Where to start? A classic? A comedy of errors? Who knows. What is for sure is that this seven goal thriller took United 3 points clear at the top of the table ahead of next weeks Manchester derby, and that is all that really matters.
United, did it the hard way. If coming back from losing positions each week wasn’t enough, yesterday we had to do it twice…in the first half. Reading took the lead after just 8 minutes after Jonny Evans’ attempted clearance fell to Robson-Kanu, whose crisp volley was smashed into the net. Their lead lasted just 5 minutes. Ashley Young played a nice ball into Anderson, who hit a first time shot into the roof of the net. 3 minutes later the comeback was complete after Jonny Evans was bundled over in the box by Tabb. Penalty to United which was dispatched by Wayne Rooney, his first goal in 5 weeks to take United ahead.
Just 7 minutes later though, Reading had retaken the lead. 2 decent corners that were defended dreadfully had punished the Reds. United were determined to do it the hard way. After 30 minutes though, United were level again. More neat football down the left with Young sliding the ball to Evra who hit a lovely cross into Rooney who fired in for his 2nd of the game.
The 2nd comeback of the game was complete after 34 minutes. Carrick’s ball forward was flicked by Rooney onto Robin van Persie, who was inches onside. The Dutchman slotted home from just inside the area. RVP should have had his 2nd goal of the game shortly after if the linesman had spotted his blocked shot was clearly over the line. Fortunately it wasn’t a decision that would cost United as United won this enthralling game 4-3.
Anders Lindegaard: One of his worst performances in a United shirt, ever! Probably jointly at fault for the 2nd and 3rd goal and you couldn’t help think that de Gea would have done better with the first. Seemed to lack command of the back 4. Surely de Gea will come in for next weeks game. 2/10
Rafael: Was withdrawn after just 30 minutes and replaced by Smalling after he made a few clumsy challenges and picked up a booking. Couldn’t quite deal with the physicality down the Reading left hand side at times. Hopefully he learns from his experience. 5/10
Jonny Evans: After rave reviews this season, this was a day to forget for Jonny Evans. Another player to struggle with Reading. It was his header that fell to Robson-Kanu for the first, and he could have done more with the corners. 5/10
Rio Ferdinand: Like the rest of the defence, should have done more at the corners. 5/10
Patrice Evra: Got tangled up with Jason Roberts during the corners which lead to the reading goals. However, offensively, Evra had a good game. Linked well with Young as well as providing the first time cross for Rooney’s 2nd goal 6/10
Michael Carrick: Had a very good game. Played some lovely passes, especially with his weaker left foot. Involved in the build up for the 3rd and 4th goals. 7/10
Darren Fletcher: Not Fletcher’s finest performance, but not too bad. Seemed to give the ball away in the middle of the park. Still on his way back to fitness though. Personally thought he should have been replaced by Cleverley. 5/10
Anderson: Another good performance from the Brazilian, capped by a fine goal which was taken first time. Played some good passes and provided an energetic performance. Sadly though, Anderson was taken off just before half time with a hamstring injury. Replaced by Phil Jones. 7/10
Ashley Young: Has come in for a lot of stick recently. Answered some of his critics with a much improved performance down the left. Was involved in the build up to the first 3 United goals (as well as the one that should have been) and despite some wayward crosses and shots, he had a good game. 7/10
Wayne Rooney: Deployed down the right, bagged 2 goals, 1 from the spot and had a good day at the office. Man of the match. 8/10
Robin van Persie: Scored 1, denied his 2nd by the linesman. Missed a sitter in the 2nd half after he dispossessed Federici in the Reading goal. Held the ball up really well and played some lovely football. Always a threat. 8/10
Chris Smalling: Had a decent game at Right Back after replacing Rafael after just 30 minutes. Had a chance to make it safe late on but his shot was blazed over. 7/10
Phil Jones: Replaced the injured Anderson before half time. Assisted the midfield in their defensive duties as well as making some surging energetic runs up the field. Seemed to play further forward than usual when deployed in midfield. 7/10
Danny Welbeck: Replaced Robin van Persie but little time to make an impact.
Next up for United, its the Manchester derby at the Etihad. Win and we go 6 points clear, Lose and City go top. After this display, we MUST sort out the defence because our defensive frailties this season are laughable and it could ultimately cost us the title. Keep checking Old Trafford Faithful for all the build up the the derby.