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FA Cup

Man Utd 2-0 Reading: Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku on target




FT: Manchester United complete a fifth-successive victory under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Reading were valiant in defeat – but that is zero wins in 11 for them and a serious Championship relegation scrap on their hands.

92: Just 60 seconds left for United to put the cherry on the cake… save! Pereira, who’s been pretty quiet today, launches one from distance that Jaakkola does well to tip round the post.

90: Slip! Marcus Rashford nips between the two Reading centre-backs but instead of firing – he runs straight out of play and falls on his backside. The youngster laughs in despair – it was pretty funny.

Three minutes of added time.

88: Just the sniff of a third for Manchester United as Dalot launches one forward to Romelu Lukaku, but Jaakkola raced off his line to clear. Not that I really expected Rom to catch it.

85: Anything to report? Nothing. This is a ghastly end to an FA Cup fixture.

Manchester United vs Reading: FA Cup third-round score, goals and updates

83: Juan Mata has been directly involved in 21 goals in 24 starts in the FA Cup (10 goals, 11 assists). Specialist.
80: Chong is letting the nerves get to him today. He’s taking tons of touches and just sprayed a simple 20-yard pass straight into the stands.

78: Tahith Chong is booked for a late lunge on Richards. Didn’t really look to nasty and it was not well received at Old Trafford. Shocker, eh?

75: This is getting seriously dull folks. I won’t be offended if you’d like to head of and complete some tasks. Go on, I dare you…

73: VAR check! Penalty appeals from the Reading players are turned away after the ball appeared to strike McTominay’s arm. Looking at the replay and the ball clearly hits his chest.

72: Liam Moore executes a perfectly-timed challenge to stop Chong from squaring the ball to the unmarked Marcus Rashford. Reading break with Barrow serving the ball up to Aluko, who cannons his shot into the ground.

69: Close! Ashley Young embarks on a lung-busting run down the left touchline and weaves his way across the byline to tee up Fellaini… who scuffs it straight to Jaakkola
66: Manchester United have shown absolutely nothing since the resumption. The highlight has to be Alexis Sanchez heading off and sitting himself down in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s seat on the bench.

The manager gives him a polite pat on the shoulder and the Chilean hops up and moves. Delightful stuff…

63: Manchester United are forced into a quick-fire second change as Alexis Sanchez heading off for Marcus Rashford.

60: Flurry of changes now with McCleary giving way to Barrow. Young Dutch prodigy Tahith Chong also enters the fray. He replaces Juan Mata. He’s pretty unmistakable this fella. More hair then Fellaini and Luiz put together! Speaking of Fellaini he’s on for Fred.

Manchester United vs Reading: FA Cup third-round score, goals and updates

57: Reading fans are certainly making the most of their visit to Old Trafford. They’ve haven’t stopped singing since they piled in at midday. Will they be rewarded with a goal? If they continue to play like this I don’t see why not.

54: Should be 2-1. The ball breaks kindly for Callum Harriott just outside the Manchester United penalty area. He’s only got Sergio Romero to beat but lashes it too close to the stopper, who blocks with his legs.
51: Another bright start from the visitors. They really have done themselves justice today and will need to continue this in the Championship to get out of their perilous situation… Kelly smashes one into the stands.

48: Darmian with an early foul to get things up and running. It gives Reading a free-kick from around 25-yards out… Swift unleashes an awkward, dipping strike that Romero gathers.

Quite similar to the one Dubravka spilled against United earlier in the week.


45: And we’re back underway folks. Aluko replaces the injured Ilori.

HT: And that’s the break. Reading put in a really good shift but a VAR decision and a moment of real quality from Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez have taken the game away from them. You fear for the Championship strugglers in the second-half – I suspect the floodgates will open.MANCHESTER UNITED 2-0 READING | LUKAKU

48: Bit harsh on Reading but that’s the difference in quality. Mistakes at this level will be punished.

Reading over-commit to a corner in stoppage-time and that gives United numbers on the break. Alexis Sanchez plays a wonderful pass through to Romelu Lukaku, who rounds the goalkeeper and converts.

45: Five minutes of added time… I think you know why.
44: FA Cup latest scores; Bournemouth 0-2 Brighton, Burnley 0-0 Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Luton, Shrewsbury 0-0 Stoke, West Brom 1-0 Wigan, West Ham 1-0 Birmingham.

41: Quite evident that Paul Pogba isn’t playing today. He really does make Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side run smoothly and can see passes others can’t.

38: Close! Alexis Sanchez canters through after Rinomhota gifts the ball away, but somehow recovers to poke the ball away from the Chilean.

35: Couple of good chances for Reading as Manchester United revert to their sluggish ways. First Harriott flashes a fierce drive over the crossbar. He’s then found of the edge of the penalty area but shows too much to Phil Jones.
33: Not sure Tiago Ilori should really be on the pitch still. He’s gingerly hobbling around the halfway line. Clearly still injured from that earlier collision with Romelu Lukaku.

Booked! Yiadom has been eager all afternoon and goes in the book.

30: From the ridiculous to the ridiculously ridiculous. Romelu Lukaku is threaded through with only Jaakkola to beat – but he delays and allows Moore to recover. He does manage to pull the tigger but It’s easily saved.

Loader, or Top Loader as his friends call him, is also sent clean through on goal. He smartly rounds Sergio Romero but runs wide and the goalkeeper recovers.

27: Ominous signs for Reading now as Manchester United turn on the style.

Here’s what Phil Neville thought about the offside/VAR/Penalty decision.

“I think there was a foul on Juan Mata before Fred was caught offside there. The question is whether Mata had lost control of the ball before he was fouled. The use of VAR was questionable there – it has got to be quicker. But in defence of Jon Moss – the fourth official – there were a lot of mitigating factors there.”
24: Penalty appeal! United fans, much like all World Cup fans, have figured out that appealing for everything near the penalty area could be worthwhile with VAR in use.

Alexis Sanchez blasts the ball into the arm of Yiadom from point-blank range. Nothing given because of the distance AND the fact it happened outside the box.


22: Juan Mata was forced to wait over two minutes to take the spot-kick. It didn’t make any difference – he’s slotted past reading goalkeeper Jaakkola with a minimum of fuss.

Just a little taste of what we can expect from VAR in the Premier League next season.


20: Finally some drama! Fred has the ball in the back of the net after a one-two with Juan Mata. Tidy finish but the linesman’s flag was raised.

The referee has gone over to his assistant to discuss the situation. The decision is made more awkward by the fact Mata was fouled when playing his initial pass.

VAR is checked by Stuart Atwell… penalty to Manchester United for the foul on Mata!
18: It’s not just here that things are slow. Only West Ham have scored in the other six FA Cup third-round fixtures. Marko Arnautovic got the goal against Birmingham.

17: Woooooooosh! Yiadom should have done better after McCleary’s squared pass runs through the penalty area and finds the full-back unmarked. He blasts it miles into the stands.

15: More like it from the hosts with Alexis Sanchez lining up a 20-yarder that flies narrowly over the crossbar. Clear to see that United can turn it on whenever they like.

14: Fairly disappointing from Manchester United. They’ve been sluggish and lacklustre.

13: Ouch! Lukaku arrives late on Ilori and leaves the former Liverpool player floored. He looked to have jarred his leg as he fell. Could this see John O’Shea make an early arrival?!
10: McTominay bravely sticks his head into a cluster of Reading bodies to win a flick-on from Alexis Sanchez’s free-kick. He gets treatment for a head injury, but looks fine to continue.

8: Jose Manuel Gomes will be delighted with his sides start. They’ve looked sharp. Obviously I know very little about the Portuguese tactician other than what Wikipedia tells me. He’s managed at: Videoton, Al-Taawoun, Al-Ahli and of course the glory years with Baniyas…

5: Reading right-back Yiadom ploughs through the back of Alexis Sanchez. Y’know, just to let the Chilean know what he’s up against… Nothing from Manchester United in an attacking sense in these opening stages.

3: What an outstanding opening 120 seconds for Reading, who have somehow managed 100 percent possession! The Championship strugglers don’t seem nervous – then again they haven’t had to defend yet.


1: And we’re underway! Now the best omen I can see for Reading is that referee Stuart Atwell also officiated United’s defeat to Derby in the Carabao Cup


Arsenal to face Manchester United on Friday




Arsenal will take on Manchester United in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday, January 25,uniquesports reports.

The match to be played at the Emirates, will be shown live on BBC One with kick-off at 7:55pm.

United continued their fine start under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by beating Reading at Old Trafford while Arsenal beat Blackpool in the previous round.

United fans have hit out at the FA’s scheduling of the tie although there are currently trains from London to Manchester, which will arrive in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Also selected for TV coverage on fourth round weekend is Everton’s trip to Millwall and Chelsea’s home clash with Luton or Sheffield Wednesday.

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FA Cup

Don’t change chelsea’s formation, Hazard urged Sarri ahead of Tottenham clash




Chelsea ace, Eden Hazard has given tactical advice to manager, Maurizio Sarri, ahead of the Blues’ clash with Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg tie on Tuesday night, uniquesports.

Hazard urged Sarri not to change his tactics when they tackle Spurs in tonight’s FA Cup fixture at Wembley Stadium.

Tottenham defeated Chelsea when both sides clashed in their last fixture in the Premier League encounter, but Hazard wants Sarri not to alter his first team squad.

“Sarri is not the kind of manager where if we lose a game, he changes something,” Metro UK quoted Hazard as saying.

“We will go to Wembley with our ideas of how to play football, we will play our football and then we just need to play better than we did in the first game.

“We missed aggression in that match against Tottenham. We need to do a lot more. We know they are aggressive and have top players, but we need to be more compact and create more chances.”

The kick-off time for the match is 9pm

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FA Cup

Why wolves defeated Liverpool- Klopp




Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp has disclosed why his side were defeated 2-1 by Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night in the FA Cup encounter, uniquesports reports.

Goals from Raul Jimenez and Ruben Neves ensured Wolves defeated the Reds at Molineux Stadium.

However, Divock Origi did score for the Premier League leaders.

Klopp said Liverpool were defeated by Wolves because some of his players were sick.

Klopp was quoted by Goal as saying at post-match: “After the Man City game, we had immediately a few players who were ill, who showed [a] soar throat and what you can have in this period of the year. So, they were not even in after the City game.

“Pretty much all the players who were not here today had flu problems – apart from Ali [Alisson]. And so we had late changes. Like yesterday Adam [Lallana] was in our plans, Hendo [Jordan Henderson] was in our plans and Dejan was not in our plans, he should only have been on the bench. It happens, what happened. That doesn’t help a lot and we have to change again.

“We wanted to control the game because we were completely new, especially defensively completely new, so it makes sense to keep the ball.”

The defeat to Wolves means Liverpool are now out of the FA Cup.

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