Monday, 18 February 2013

Manchester United vs Reading: FA Cup 5th Round Tie - LIVE Coverage

Hello and welcome to my latest blog installment everyone! Due to the fact that this week is half-term for me, expect a LOT of blog posts this week including Issue 3 of "My Thoughts" which features two of the best players in the world (Messi and Ronaldo).

Tomorrow will also be covered with UEFA Champions League action as Arsenal host German giants Bayern Munich, but my main focus tonight involves the last match in Round 5 of this season's FA Cup.

Manchester United host Reading at Old Trafford at 8pm, and Sir Alex Ferguson will take note from Arsene Wenger's woes on the weekend and make sure that he does not field an under-strength team despite Reading being 18th in the EPL at the moment...

Quarter-Final Draw:

Oldham Athletic/Everton vs Wigan Athletic 
Manchester City vs Barnsley
Manchester United/Reading vs Middlesborough/Chelsea
Millwall vs Blackburn Rovers

Ties to be played the weekend of March 9th and 10th.

Interesting draw there, with Everton and Manchester City both the favourites to move into the semi-finals with a comfortable win. Manchester United and Chelsea are both expected to win their respective 5th Round ties and will conjure up a mouthwatering all EPL-tie in the quarters. 

19:45: 15 minutes until kick-off at Old Trafford, with the team line-ups being officially confirmed for this 5th Round tie. 

Manchester United: De Gea, Smalling, Jones, Vidic, Buttner, Valencia, Anderson, Cleverley, Young, Welbeck, Hernandez. 

Subs: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Giggs, Nani, Carrick, van Persie, Kagawa. 

Strong United squad, with Jones and Vidic both defensive rocks. Smalling returns to the squad, along with left-back Buttner and Mexican "super sub" Javier Hernandez. 
van Persie and Kagawa are among the subs on the United bench just in-case... 

Reading: Federici, Kelly, Shorey, Mariappa, Morrison, Karacan, Leigtertwood, McAnuff, McCleary, Hunt, Le Fondre.

Subs: Andersen, Gunter, Pearce, Carrico, Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak.

Pogrebnyak has to start the match from the bench as life-long United fan and "super sub" Adam Le Fondre starts up top along with Noel Hunt for The Royals in a 4-4-2 formation. They need to get comfortable and make sure that they defend well if they are to get a result away from home at "The Theatre of Dreams" tonight. 

Referee: Andre Marriner

20:23: 23 minutes played at Old Trafford, and even though it feels like it is an EPL match, United should be 2-0 up. 
Valencia should have scored in the first 3 minutes but his finishing ability failed him after Welbeck's shot was parried away by Adam Federici.

Manchester United pressed Reading for the opener, with England midfielder Tom Cleverley having a 25-yard drive parried away by Federici before the ball fell straight into the path of Ashley Young from 7 yards out who failed to break the deadlock after having his effort tipped past the post.

26: Reading striker Noel Hunt is jogging off the pitch in frustration, because he has to receive some more treatment after his 50/50 collision with Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic ended with him having a head cut.

30: Reading trying to pressurise the hosts, but every time Jobi McAnuff goes down the wing with pace and purpose, his probing cross into the box finds no-one, because all of the Reading players are stuck in their own half.

37: Young rising English defender Phil Jones is down on the floor in agony after a 50/50 challenge with Jobi McAnuff near the touchline. It seems as though he has twisted his knee and he is limping off the pitch.

40: Nani is taking off his big Manchester United coat, and is receiving instructions from the assistant coach. 

42: Phil Jones limps down into the tunnel in anger at the fact that his match is prematurely ending.
Manchester United substitution:
Phil Jones (injury) OFF
Nani ON

Sir Alex Ferguson is shifting Antonio Valencia to right-back now and Nani moves into right-midfield.

45: The fourth official has signalled for 4 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first-half at Old Trafford. 

45+4: The referee Andre Marriner blows his whistle to end the first-half action at Old Trafford tonight. It has been an interesting first-half for both sides, with Reading the happier of the two sides because they are lucky not to be 2 or 3-0 down. 

United are desperate to progress into the Quarter-Finals, and the team-talk will be essential to how they perform in the second half, and I doubt that there will not be any goals in this match. 


Manchester United 2 Reading 1 

What did I say? I said that there would be goals in the second half didn't I?!?! And guess what?
United eventually prevailed 2-1 thanks to goals from Nani in the 69th minute and Javier Hernandez in the 72nd minute (header from Nani's cross).

Reading pressed the hosts for a goal and eventually got it in the 80th minute thanks to winger Jobi McAnuff, but their late challenge was too late for the visitors as United held strong and progress to the Quarter-Finals against either Chelsea or Middlesborough.