Casemiro (L) celebrates after scoring goal. (Photo: [email protected])
LONDON: Manchester United defeated Reading 3-1 at Old Trafford, with Casemiro contributing with a superb brace to a strong Brazilian presence that enabled the Red Devils to advance for the FA Cup fifth round.
A committed Royals defense, led by former United midfielder Paul Ince, prevented Erik ten Hag’s team from breaking through in the first half, despite their dominance throughout as their recent run of success continued.
The Brazillian trio of Casemiro, Antony and Fred combined together to extend United’s winning run to 11 matches at home.
Casemiro scored United’s first goal of the match after the first half in the 54th minute after Fred delivered a stunning pass to his Brazillian teammate.
Antony assisted the former Real Madrid star with his second goal in the 57th minute, giving the hosts a two goal lead.
With a wonderful deflected finish at the near post, Fred (66′) later added his name to the scoreboard. It happened just a minute after Andy Carroll, a former Liverpool striker, was sent for a second violation after making an errant, late challenge on Casemiro.
Amadou Salif Mbengue’s (72) free header gave Reading a consolation goal later in the game, but the only significant setback for the hosts was an ankle injury to midfielder Christian Eriksen.
It is “tough” to give a diagnosis, according to Ten Hag, who has an intense fixture schedule coming up with eight games in February, but the midfielder will be evaluated over the course of the next 24 hours.
With the fifth round draw taking place on Monday evening, United will now play against teams like Manchester City, Tottenham, and Leeds.
The second leg of the Carabao Cup semifinal between Manchester United and Nottingham Forest will be played at home on Wednesday.
On Saturday, Erik ten Hag’s team will play host to Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
Reading will host Watford on Saturday to resume their Championship schedule before travelling to Sunderland on Saturday, February 11. (ANI)