United edge Madejski thriller

Manchester United moved three points clear at the top of the Premier League with a thrilling 4-3 victory at Reading.

Last Updated: 02/12/12 at 14:36 Post Comment

Robin van Persie: Grabbed the winner for Man United

Robin van Persie: Grabbed the winner for Man United

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

United twice had to come from behind in a pulsating clash at the Madejski Stadium with all seven goals coming in the opening 34 minutes.

Hal Robson-Kanu opened the scoring with Reading's first meaningful attack after just eight minutes as he coolly volleyed home.

But United were level five-minutes later when Anderson beat Adam Federici at his near post after a lovely one-two with Ashley Young.

On the quarter-hour mark, the visitors were ahead after Jay Tabb inexplicably barged Jonny Evans in the back in the box and Wayne Rooney slotted home the resulting penalty.

The goals continued to flow and United's shaky-looking defence was breached again - this time Adam Le Fondre heading home unmarked from a Nicky Shorey corner.

Shorey was again the provider on 23 minutes as he curled in another corner, allowing young defender Sean Morrison to rise above Evans and head home solidly.

United, though, were not finished and on the half-hour they levelled when Patrice Evra broke on the left and cut the ball back into the area where Reading had left Rooney free to slot home from 10 yards.

Despite levelling - Sir Alex Ferguson was far from happy and he brought off Rafael to be replaced by Chris Smalling. The Brazilian's dissatisfaction was clear but he did eventually take his place on the bench.

Rooney then created what proved to be the winner 10 minutes before the break. A slick passing move involving Michael Carrick culminated in Rooney locating Robin van Persie's perfect run, and the Dutchman swept home with minimal fuss.

United should have had another just before the break. Young crossed to the back post for Smalling, whose header was blocked by Federici only for Van Persie to fire in the rebound - the referee's assistant incorrectly deciding Shaun Cummings had prevented the ball crossing the line.

The second half proved a real anti-climax with barely a chance to talk of, although Van Persie should have scored when he robbed the ball from a dallying Federici but could not hit the empty net from a narrowing angle.

Reading pushed on in stoppage time and a Morrison header was tipped over by Anders Lindegaard - the same player heading wide from the resulting corner as United held on to hoist their flag at the summit of the Premier League.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho: It's only a matter of time before John Terry gets new contract

John Terry will definitely stay at Chelsea beyond the end of his current deal, Jose Mourinho says.

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres to make permanent move to AC Milan ahead of Atletico Madrid return

Fernando Torres will join Milan permanently on January 5 ahead of his expected return to Atletico Madrid.

Neil Warnock sacked by Crystal Palace after run of one win in 12 games

Neil Warnock has been sacked as manager of Crystal Palace, with Keith Millen placed in charge for Sunday's trip to QPR.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property