LONDON, January 5: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enjoyed a fifth successive win in as many games as interim manager of Manchester United when his side beat Reading 2-0 in the third round of the FA Cup at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The former United striker had already guided the Red Devils to a run of four straight Premier League victories since being appointed coach after controversial former boss Jose Mourinho was sacked last month.
That winning sequence was maintained against second-tier strugglers Reading, with the third round marking the entry into the FA Cup, the world’s oldest senior knockout football competition, of England’s top-flight clubs.
United, last season’s losing finalists, were 2-0 up before half-time, thanks to goals from Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku but Reading had their chances against a still suspect defence.
Mata gave United, 12-times winners of the Cup, the lead in unusual fashion in the 22nd minute.
United initially had a goal disallowed for offside against Fred but referee Stuart Attwell, after a lengthy consultation with the video assistant referee, awarded the home side a penalty for a foul on Mata in the build-up.
The Spanish midfielder then scored from the spot himself, sending Reading goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola the wrong way.
Alexis Sanchez and Lukaku were both making their first United starts under Solskjaer and the pair combined to make it 2-0 deep into stoppage time at the end of the first-half. (AFP)