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

Nurein Ahmed
ANALYST
Feature
2.16K   //    05 Jan 2019, 23:37 IST

Alexis Sanchez hobbled off on his return to the first team
Alexis Sanchez hobbled off on his return to the first team

Manchester United won comfortably again as they beat championship side Reading to book a spot in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup. The win was their fifth on the spin as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preserved his 100% winning record since taking over as United’s interim manager.

Two first half goals from Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku won the game for United, who also kept their second successive clean sheet.

Fred had looked like putting the Red Devils ahead before the goal was ruled out for offside. However, VAR came into effect judging that Juan Mata was fouled in the build-up, and referee Stuart Attwell consulted with VAR referee Jon Moss and awarded the penalty.

The Spaniard coolly converted before Lukaku rounded off the win, picking a brilliant pass from Alexis Sanchez and slotting home. United looked totally in control, and a string of impressive saves from their deputy goalkeeper Sergio Romero helped maintain a rare clean-sheet.

United will hope they can maintain their winning streak as they attempt to catch up to Arsenal and Chelsea in the league table, when they travel to Wembley to face Tottenham next weekend.

Here are the three talking points from the match.

#1. FA Cup shows that the Premier League misses VAR

Juan Mata
Juan Mata

The Premier League has confirmed the use of VAR beginning from the 2019-20 season. However, the FA Cup had initiated the usage in last season’s final between Manchester United and Chelsea, and the move has proven to be judicious.

VAR came to Manchester United’s rescue against Reading. An apparent tackle on Juan Mata that went unseen by the match official Stuart Attwell was vindicated as a foul by VAR, and subsequently a penalty was given. Mata dispatched the spot kick to open the scoring.

While it is just under five months until the current Premier League campaign ends, it is fair to say there will be a few more controversial moments that would have otherwise been avoided by VAR.

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Nurein Ahmed
ANALYST
A passionate lover of tennis and football. All views are my own. Please also do checkout my contributions on LastWordOnTennis for other related content of tennis. https://lastwordontennis.com/author/nureinahmed/
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