute as Young picked a pass for Anderson, who went in for an instantaneous shot past Federici, with the help of a deflection off the post. 3 minutes later United took the lead, as Evans was pushed in the box, and Rooney converted the resulting penalty. However United got back to their bad habit of just keeping the ball, and Reading broke forward dangerously when they got the ball, and on the 19th minute, United paid the price as Le Fondre equalized by heading in a corner, while the United defense was static. A similar corner on the 23rd minute saw Morrison this time head in again as United just failed to deal with the corner. However yet again United bounced back, this time on the 30th minute as Evra’s pass in the box found Rooney for his double, and the latter four minutes later became the passer as he found RvP for the 4th goal to give United the lead again. In between these two goals, Rafael became SAF’s scapegoat, as he got booked for committing too many fouls, and was also not able to cope with the player on his wing, and SAF hauled him off to bring on Smalling, and it triggered a negative reaction on the young Brazilian as he refused to shake hands with the gaffer and even refused to take the jacket handed to him by the kit man. May be he’ll pay the price of this snub in the coming games by either being left on the bench or even out of the squad.
The second half was a boring one, as United kept the ball but not really creating clear opportunities to score, although at one point RvP managed to rob the keeper of the ball but failed to send it in the net from a tight angle, while Reading tried to get an equalizer without any success, as they looked most dangerous from set-pieces, but in the end as United held on for the win. With the derby programmed next weekend, this United squad could be in for a big shock should they give a bis-repetita of this match, as the defense looked really weak, while the midfield was just completely unbalanced, with Rooney playing as right winger, while Anderson limped off in the first half itself, but he did give a good performance for the time he played. Fletcher was not exuding confidence, and I failed to understand how SAF kept him on (must be his “lust-child”) However United are now 3 points clear on top, and a draw or a win at Man City next weekend would be a welcome result, but City are fearsome at home, as they’ve not lost yet on home ground since last season.