Two goals in three second half minutes was all Manchester United needed to beat Reading 2-1 and book their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
As always between these two clubs, the game started at a frenetic pace with a first half that saw a total of 16 shots.
Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck had the first chances for United but both saw their shots blocked, by Stephen Kelly and Adrian Mariappa respectively. Nicky Shorey had a free-kick in the 17th minute, but Sean Morrison was unable to get a decent head to it.
While, Adam Le Fondre saw his shot saved comfortably by home goalkeeper David De Gea.
Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici was undoubtedly the star man of the first-half, producing saves in quick succession from Tom Cleverley and Ashley Young. Before he saved acrobatically from Nani after the midfielder replaced the injured Phil Jones. The English international appeared to twist his ankle after a harmless challenge by Jobi McAnuff.
On the hour mark, Anderson had a shot but Federici stayed big to send it out for a corner. It was clear the Red Devils didn’t want a replay as they replaced Young with top scorer, Robin van Persie as they looked to increase their scoring threat.
And it was the substitute Nani who got the opener in the 69th minute after good work by Antonio Valencia down the right to play him in. Keen to get back into the game, Reading went straight down the other end and Adam Le Fondre connected well with Noel Hunt’s header to force a save from De Gea.
For the second goal just three minutes later, scorer became provider as Nani’s cross was met by Javier Hernandez’ head to send it past Federici.
Ten minutes from time, the visitors gave their fans hope after Le Fondre knocked the ball for McAnuff to strike home. United looked as if they would extend their lead three minutes before time after Hernandez’ shot was parried by Federici, but Nani could only send the rebound into the side netting.
There were some squeaky moments for the home side as four minutes of injury time were played. The Royals threw everyone into the box as they tried to make the most of a free-kick and two successive corners. But they were unable to turn their effort into the real chances they needed to force a replay.
United could meet rivals Chelsea in the last-eight, if the Londoners beat Middlesbrough in their delayed fifth-round tie.