Man United vs Reading | FA Cup: Casemiro brace sends Manchester United past Reading in the FA Cup

Manchester United eased into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win over Reading at Old Trafford, in which Casemiro stole all the headlines with a brilliant brace.

Whilst nobody has been able to question United‘s form of late, there were some concerns about fixture congestion for the Reds ahead of the visit of Paul Ince‘s Royals.

Erik ten Hag resisted the urge to rotate his starting XI dramatically, although there were rare appearances for Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.

Having seen Manchester City progress into the next round the night before, United started the match quickly, creating a number of chances through Antony.

However, it wasn’t until just before the half time interval that the ball found the back of the Reading net. Marcus Rashford looked to have continued his fine goalscoring form when he nodded in a cross at the back post, despite the best efforts of the visiting goalkeeper in trying to convince the officials it hadn’t crossed the line.

Yet the celebrations around Old Trafford were short-lived as VAR pulled the goal back for an offside in the build-up.

Casemiro showed his class

Reading were pleased to have gone into the break level, but that success wasn’t to last long.

Antony was once again at the heart of United‘s attacking moves, and he created a chance for his international teammate, Casemiro, to open the scoring. A sublime reverse pass set the former Real Madrid midfielder one-on-one with the goalkeeper and he chipped the onrushing stopper with absolute aplomb.

Shortly after it was 2-0 as Casemiro received a cushioned pass from Fred around 30 yards away from goal. The midfielder curled a shot which took the keeper by surprise and nestled in the bottom corner of the net.

There was a distinctly Brazilian feel about United‘s success on Saturday evening as Fred got on the scoresheet to make it 3-0. A short-corner took advantage of Reading‘s defense falling asleep, and a ball fizzed across the box found a Fred backheel, which went under the goalkeeper and into the net.

Ten Hag then made a raft of substitutions, withdrawing key senior players and introducing Facundo Pellistri and Kobbie Mainoo.

Reading‘s evening got worse when Andy Carroll was shown a red card shortly before the third goal. The ex-Liverpool forward was fortunate to escape a red for a scissor challenge on Christian Eriksen early in the second-half, but his late slide into Casemiro‘s shin earned him an early bath.

With 20 minutes remaining, Reading did get on the scoresheet as Amadou Salif Mbengue headed home from a poorly defended corner.