Manchester United 3-1 Reading: Casemiro and Fred on target for United

Manchester United 3-1 Reading: Brazilian midfield duo Casemiro and Fred on target for United as Erik ten Hag’s team advance to the FA Cup fifth round… but Marcus Rashford is denied a history-making goal by VAR

  • Marcus Rashford’s first-half header was disallowed after Wout Weghorst was ruled offside in the build-up
  • Erik ten Hag’s side took control after the interval and went thanks to a quick-fire double from Casemiro 
  • Former England striker Andy Carroll was sent off for a second bookable offence after fouling the Brazilian
  • With their opponents down to ten men, Fred came off the bench to add a third for the hosts after 66 minutes
  • But the visitors managed to get on the scoresheet when Amadou Mbengue connected with Tom Ince’s corner

Old Trafford was treated to a slice of Saturday night samba as Brazilians Casemiro and Fred ended Championship Reading’s stubborn resistance in the FA Cup fourth round.

Casemiro struck twice in four minutes at the start of the second half before compatriot Fred got in the act to put the tie to bed.

Reading, managed by former United great Paul Ince, had striker Andy Carroll dismissed for a late challenge on Casemiro but did manage a consolation from substitute Amadou Mbengue.

A Casemiro-inspired Manchester United saw off the challenge of Reading at Old Trafford to progress to the FA Cup fifth round

History and form had suggested a home win at Old Trafford. Reading’s only win against United was back in 1927 and they sit 16th in the Championship while Erik ten Hag’s team are still fighting in four competitions.

Ince, who won two FA Cups as a United player, received a good welcome from United fans despite his acrimonious departure from the club 28 years ago but he came up against a strong home side featuring only one change from their Carabao Cup semi-final win at Nottingham Forest

With Reading’s three thousand fans in good voice, Casemiro’s early hack on Jeff Hendrick indicated this would be a proper cup-tie under the lights.

Marcus Rashford looked to have scored a record-setting tenth goal in consecutive games for the club in the first half

But the in-form forward’s header was ultimately ruled out for offside by VAR and the game was level at the interval

Brazil international Casemiro was instrumental in United’s success, and put the hosts in the lead with his goal after 54 minutes

The first chances fell to United’s Christian Eriksen and Wout Weghorst and Reading goalkeeper Joe Lumley was forced into action after 14 minutes blocking a Marcus Rashford free-kick.

From the follow-up, Royals skipper Andy Yladom bravely blocked a shot by Eriksen and there were more bodies on the line when Tom Homes slid in to deny Wout Weghorst and skipper Andy Yiadom intercepted to stop Rashford.

The visiting fans also had a chuckle at Weghorst’s mishit shot after 27 minutes, singing at him ‘You’re just a s*** Andy Carroll’.

United reached the half-hour mark boasting 84% possession but still didn’t have a goal to show for it. Antony’s trickery down the right flank enabled Fernandes a chance to shoot but his effort angled away from the far post.

The former Real Madrid star added a second goal just three minutes later to double United’s lead against the Royals

Rashford was bidding to make club history by scoring in a tenth consecutive home game and he looked anguished after 35 minutes when his header was ruled out by VAR because Weghorst was offside before making the assist.

United had a strong penalty appeal turned down when Junior Hoilett’s clumsy challenge caught Casemiro and the underdogs then nearly took a shock lead with the last action of the first half.

United’s Tyrell Malacia attempted to chest the ball down facing his own goal and didn’t spot Hoilett lurking behind. The Canadian stole in and had a shot brilliantly parried by David de Gea as Ince looked on frustrated.

Having survived their scare at the end of the first half, Manchester United upped their game and made a double breakthrough before the hour mark, both times from Casemiro.

Former England striker Andy Carroll was sent off for a second bookable offence after fouling the Brazilian in the second half

After replacing Christian Eriksen in the second-half, Fred would add a third goal for Ten Hag’s side against the ten-man Reading

His first after 54 minutes followed a neat move in which Eriksen switched play to Antony on the right-hand side and the Brazilian winger slipped a pass into his compatriot’s path that Casemiro finished in style from eight yards.

The second four minutes later was from further out and had a touch of samba about it. Fred, another Brazilian, fed his World Cup team-mate 25 yards from goal and the strike with the outside of his right foot might have beaten Lumley in goal even without the additional glance off Holmes’ head.

Casemiro’s intervention was too much for Carroll who slid in out of control and caught the midfielder after 65 minutes to receive a red card. Carroll, 34, apologised to Casemiro seeming to blame a slippery pitch but referee Darren England had no sympathy and showed the former Liverpool and Newcastle striker a second yellow.

But Paul Ince’s side did give the travelling fans something to cheer about when Amadou Salif Mbengue scored from a corner

United were now in ruthless mode and converted a third when Fred turned in Fernandes’ cross from close range.

It was the signal for Erik ten Hag to substitute Rashford with the forward disappointed that he was unable to set his milestone.

The travelling Reading fans had their moment of celebration after 72 minutes when Tom Ince’s outswinging corner was met by the head of substitute Amadou Mbengue to make the score 3-1.


Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea, Malacia, Lindelof, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, Eriksen (Fred 57), Casemiro (Mainoo 73), Rashford (Garnacho 68), Fernandes (Pellistri 68), Antony, Weghorst (Elanga 73)

Substitutes not used: Heaton, Martinez, Varane, Williams

Manager: Erik ten Hag

Goals: Casemiro 54′, 58′, Fred 66′

Booked: Malacia

Reading (5-3-2): Lumley (Bouzanis 75), Rahman, McIntyre, Holmes, Yiadom, Hoilett (Mbengue 69), Hendrick (Craig 75), Loum (Fornah 62), Ince, Joao (Long 76), Carroll

Substitutes not used: Dann, Meite, Azeez, Guiness-Walker

Manager: Paul Ince

Goals: Mbengue 72′


Sent off: Carroll 

Referee: Darren England

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