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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Reading Vs. Manchester United Video Clip


Boss relieved after Reading test

Sir Alex Ferguson was as relieved as anyone to hear the final whistle at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday, having watched his side make hard work of a 2-0 win over Reading.

Wayne Rooney scored 13 minutes from time, with Cristiano Ronaldo adding a second in injury time. But it was by no means comfortable, Reading caused United problems all afternoon and never gave in.

“By the end we were quite happy to get through it,” admitted Sir Alex afterwards.

“Considering the number of opportunities we had, maybe our decision-making in the final third of the field wasn’t at its best. We kept making chances, but you do start to worry when the game goes on and you haven’t scored.

“You worry whether you’re going to get the goal, and it took a lovely flick from Wayne to get us in front. Credit to Reading they kept going at us. They really do make you work.”

Both sides set out with an attacking agenda, which made for an end-to-end encounter.

“It was a really open match,” added Sir Alex. “It really needed an early goal, which could have led to a lot of goals in that game. We got the goal at the right time and managed to hold on to get through.

“I wasn’t sure how Reading were going to approach it. When I saw their line-up I knew they were going gung-ho. The opportunities they had, they had a go for it.

“Kitson gave us a lot of problems, but in the main it was down to our own attacking play, which wasn’t at its best today. With a bit more care in the last third we would maybe have scored more.” Read more...

Reading Vs. Manchester United Result Report

United remain top of the Premier League but the Reds made things difficult for themselves at the Madejski Stadium, leaving it late for Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo to seal a 2-0 victory.

Sir Alex Ferguson will not have been thankful for his side’s profligacy in front of goal for much of the match, especially against a side of Reading’s energy, enthusiasm and unwillingness to give in.

It took 77 minutes for Rooney to put United in front with an expert flicked finish, but it should have been far more straightforward. Ronaldo’s goal deep in injury time confirmed victory, although this was a win that tested the nerves.

The game was wide open in the first ten minutes, with United picking up where they left off in the second half against Newcastle creating chance after chance.

Inside the first minute Carlos Tevez and Rooney linked up to play in Ronaldo on the right, and the Portuguese winger’s low shot was only narrowly wide.

The Reds still had to be sharp at the opposite end when Leroy Lita got in behind Rio Ferdinand after ten minutes. Edwin van der Sar saved the Royals striker’s shot, and Nemanja Vidic's brilliantly-timed sliding tackle stopped Dave Kitson passing the rebound into an empty net.

Seconds later Ronaldo sent another shot fizzing past the post, before Rooney and Tevez again combined with the Argentina international firing narrowly wide.

Sir Alex’s men rarely face teams that play an open game; it’s far more common to come up against rigidly stubborn resistance than Reading’s have-a-go outlook. Some could say it was a brave decision by Steve Coppell, simply because it can play into United’s hands.

Owen Hargreaves, making only his 11th league start, was the latest to have a go, this time from a set-piece. Ronaldo was hacked down, central to the goal, 25 yards out. Hargreaves arced in his shot, which Marcus Hahnemann brilliantly turned behind for a corner.

Reading weren’t without their moments. A weak van der Sar clearance was very nearly punished by Kitson, whose 40-yard shot had to be headed clear by Ferdinand, with Edwin stranded out of his goal.

However, as against Newcastle, United could find a way through before the interval and faced a second-half searching for a way to break their opponents down.

Two minutes after the restart, United almost got a similar response to the one against Newcastle. From a corner taken by Ryan Giggs, on for Ji-sung Park at half-time, Kitson almost headed into his own goal, but Hahnemann saved the Reading striker’s blushes.

After an hour Ronaldo had a chance to score his 23rd goal of the season. Rio burst into the box and squared the ball across goal, but it bobbled just as Ronaldo went to shoot and his shot was sent skyward. United’s frustrations continued.

Sir Alex’s side played some good, penetrative football early in the second half, but the final, crucial touch was proving elusive.

The longer the game went on the greater the feeling that Reading would deny United three points. But with little more than ten minutes left, that changed with a moment of sheer brilliance.

Tevez received the ball 35 yards from goal and picked out Rooney’s run into the box. The striker allowed the ball to drop over his left shoulder before expertly guiding the ball past Hahnemann. It was as much relief as joy for the Reds.

Carrick and Ronaldo both had chances to wrap up all three points. Carrick failed to latch onto Nani’s neat pull-back from the byline, while Ronaldo was denied one-on-one by Hahnemann.

Reading kept pushing for an equaliser and there were some desperate moments during the four minutes of added time, which ended with a United breakaway and Ronaldo running the full length of the pitch to dispatch his 23rd goal of the season.

Three points and a goal each for Rooney and Ronaldo: sounds like business as usual. But it certainly wasn’t done the easy way.

Team Line-ups

Reading: Hahnemann; Murty (c), Cisse, Ingimarsson, Shorey; Doyle, Harper, Hunt, Convey (Matejovsky 79); Lita (Long 83), Kitson.
Sub not used: Federici, De la Cruz, Rosenior.
Booked: Convey

Manchester United
: Van der Sar; Brown, Ferdinand (c), Vidic, Evra; Ronaldo, Hargreaves (Nani 70), Carrick, Park (Giggs 46); Tevez (Fletcher 79), Rooney.
Subs not used: Kuszczak, O’Shea.
Booked: Ferdinand