Manchester United player ratings from 4-0 FA Cup demolition of Reading

Manchester United player ratings from 4-0 FA Cup demolition of Reading

Wayne Rooney equalled Sir Bobby Charlton's Manchester United scoring record with the opening strike at Old Trafford.

ryan-fisher
Ryan Fisher

Manchester United progressed into the FA Cup fourth round with a resounding 4-0 victory over Reading at Old Trafford.

United skipper Wayne Rooney drew level with Sir Bobby Charlton with 249 United goals as he netted the opener for Jose Mourinho's side.

Anthony Martial also scored, with a second half brace from Marcus Rashford sealing the victory against Jaap Stam's side.

United turn on the style against promotion hopefuls

Sergio Romero - 8: Romero seized on a rare first-team opportunity, replacing the ever consistent David de Gea. The Argentinian dealt with what the Reading attackers threw at him with extreme composure. He made a crucial tackle on speedy winger Garath McCleary after he breezed past Daley Blind that saved his side from conceding.

Ashley Young - 7: Making his 150th United appearance, Young was a dangerous attacking outlet for the Red Devils throughout the tie. His skill set, most suited to his natural position as a winger, enabled him to get at the Reading defenders and cause real problems on the counter attack. There were questions over whether Young should have remained on the pitch, as he put in a questionable challenge with studs showing, for which he received a yellow card.

Chris Smalling - 7: The vice-captain returned to starting action with a solid display at the Theatre of Dreams. With very little defensive work to do, as Yann Kermorgant was neutralised by United's possession, Smalling demonstrated his ball playing abilities. The way he confidently strolled out of defence with the ball and sprayed it around the pitch rolled the mind back to the days of Rio Ferdinand.

Marcos Rojo - 6: Rojo's good form at centre-back couldn't be continued as he was substituted after just 20 minutes with an injury, with United already 2-0 in the lead. The Argentinian had played a fantastic ball over the top for Rooney, but the skipper was unable to convert the chance. United will be hoping the injury is not serious, as Eric Bailly has departed for the African Cup of Nations.

Daley Blind - 4: Blind seemed the weak link in the United side throughout the cup tie. McCleary had far too much joy against the Dutchman, as he was able to run past him on numerous occasions. His vulnerability wasn't exposed to the extent Jaap Stam would've liked, as Reading created very little.

Carrick proves again why he is such a class act

Michael Carrick - 8: The veteran midfielder is United's winning ticket thus far. United are unbeaten when Carrick starts this term, and his influence is unquestionable. His control of every game he plays is seamless. A sublime passing range paired with the most composed head in the Premier League, makes him an essential player for Mourinho's side. His breathtaking pass for Rashford gave the youngster his first goal in three months, and a well deserved assist for Carrick.

Marouane Fellaini - 7: The Belgian slotted into the team nicely, despite all the criticism surrounding his performances. Playing in the Ander Herrera role, Fellaini displayed discipline as he won the ball back in regular intervals, a key part of the United counter attack. He used his power and height to physically dominate a weak Reading midfield.

Rooney is on the verge of creating history

Wayne Rooney - 9: The skipper broke the record during a man of the match performance that lit up Old Trafford. Rooney rolled back the years, having a couple of chances to take the lead before he eventually netted. The attacking runs and positions the United and England captain made were straight out of the top drawer. His unorthodox finish, flying into the bottom corner off his knee, means he is one goal away from being the all-time leading goalscorer for both England and Manchester United, an incredible feat.

Juan Mata - 8: Mata has been one of the consistent performers for United this term, and is unlucky to find himself outside of the first XI as of late. Whenever he does play, though, the little Spaniard makes sure he impresses. His interplay and intricate passes in tight spaces always furthers the United attack. His delivery for the opening goal wasn't the best, as it caught the skipper on the knee, but it counts as a valuable assist all the same.

Anthony Martial - 9: Martial's return to form in the thrilling win against Middlesbrough was cemented with another scintillating display against the Championship's 3rd best side right now. His frightening pace and incredible trickery was too much for Wales international right-back Chris Gunter to handle. As soon as he turned and ran at the defence, there was always a feeling that United could score. His skill to beat Gunter created the chance for Rooney's goal, and his incredible sprinting at the defence forced the Welshman to back off his winger, leaving Martial all the space and time in the world to slot home the second United goal.

Marcus Rashford - 9: Less than a year on from his debut, Rashford ended a three-month goal drought. After going 18 games without one, Rashford scored twice in four minutes to seal the deal on an emphatic win. His movement was exceptional, and combine that with his electric pace, terrifying running and his two goals, and Rashford was very unlucky not to be named man of the match.

After missing a couple of guilt-edged chances, notably when he rounded keeper Ali Al-Habsi and smashed the ball into the side netting, it was evident the youngster was desperate for an end to his drought. The England starlet got his goal when Carrick slotted him through, and he placed the ball past the keeper into the corner. His second came when he pounced on the humiliating mistake from Al-Habsi, and he launched the ball into an empty net from a couple of yards out.

The best of the rest

Phil Jones - 8: Jones played the majority of the match having replaced Rojo early on. His consistent run of form continued, with yet another solid display. He had very little to do with neither Kermorgant, nor substitute Dominic Samuel offering a threat to the returning Jones. An England recall is not out of the question for the in-form Jones.

Bastian Schweinsteiger - 7: The extremely popular World Cup winner came onto the pitch to yet another roof-raising Old Trafford reception. Whether or not he'll make another United appearance is yet to be seen, that probably depends on who the Red Devils draw in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Schweinsteiger impressed from the bench, showing the composure and passing range similar to the level of Michael Carrick. An incredible Cruyff turn was enough to raise the crowd to their feet, and seal a great 20 minutes for the returning German.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah - 6: The Dutchman made it onto the pitch for the first time in a couple of months, and did little to hurt his case for receiving more first-team football. His incredible versatility meant although he usually plays in defence, all the way across the back four in any role, he came on in defensive midfield, and put in a composed and solid showing for the Red Devils.

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