Reading vs. Manchester United: 4 Things We Learned at the Madejski Stadium
While Reading showed great spirit and ability, Manchester United were simply too good.
The newly-promoted side were able to score three goals against the Premier League giants, but were simply not good enough defensively.
Reading stayed second to last in the league, but there were certainly positives to take away from this match. And, for United, it was a solid attacking performance—but Sir Alex Ferguson will be worried about his team's back line.
Here's a list of four things we learned from Saturday's match:
Nicky Shorey's Set-Pieces Will Be Important for Reading
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Nicky Shorey's set-pieces were superb against Manchester United. Two of his corner kicks resulted in goals for Reading, and his free kicks posed major problems for the Red Devils' back line.
Shorey is going to be a very important player for Reading, and his deliveries from the wings will certainly help the team over the course of the season.
Ferdinand and Evans Isn't a Good Enough Defensive Partnership
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There's no doubt that Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand are quality defenders. However, starting them together in center-back will not work for United over the course of the season.
The Red Devils will be facing much better teams than Reading in the next six months of the campaign. It is important that they have a strong defense.
Both Rafael and Evra have been impressive at the back, but Sir Alex Ferguson needs to find two center-backs who will work well together.
Nemanja Vidic looks set to return for Manchester United in the coming week, so it'll be interesting to see who starts on defense.
Rooney Can Help United When Van Persie Is off His Game
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While Robin Van Persie did score at the Madejski Stadium, he was guilty of several bad misses. He should have punished Adam Federici for the keeper's mistakes, but instead had a couple of weak efforts.
In the end, it was Wayne Rooney who stole the headlines with two goals to mark his return to form. The striker has looked out of sorts recently, but played very well against Reading.
Sir Alex Ferguson will be happy that the English international can chip in with a couple of goals when Van Persie is off his game.
It wasn't a poor performance from the Dutchman, as he did score what ended up to be the winning goal. Nonetheless, it's great for United to have two quality strikers who can play together.
Robson-Kanu Has Great Potential
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If Hal Robson-Kanu keeps playing like he did against United on Saturday, he will be targeted by many big clubs at the end of the season.
The winger has played well for Reading so far this season but he arguably had his best game of the campaign against United.
Robson-Kanu scored with a great volley early on and beat Patrice Evra several times on the wing.
The Welsh international is only 23-years-old, and has the potential to be one of the top attacking players in England.