Wayne Rooney was incredibly proud to equal Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time Manchester United goalscoring record in their comfortable 4-0 win over Reading in The Emirates FA Cup third round.
Rooney opened the scoring early on to join Sir Bobby on 249 United goals before Anthony Martial made it 2-0 shortly after, and Marcus Rashford’s second-half double sealed the victory.
It was an unhappy return to Old Trafford for Reading manager Jaap Stam – who played for the Red Devils between 1998 and 2001 – but Rooney was ecstatic to move joint-top of the goalscoring charts after 14 years at the club.
Manchester United 4-0 Reading
- The Emirates FA Cup
- Third Round
- Saturday 7 January 2017
- Old Trafford
- By Luke Baker
“It’s a proud moment for me to do it for a massive club like Manchester United,” said Rooney.
“I’m hugely honoured to be able to play for this football club and to be up there in terms of goals with Sir Bobby is a really proud moment.
“Hopefully I’ll be out there on my own soon but I’ll enjoy this because it’s a real honour. It was not something I could have imagined when I started out.
“We played some good stuff and scored some good goals.”
Rashford had already fired narrowly wide from 25 yards, with Rooney also forcing a good low save from Reading goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi, when United took the lead on seven minutes.
Martial cut in from the left wing and fed Juan Mata, whose first-time dinked cross was kneed into the top corner by Rooney.
It was 2-0 by the quarter-hour mark as a neat one-two between Rooney and Martial enabled the latter to burst into the box and curl an effort into the bottom right-hand corner.
Rashford almost made it 3-0 when he rounded Al-Habsi but could only find the side netting before the Omanian stopper repelled Michael Carrick’s stinging low drive after the break.
The Red Devils continued to pile on the pressure and on 75 minutes, Rashford grabbed his first goal in 18 matches as he calmly finished one-on-one following Carrick’s ball over the top.
And the 19-year-old completed the scoring by capitalising on Al-Habsi’s mis-control four minutes later to tap into an empty net from a yard out – leaving United boss Jose Mourinho content with the efficiency shown by his troops to book a fourth-round spot.
“I’m happy because it was a professional job from minute one,” said Mourinho. “We knew that Reading could create difficulties for us, especially if you give them time to get in the game and settle down.
“We started well and it was good for me to see that the players who don’t play many games are in good physical shape.”
Manchester United: 20 Sergio Romero, 18 Ashley Young, 12 Chris Smalling, 5 Marcos Rojo, 17 Daley Blind, 27 Marouane Fellaini, 16 Michael Carrick, 8 Juan Mata, 10 Wayne Rooney, 11 Anthony Martial, 19 Marcus Rashford.
Substitutes: 4 Phil Jones for Rojo 19, 31 Bastian Schweinsteiger for Mata 78, 24 Timothy Fosu-Mensah for Carrick 78.
Substitutes not used: 40 Joel Castro Pereira, 6 Paul Pogba, 22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Goals: Rooney 7, Martial 15, Rashford 75, 79
Reading: 26 Ali Al-Habsi, 2 Chris Gunter, 6 George Evans, 16 Liam Moore, 24 Tyler Blackett, 4 Joey van den Berg, 23 Danny Williams, 38 Liam Kelly, 12 Garath McCleary, 18 Yann Kermorgant, 7 Roy Beerens.
Substitutes: 11 Jordan Obita for Blackett 45, 8 John Swift for Evans 57, 14 Dominic Samuel for Kermorgant 77.
Substitutes not used: 40 Stuart Moore, 3 Jake Cooper, 30 Tennai Watson, 19 Yakou Meite.
Manager: Jaap Stam
Referee: Andre Marriner