Statistics and post-match quotes from Sir Alex Ferguson, Wayne Rooney, and Brian McDermott.
The Busby Babe
Shots (on target)
|12 (7)||11 (6)|
Total Passes Completed
MUFC PLAYER STATISTICS
* Anders Lindegaard (goalkeeper): 5/9 passing (56%), 3 goals conceded, 4 saves
* Rio Ferdinand (right-center-back): 35/37 passing (95%), 0 chances created, 3/3 long balls, 0 tackles, 3 interceptions, 3 clearances (3 effective), 0 shots blocked, 0 fouls
* Jonny Evans (left-center-back): 41/46 passing (89%), 0 chances created, 3/4 long balls, 2 tackles, 7 interceptions, 16 clearances (6 effective), 0 shots blocked, 2 fouls
* Rafael (right-back | substituted off 31'): 21/23 passing (91%), 0 chances created, 0/0 crosses, 0/0 long balls, 0 successful dribbles, 1 tackle, 1 interception, 1 clearance (0 effective), 0 shots blocked, 3 fouls
* Patrice Evra (left-back): 48/59 passing (81%), 1 chance created, 2/3 crosses, 1/5 long balls, 1 successful dribble, 4 tackles, 3 interceptions, 13 clearances (8 effective), 0 shots blocked, 1 foul, 1 assist
* Michael Carrick (central-midfield): 90/96 passing (94%), 1 chance created, 0/0 crosses, 7/9 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 3 tackles, 1 interceptions, 0 shots
* Darren Fletcher (central-midfield): 81/90 passing (90%), 1 chance created, 0/0 crosses, 7/8 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 0 tackles, 0 interceptions, 0 shots
* Anderson (central-midfielder | substituted off 45'): 18/21 passing (86%), 1 chance created, 0/1 crosses, 3/3 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 1 successful dribble, 1 tackle, 0 interceptions, 1 shots (1 on target), 1 goal
* Wayne Rooney (right-winger): 49/55 passing (89%), 1 chance created, 1/4 crosses, 2/4 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 0 fouls won, 1 tackle, 1 interception, 2 shots (2 on target), 2 goals, 1 assist
* Ashley Young (left-winger): 53/59 passing (90%), 2 chances created, 1/5 crosses, 2/2 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 4 fouls won, 1 tackle, 1 interception, 2 shots (0 on target), 1 assist
* Robin van Persie (striker | substituted off 74'): 15/21 passing (71%), 0 chances created, 0/1 crosses, 2/3 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribble, 1 foul won, 4 shots (2 on target), 1 goal
* Chris Smalling (right-back | substituted on 31'): 28/36 passing (78%), 0 chances created, 0/1 crosses, 2/2 long balls, 0 successful dribbles, 2 tackles, 1 interception, 1 clearance (1 effective), 1 shot blocked, 0 fouls
* Phil Jones (central-midfield | substituted on 45'): 22/29 passing (76%), 1 chance created, 0/1 crosses, 0/0 long balls, 0/2 through balls, 2 successful dribbles, 1 tackle, 1 interception, 0 shots
* Danny Welbeck (striker | substituted on 74'): 4/5 passing (80%), 0 chances created, 0/0 crosses, 0/0 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 0 fouls won, 0 shots
Sir Alex Ferguson | MUFC manager (courtesy of MUTV)
(Overall thoughts...) "I thought it was going to be a record score in the Premier League at half-time. It was unbelievable. It was really bad defending and the worst we’ve been this season. We need to sort that out. Every time the ball came near our box you were just praying! We never competed for a cross, but in fairness to Reading they have great deliverers of the ball - [Nicky] Shorey whips in fantastic crosses. But we should have been doing better. We could have been battered today, but thankfully we are always scoring goals and that is rescuing us every time. Wayne [Rooney] was fantastic in the first half, as was Robin [van Persie] and Ashley Young. Ashley is right back to form and he gave them a really hard time. We brought Chris Smalling on which made a big difference in terms of height and defending their set pieces, though they didn’t get as many in the second half. We should have finished the game off with some of the opportunities that we had and it should have been 5-3 at half-time when the ball was over the line from Robin's shot. In the first half, I said to myself that it would be a miracle if we win this one. I’m just glad that we did. It is not a question of our character at all, not with these boys. It's down to us and if you make mistakes like that when you are defending, you are going to have to perform rescue jobs every week and today was yet another rescue job. There were still a lot of plus points in the sense of the boys never gave in and they showed a great determination to get over the line. And that's what it was about today - getting over the line."
(On the result...) "I think it was important to win, knowing the results from earlier. But you have still got to win your game and today was a real cliff-hanger for us, but fortunately we got the three points."
Wayne Rooney | MUFC attacker (courtesy of ESPN)
(Overall thoughts...) "It was crazy, to be honest, but we dug in there. In the first half, with the goals it wasn't good enough defending at set-pieces and it could have cost us. In the second half we wanted to be more solid. It gave them a bit of easy possession but we wanted to make sure we were solid and we thankfully got the three points. When you look back it is (enjoyable), but when you're playing you don't know what's going to happen. It's end to end, a bit like a basketball match, but I'm sure the fans and the neutrals will be delighted to watch it."
(On falling behind again and again...) "I'm sure for the coaches and fans watching it's agonising, but we always believe in ourselves. Even though we went behind twice today we believed we could win the game and we showed that we've got great character in the team."
Brian McDermott | Reading FC manager (courtesy of Reading.co.uk)
(Overall thoughts...) "I was proud of the efforts and that first half performance from our players. It wasn't just effort alone, there was quality as well in the way we passed the ball. It was an incredible game really, and we've had a few of those this season. We played for our supporters, they want to see us get the results and they will come. You see the confidence levels from our players, and look at the way we passed the ball and got crosses into the box. We caused them a lot of problems today and I thought with the late set play Morrison was going to score. I think we're becoming everybody's second team at this rate! But our fans are the most important, they can see the players never give up and we led Manchester United twice. We know what our agenda is in this league and we just keep going, now we move on to Southampton. There's no problem with competition and it's a different challenge for us. The crowd were really behind us in that first half, they saw some real good quality play. I'm disappointed that we haven't come away with anything, but that's the nature of this league. Last season we were winning game after game, this season we've just got to hang in there. We have to be different here and get the results whatever way we can. We want to get the results. But we're playing against a side here with massive quality. If you consider where we were almost three years ago, when we'd just been beaten 4-1 at Plymouth - we were staring League One in the face. And look at how far we;ve come in that three years - it's a great achievement by everybody at the club."
(On being able to created chances and on cleaning it up in defense...) "We're doing the hardest thing - especially in this league - as we're scoring goals. Once we can get the other bit sorted and we're not conceding, we'll be fine. We didn't create much at Villa but today we did and we have to marry the two things together. It wouldn't be right to judge our defence on today, you're playing against the type of player you just don't face every week. I can't fault them, that's what people pay their money for, world class players. The lads will be disappointed today but we know the calibre of the opposition in this division, we know the calibre of Manchester United. Manchester United are synonymous with everything that is good about football. They have top quality players, Rooney, van Persie, Young, the list goes on. We are Reading, we have to do things differently and do things our way."