For the first time in eight years, Manchester United marked their eighth victory on the bounce and the optimism around the Theatre of Dreams was quite evident, as the fans marked a lively presence throughout the game.
Jose Mourinho made nine whooping changes to his starting line, as only Marcos Rojo and Michael Carrick managed to keep their place intact. The Devils started the game on a complete front foot as they were dominating the possession and seven minutes into the game, they got their reward, as Wayne Rooney opened the scoring for the side and with the goal, the skipper became the all-time joint top scorer for the club with 249 goals.
Reading were caught napping yet again as a wonderful move from the United midfield found Anthony Martial outside the box and the young Frenchman made his trademark run to finish the ball in style to give his side an early two-goal lead.
It could have been a goal galore for United, but the only thing missing was the end product as Marcus Rashford missed a couple of glorious opportunities in the first half.
Reading, however, were a lively presence in the second-half but both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling were tough enough to ensure that Romero returns home with a clean sheet. The Devils made themselves comfortable in the 75th minute of the game when Michael Carrick’s delicious through ball found Marcus Rashford, and the 19-year-old made no mistake this time around to give United a comfort.
The youngsters scored his brace just four minutes after his first, as Reading’s goalkeeper – Ali Al-Habsi – made a fool of himself to gift the hosts an easy goal.
Certainly, not a pleasing homecoming for Jaap Stam and here is how the Reds are rated –
Sergio Romero: 6/10
Had nothing to do throughout the game, as Reading registered just one shot on target.
Ashley Young: 6.5/10
Returned to the first team after a long time and had a decent outing. Was pretty tough in defending and created some great goal-scoring opportunities with his wonderful crosses. Had a great impression throughout.
Chris Smalling: 7/10
Chris was at his usual self, as he hardly allowed the Reading attackers to run through the line. Was good in the air, physically tough and full of pace, yet a tough time lies ahead of the former Fulham defender.
Marcos Rojo: 6/10
The Argentine defender was snubbed off early in the game due to the injury he sustained, but while his time on the pitch, he supplied some threatening aerial balls to shake the Reading’s backline.
Daley Blind: 5/10
The Dutch defender was unarguably the weakest link in United’s defence, as he was constantly troubled by Garath McCleary’s pace and was beaten quite easily. An average game from the left-back.
Michael Carrick: 8.5/10
The midfield Maestro for United hardly put a foot wrong in the game and was the driving force for the team throughout. His vision was exemplary and his command in the game was worth watching. Took a shot at goal but Al-Habsi was alert to deny the 35-year-old.
Played a wonderful ball to Marcus Rashford, which the youngster finished with great ease.
Marouane Fellaini: 7/10
A confident showing from the former Evertonian. He was all around the field and even though he lacked pace at times, his tough and timely tackles and aerial threat was enough to cut down the Reading’s peril. Consistency is the key.
Juan Mata: 6.5/10
Was involved in everything throughout his time on the pitch. Had his fair share of chances to get a goal, but his shots went wide every single time. Besides attack, his participation on the defensive end of the field is worth mentioning, as he made some crucial interceptions.
Wayne Rooney: 9/10
Amazing show from the skipper, as he finally registered his 249th United goal inside the first 10 minutes of the game. Was confident in everything he did and received a great support from the spectators.
Anthony Martial: 8.5/10
Was at his usual self and his marauding runs to haunt the visitors were enough to give a glimpse of his abilities. It was his run on the left-hand side that found Mata, which eventually ended into the back of the net.
He came back to do the same, as he finished the ball in style to make it two for the hosts. Was comparatively quiet in the second half.
Marcus Rashford: 7.5/10-
Missed a couple of great opportunities in the first half, as he missed an almost open goal, but his presence was clearly evident in the second half as he scored a comfortable brace to put the game to bed. Need to work more to establish himself in the first team.
Phil Jones: 7/10-
Came on to replace Marcos Rojo in the first half of the game and made some crunching tackles in his half. He is getting confident game after game.
Bastian Schweinsteiger: 5/10-
Came on late to play his second game of the season and received an overwhelming applause from the crowd.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah: N/A