Manchester United 2 - 1 Reading

Match info: FA Cup - 5th Rnd at Old Trafford

Date: 18/02/2013 KO: 20:00 Ref: A Marriner Att: 75,213

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Man Utd

Nani 69
Javier Hernandez 72

2
vs
1

Reading

Jobi McAnuff 81

FT (ht: 0-0)

  • Last Updated: February 18 2013, 23:12 GMT

Phil Jones left Old Trafford on crutches on Monday night to cast a shadow over Manchester United's 2-1 FA Cup win over Reading.

Ferguson: Waiting on assessment of Jones injury
Ferguson: Waiting on assessment of Jones injury

Second-half goals from Nani and Javier Hernandez provided enough insurance for United to repel a Reading revival after Jobi McAnuff gave them hope.

But the loss of Jones, who hurt his ankle in the first half after a tackle with McAnuff, is a blow given the England man did such a superb job keeping Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo quiet in the first leg of the Champions League tie at the Bernabeu last week.

"We'll have to assess it in the morning," said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

"It's an ankle injury obviously so I'd imagine he'll not be ready for Saturday anyway.

"But we'll see what he's like after that."

Saturday's trip to QPR is the least of Ferguson's worries, though, with the obvious requirement now for Jones to be patched up for that Real rematch at Old Trafford on March 5, which will now be followed by an FA Cup quarter-final against either Chelsea or Middlesbrough.

And Ferguson might even have an unexpected selection dilemma given Nani's introduction for Jones sparked United into life after they had faded following a decent opening.

Nani has been a peripheral figure this term, starting just 10 games and only one in the Premier League since the end of September.

It has widely been assumed the Portugal international would be leaving Old Trafford in the summer, when Wilfried Zaha is due to arrive from Crystal Palace.

Yet he remains the most explosive of United's wide-men.

And Ferguson sensed he might have a big impact this evening.

"He's got great talent, we know that," said Ferguson.

"I had a feeling he would win the game for us. You could see he was right on form the moment he came on.

"He had two great strikes immediately and was a threat to them the whole night.

"It's a good addition. If he keeps that form it makes my job more difficult now."

Nani's opener broke some stubborn Reading resistance, which threatened to earn them a replay.

Javier Hernandez seemed to take the game away from them completely with his 15th goal of the season shortly afterwards, only for McAnuff to pull one back which ensured a few nervy moments at the end before United were able to take another stride forward in their Treble quest.

"The last 10 minutes were a bit scary," said Ferguson.

"Some of the football tonight was fantastic and we could have scored a lot of goals. In that way I'm satisfied.

"We didn't want a replay though and in fairness, we dug in and defended the long throw-ins and the balls into the box.

"You cannot get any better than a home tie in the cup. It doesn't matter who we play, at Old Trafford we have got a chance."

Reading are becoming renowned for their refusal to lie down and manager

Reading manager Brian McDermott was full of praise for his own side's efforts.

"We gave them a real run for their money," he said.

"In the last 20 mins we played some very good football.

"But they have some fantastic players and Nani is one of them.

"It makes you think when they can bring on players like Robin van Persie as well. When he was warming up I did speak to him and told him to sit down."

McDermott does feel it will be decent preparation for a return visit in the Premier League later this season, although before that, they have the small matter of a relegation scrap with Wigan, whose manager Roberto Martinez was at tonight's game, at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

"It is the first time I have managed here and it was good for me personally and my players to come here," he said.

"We have to come back here in the league and will know a bit more about what to expect.

"We really wanted to put on a performance for our fans and we have done that.

"Now we can look forward to Saturday's game against Wigan."


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