Manchester United defeated Reading 3-1 and advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup thanks to a Brazilian masterclass from Casemiro, Antony, and substitute Fred.
Casemiro’s two goals in four second-half minutes put the Red Devils ahead before Fred clinched the win on a night when Antony produced his greatest game in a United shirt.
Reading faced a much more difficult task as experienced striker Andy Carroll was sent off on 65 minutes, and a goal from substitute Amadou Mbengue while behind 3-0 proved insufficient.
United dominated possession throughout the opening exchanges, peppering Reading’s goal with early chances that went wide from Bruno Fernandes, Antony, and Wout Weghorst.
Marcus Rashford forced a decent save from a free-kick as he sought his tenth goal in 10 home games, and he thought he had done it in 36 minutes when headed home from close range, only for Weghorst to be judged offside in the build-up following a VAR check.
Reading’s Junior Hoilett pushed Man United goalie David de Gea into a great stop with his legs after stripping Tyrell Malacia of the ball in the box, forcing United to press for the opener but wasting numerous more chances.
The home side upped the intensity in the second half, and Antony’s brilliance saw the Brazilian pull off a wonderful no-look pass into the box, where Casemiro sprinted onto it and dinked the ball over the goalie to ultimately open the scoring on 54 minutes.
It didn’t take long for the former Real Madrid man to score his second goal. Reading’s Joe Lumley had no chance this time after a wonderful curled strike from 25 yards into the far post. Fred quickly came off the bench and demonstrated some Brazilian flair of his own, cheekily flicking the ball between his knees at the near post from a corner to make it 3-0.
Carroll, the experienced Reading striker, was sent off at 65 minutes after picking up a second yellow card for a late, clumsy tackle on Casemiro. Reading curiously replied by scoring through substitute Mbengue, who headed home from a corner, but it was too little, too late.
United’s outstanding performances under Ten Hag continue, particularly at home, with an 11th straight win at Old Trafford, and they’ll be in the pot for Monday’s fifth-round draw.