Man Utd 3 Reading 1: Casemiro’s stunning double sends Red Devils through while Andy Carroll sent off for 10-man visitors

OLD TRAFFORD went insane and Andy Carroll went berserk when Manchester United reached the FA Cup Round of 16.

Samba stars Casemiro – with a double – and Fred were the unlikely shooters with three in ten minutes of the second half to ruin Paul Ince’s return to his old turf.

Casemiro put the Red Devils ahead with a scooped finish


Casemiro put the Red Devils ahead with a scooped finishPhoto credit: Getty
Casemiro was again outstanding for United


Casemiro was again outstanding for UnitedPhoto credit: Getty
Fred celebrates after scoring the Red Devils' third goal


Fred celebrates after scoring the Red Devils’ third goalPhoto credit: Getty
Andy Carroll was sent off after two hasty challenges


Andy Carroll was sent off after two hasty challengesCredit: PA

And just to make it a truly miserable evening for the Royals boss, he saw striker Carroll sent home and handed two yellow cards after two ridiculous lunges.

Twice he slipped like a runaway horse – or donkey – on Tyrell Malacia and then Casemiro to leave referee Darren England with a simple decision.

A dismissal, by the way, that came with a comical bit as Carroll initially drove the wrong way, apparently not knowing where the tunnel was.

Mind you, perhaps it shouldn’t have come as a surprise given the trouble the former Liverpool striker has had finding the goal lately.

Speaking of goals, few had Casemiro and Fred as potential scorers in a game United have always dominated but had to wait almost 55 minutes to come through.

Although Erik ten Hag had built his stance by standing not far behind his strongest cast, there was much huffing and puffing before the door finally opened.


If only a fraction of the chances had been used, a place in the fifth round would also have been tested up to the break.

Christian Eriksen circled a free-kick within an inch, Bruno Fernandes headed a shot just over and Wout Weghorst failed to make the right connection in front.

Keeper Joe Lumley made an impressive save – an absolutely fabulous one, you might say – to ward off a Marcus Rashford free-kick and Baba Rahman blocked Eriksen’s follow-up shot.

Mind you, when it came to blocks, center back Tom McIntyre made so many he wakes up with more bruises than a night in a penalty room.

And even when it seemed the dam had finally burst, technology decided otherwise.

Fernandes’ attempted ball into the box bounced back from McIntyre – again – and sat up for Weghorst to nod back into danger.

Rashford got to the far post to nod him down and over the line before Lumley pulled him through his legs and out of his goal.

But while United celebrated Reading survived as Weghorst was half a blue line offside.

VAR official Dean Whitestone pointed it out and referee England ruled it out.

To think of the last time Stockley Park decided to score at this point THE Fernandes derby shot, maybe it was a stroke of luck that leveled off.

But they were fractions at best.

But enough to save Reading.

Just as David De Gea then saved United as Reading enjoyed the rarest of trips to United States territory.

Rahman’s cross landed at the far post on Malacia and after Junior Hoilett knocked it down from the left-back’s nap, De Gea made a striking stop with his feet.

Still, a warning shot that all that possession, all that territorial advantage, and all that dominance meant nothing without a breakthrough.

It came ten minutes after the break with a very good goal in Rio and ended in Manchester.

Antony was the architect with a great pass that split the defense to single out Casemiro’s perfectly timed run.

Crucially, Mamadou Loum hesitated for half a second and that was enough for the Brazilian to lunge and give Lumley a wonderful finish.

Collective sighs of relief across much of Old Trafford – ones doubled three minutes later when the same man struck again to dispel any remaining doubts.

This time, Fernandes grabbed the assist when an easy two-yard layoff deserved it.

Because in truth it was Casemiro’s own work to roll one into the corner from 25 meters.

Well, at least it would have been had it not taken a slight strand of Tom Holmes’ hair on the way to the net…even if it hardly changed the trajectory.

So it’s time for Ten Hag to give some of its stars a break.

And when Fred replaced Eriksen, he got into the samba celebrations by bagging third place.

Again Reading was caught dozing, this time by Fernandes’ quick, low ball into the box and Fred’s finish was straight out of Neymar textbook with a sweet close-in shot.

Too much for Carroll, whose frustration boiled over with those two hasty dive challenges.

At least he had more time to dry the ponytail, eh.

In his absence, substitute Amadou Mbengue came into power with a header that gave at least some cheering to an impressive away assist.

As for the United fans?

Well it was all pretty routine really and they remain the only English club still going for silver on four fronts.

A quadruple admittedly stretches things a bit…but with the advances they’re making under Ten Hag, you’d be surprised if they don’t end up with at least one.

Amadou Salif Mbengue scored a consolation goal for Reading from a corner


Amadou Salif Mbengue scored a consolation goal for Reading from a cornerCredit: PA
It was another impressive display from the Red Devils


It was another impressive display from the Red DevilsPhoto credit: Reuters Man Utd 3 Reading 1: Casemiro’s stunning double sends Red Devils through while Andy Carroll sent off for 10-man visitors


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