Manchester United 2-0 Reading: 5 Talking Points | FA Cup 2018-19
Manchester United began their FA Cup campaign with a victory as they beat Reading 2-0 at Old Trafford.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fielded a much-changed eleven, which gave many of the players a rest after a busy December. Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez started the game. Young midfielders Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay were given a run and so were Sergio Romero and Matteo Darmian.
United opened the scoring in the first half, albeit with a little help from VAR. Juan Mata was judged to be fouled in the box, which ruled out Fred's goal but gave his side the penalty. Mata duly dispatched the spot-kick to give his side the lead.
Lukaku made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time when he latched onto Sanchez's perfectly weighted through ball. Sanchez did hobble off injured later, which is definitely a worry. Solskjaer handed youngster Tahith Chong his United debut and he was received warmly by the home crowd.
Reading did play their brand of football but failed to make an impact. All in all, it was a comfortable win for United. Here are the major talking points from the game.
#5 The pattern of play surprisingly dominated by Reading
The Old Trafford would have expected territorial dominance against Reading, but that was not to be. The visitors had their say in the match, albeit without springing up any sort of upset.
Reading's ball possession was 59.5% in the game, which was significantly more than their opponents. Their passing accuracy of 84% was higher than that of United's as well. They completed 585 passes to United's 400 and had more efforts on goal as well. United, on the other hand, lost the ball more times and committed more fouls.
The Reading midfielders John Swift, Liam Kelly, and Andy Rinomhota were comfortable on the ball, knocking it about with great confidence. Old Trafford clearly did not faze them. The full-backs also bombed forward, contributing to the attack. Reading put in a good performance, but the lack of goals couldn't turn it into a special one.