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FA Cup 2018-19: 3 take-aways from Manchester United's 2-0 win over Reading

Nurein Ahmed
ANALYST
Feature
05 Jan 2019, 23:37 IST

#2. Sanchez looked bright, but hobbled off injured

Manchester United v Reading - FA Cup Third Round
Manchester United v Reading - FA Cup Third Round

Jose Mourinho’s dismissal was a welcome relief for many misfiring Manchester United players, and one of them was Alexis Sanchez.

The Chilean, who was last January’s big acquisition from Arsenal, had struggled to get in the United first team, and has only scored one league goal this season. He was injured from November until recently when he returned to training.

Sanchez was given a rare start by Solskjaer and was bright in the opening exchanges, where he played on the left of a front three. He set up Lukaku’s goal, which was his second assist in as many days following one against Newcastle in midweek.

But Sanchez's return was cut short when he was replaced by Marcus Rashford in the second half after suffering what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Whether this will be a long-term injury remains to be seen, but it would be a major setback for the former Arsenal star.

#3. Manchester United have another safe pair of hands in Romero

Sergio Romero
Sergio Romero

David De Gea has long been Manchester United’s best player. The Spaniard is also regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

His absence from the first team is usually felt almost immediately. But on Saturday afternoon, he was a given a rare off day, and his deputy Sergio Romero filled in for him.

The Argentine is a very agile goalkeeper who possesses a wealth of experience. Reading had 13 shots at goal, with 5 of them being on target. On all of those five occasions, the Argentinean number one was brilliant.

His reflexes thwarted Reading from making the scoreline a little more respectable as United conjured their second successive clean sheet under Solskjaer. 

De Gea is most likely to keep his place once the Premier League resumes next weekend with a tough trip to Wembley. But in Sergio Romero, United have a top class backup goalkeeper.

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