barclays Barclays Premier League

United They Stand

4:29 PMAleks Vee

Wayne is the Man: He scores, he assists.
It's easy to sound like a broken record when calling Manchester United the "comeback kings". This season, Sir Alex's team has been synonymous with conceding first and going on to equalize and win, having played 6 games in this fashion. Today's game was no different. United started off strong, but let Robson-Kanu open the score for Reading early on with a left-footed shot. It wasn't long before Anderson got the equalizer, setting the tone for the next half hour. The guests' first corner earned them a penalty after Evans was brought down unceremoniously in the box by Tabb. Sure enough, Wayne Rooney put United ahead, taking the PK with a great air of confidence. Yet his team's lead was short-lived as a feisty Reading brought the fans at Madejski Stadium to their feet. The home team was absolutely brilliant on set pieces, becoming more and more aware of United's Achilles' heel. Le Fondre got a header in from a corner delivery after his shot ricocheted off RVP's arm right in front of the net. How on Earth did Reading score again? Another corner, another goal. The delivery brought Sean Morrison a nice header. Despite the fact that the game was being refereed fairly well up to this point, the official failed to take note of Jonny Evans being brought down as the goal was scored. Ashley Young's brilliant back heel pass to Anderson brought the ball to the center of the box for Rooney. Neither the penalty nor the goal-scoring opportunity brought Rooney any hesitation, and the one-touch finish brought United another equalizer. Sir Alex did well to bench Rafael and avoid a potential sending off; there was a bit too much fouling from him today. A second back heel pass, this time by Wayne Rooney, gave RVP his goal in the near post, a ball that went in so easily, as though the former Arsenal star didn't have to think twice about what he was doing. Plenty of goals graced the first half, but so did plenty of United free kick freebies. Things worsened on the refereeing end, as well. Four minutes before the halftime whistle, RVP was denied a double by none other than Mark Halsey. The ball flew well over the line before being cleared away by a defender. If a linesman can't spot that, what was he watching while the ball was flying past the goal line?
The Goal That Wasn't.
The plethora of goals seen in the first half failed to materialize into any kind of spectacle in the second. Rooney's hat-trick will have to wait for some other time. As expected, United kept control of the ball and continued to dominate. Van Persie finished the game without a hat-trick as well, missing a more-than-perfect opportunity to send the ball past Federici after the Reading keeper's grievous error. There were many more ways to score than miss, and it was awfully strange to watch RVP struggle to decide what to do with the ball, especially when former Villa man Juan Pablo Angel has scored such goals in the MLS. Although the game had quieted down at this point, United still had some fire left for a final finish. Yet many were expecting more goals in the second half. Was it psychologically difficult for the Red Devils to bring back that same level of firepower as they had earlier on? It was much clearer that Reading was done for - a few sloppy attempts is all the hosts had to offer after having been in the lead on two occasions. United not only retained their reign as Comeback Kings, but also increased the gap between their local rivals, setting the stage for the Manchester derby next week. 10 points now stand between the two leaders.

Lady Justice Turns a Blind Eye

There are different kinds of 'blindness' which sometimes overlap, creating some confusion. The blindfolded sculpture of Lady Justice that many may remember from the 1960 movie Inherit the Wind represents a fair, objective judgement, yet at the same time she is portrayed as being "blind" to the community's ignorance to the law. Similarly, FIFA has been preaching objectivity while evading the issue of goal line technology beyond random talks of wanting to improve it without removing the 'human element' from the game. Football is long overdue for some new rules, and goal line technology is the number one priority.


Factiles:

Reading v Man Utd is only the third match in Premier League history to see seven first-half goals.
The same record holds for two other games, Blackburn-Leeds (1997) and Derby-Bradford (2000).

Wayne Rooney’s penalty (16 mins) was the 1000th that Manchester United have scored in the Premier League this century.


Barclays Premier League - 15th Match Week
Saturday, December 1, 2012, 12:30PM EST

Reading vs. Manchester United - 3:4
Venue: Madejski Stadium (Reading)
Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)
Goals:
1:0 Hal Robson-Kanu (8')
1:1 Anderson (Asst. Ashley Young) (13')
1:2 Wayne Rooney (PK) (16')
2:2 Adam Le Fondre (Asst. Nick Shorey) (19')
3:2 Sean Morrison (Asst. Nick Shorey) (23')
3:3 Wayne Rooney (Asst. Patrice Evra) (30')
3:4 Robin van Persie (Asst. Wayne Rooney) (34')

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