Skip to main content

Manchester United still on course for historic treble after FA Cup win

February 18, 2013 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
Nani was on target as Manchester United moved into the quarterfinals of the FA Cup
Nani was on target as Manchester United moved into the quarterfinals of the FA Cup
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester beat Reading 2-1 to move into the quarter finals of the English FA Cup
  • Goals from Portuguese midfielder Nani and striker Javier Hernandez see off Reading
  • Coach Alex Ferguson makes eight changes from the side that drew with Real Madrid
  • Lazio miss the chance to go third in Serie A after a 3-0 defeat at lowly Siena

(CNN) -- It is a measure of the squad Alex Ferguson has at his disposal that the Manchester United coach can make eight changes to the side that drew with Real Madrid and still move closer to an historic treble.

With his side 12 points clear at the top of the English Premier League and in the box seat after drawing 1-1 with Real in their European Champions League last 16 tie, they moved into the last eight of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Reading.

Only goalkeeper David De Gea, midfielder Phil Jones and striker Danny Welbeck, who grabbed United's goal at the Bernabeu, survived from the Real Madrid test as they defeated struggling Reading.

Portuguese winger Nani and Mexican striker Javier Hernandez put United into a 2-0 lead before Jobi McAnuff ensured a tense last ten minutes at Old Trafford. United are now in line to play Chelsea in the quarterfinals, if the Blues beat second-tier Middlesbrough.

Does Ronaldo carry Real Madrid?
Will Mourinho replace Ferguson?
Michael Owen's Liverpool regret?
Football tactics: Xavi vs. Schweinsteiger

The only negative of the evening was a potentially serious injury to Jones, who limped off after 42 minutes and later left the ground on crutches.

"It was a good cup tie and ended up a really good one,'' Ferguson told ESPN. "They (Reading) went for it, piled the ball into the box and we withstood that.

"We played some great football, missed chances, had shots blocked and their goalkeeper made some saves.

"I`m satisfied with the quality of the game. We had to defend, our goalkeeper made some excellent saves because at 2-0 we were never comfortable.''

On Jones' injury Ferguson told the club's own channel MUTV: "We will have to assess it in the morning. It is an ankle injury so I would imagine he would not be ready for Saturday and we will see what he is like after that."

Arguably, Ferguson's finest moment in his 26-year stint as manager of United came in 1999 when his side won the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League.

And his side are in with a chance of repeating that famous triumph after extending their unbeaten run to 16 matches.

United piled on the pressure in the early stages but Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici kept them at bay with smart saves from Tom Cleverley and Ashley Young.

Nani came on for Jones and twice went close, volleying narrowly wide before forcing Federici to tip over his fierce shot but the pressure finally told as the Portuguese tucked home from Antonio Valencia's cross.

Three minutes later Hernandez doubled United's lead with a near post header but McAnuff's finish on 81 minutes gave Reading hope though they couldn't force an equalizer.

In Italy, Lazio spurned the chance to leapfrog AC Milan into third place after they went down to a shock 3-0 defeat at Siena.

Innocent Emeghara put Siena into a sixth minute lead, turning home Matteo Rubin's cross before Alessandro Rosina polished off another Rubin center to make it 2-0.

Emeghara got his second and Siena's third on the hour mark to seal an important win for the club, who remain in the relegation zone despite picking up three points.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT