Manchester United's Nani celebrates after scoring his
side's first goal against Reading during their FA Cup fifth
round match at Old Trafford in Manchester. REUTERS/Darren
Substitute Nani reminded manager Alex Ferguson of his
qualities by inspiring Manchester United to a laboured 2-1 home
win over Reading in the FA Cup fifth round.
The mercurial Portuguese winger was sent on just before
halftime in place of the injured Phil Jones and he scored
United's opener before setting up Javier Hernandez for the
The Premier League leaders dominated the match but struggled
to make the breakthrough in the face of resolute Reading
defending and a fine performance by goalkeeper Adam Federici.
Nani, linked with a move away from Old Trafford, grabbed the
first with a cute volley from 12 metres after 69 minutes and
his pinpoint cross set up Hernandez for a trademark near-post
header soon afterwards.
Reading refused to lie down and Jobi McAnuff pulled one back
nine minutes from time with a neat finish from close range.
The side third-bottom of the Premier League table continued
to press forward but the hosts, bolstered by the reassuring
presence of experienced Serbian Nemanja Vidic at the heart of
their defence, hung on.
United, record 11-time FA Cup winners but who have not lifted
the trophy since 2004, will play second-tier Middlesbrough or
European champions Chelsea in the quarterfinals.