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Luis Nani Shines in Manchester United Player Ratings V Reading
Author: Ben Adam Published : 19 Feb 2013 09:02:25
Manchester United advance to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory over Reading. Luis Nani came off the bench for Phil Jones and put in an impressive performance, scoring the first in the 69th minute, before setting up Javier Hernandez in the 72nd minute. Manchester United now have a quarter-final fixture against Chelsea or Middlesbrough.
David De Gea - 3/5 - Following his superb performance against Real Madrid, de Gea will be disappointed to have conceded tonight in what was no doubt a much more quieter evening. Showed great athleticism to deny Adam Le Fondre from range, but could do little about the Reading's consolation effort.
Alexander Buttner - 3/5 - Making his first appearance for Manchester United since the third round victory over West Ham, and settled straight back into it. Swung in a delightful cross in the 21st minute and was unlucky to see Valencia fail to get on the end of it. A solid performance from the youngster.
Nemanja Vidic - 3.5/5 - A typically dominant performance from the Manchester United skipper. Allowed Le Fondre and Hunt little room as the duo looked to attack the Red Devils box. Another crucial 90 minutes as the Serbian looks to re-gain match fitness.
Chris Smalling - 2/5 - Never looked convincing throughout the 90 minutes. Looked far from settled battling Le Fondre's pace, and was oddly wasteful in possession. Will have to take the blame for Reading's goal. An uncharacteristic performance from the England centre half.
Phil Jones - 2.5/5 - Limped off with what seemed like a nasty injury after a physical battle with Jobi McAnuff. Seemed to be in quite a lot of pain and was replaced just before the half time interval. Will be a big miss for Manchester United if he's out long.
Antonio Valencia - 3/5 - A decent performance from the powerful Ecuadorian. Was forced to play right back after Jones was subbed off, but dealt with McAnuff well. Got forward to support Nani in attack, and set up the Portuguese with a lovely pass.
Tom Cleverley - 3.5/5 - A typically gutsy performance from Tom Cleverley. Showed his enthusiasm and desire as he buzzed all around the park for United. Only his second start in the last 5 games for United, he will be keen to bounce back into Sir Alex Ferguson's plans.
Anderson - 2.5/5 - Not the performance the Brazilian was crying out for. With his recent desire for regular first team football the Brazilian offered little creativity going forward as United looked to attack.
Ashley Young - 2.5/5 - Making his first start for Manchester United since the 2-1 victory over Liverpool, missed a glorious chance 22 minutes in when Adam Federici denied him from all of 10 yards. Replaced by Van Persie after a less than impressive performance.
Javier Hernandez - 3/5 - Marked his return to the starting line up with a well taken goal. The Mexican headed in a Luis Nani cross in the 72nd minute. That's 14 goals in all competitions now for Hernandez.
Danny Welbeck - 3/5 - After his heroics at the Bernabeu, Welbeck will be wondering how he didn't score last night against Reading. The 22 year old wasted a fine opportunity at 2-1 to all but seal the tie, but a poor touch let him down.
Michael Carrick - 2.5/5 Came on late for Anderson as Manchester United looked to retain possession in the final minutes of the game.
Luis Nani - Man Of The Match - 4/5 - Volleyed Manchester United into the lead in the 69th minute with a well taken goal. Antonio Valencia picked out Nani just inside the area, the Portuguese controlled the ball, allowing it to bobble up before smashing it into the bottom of the corner. Set up Chicharito minutes later in his return to the first team. On form like this, it is easy to see why Nani is such an integral part to the Manchester United squad.
Robin van Persie - 3/5 - Was desperate to start the game against Reading but was only awarded a place on the bench. Replaced Ashley Young in the 64th minute and picked out some wonderful long range passes to Welbeck and Hernandez. Set up countless Manchester United attacks as the host's looked to finish the game off.