Royals boss Brian McDermott was a proud man after watching his side push one of the best teams in the world every inch of the way in a fight for a place for in the FA Cup quarter-finals this evening.
"It's a proud night for us because the players have given everything and showed real quality," he said. "We wanted to try to get through and we did everything we could, they gave us everything tonight.
"In the last 15 minutes we were playing a lot of the football in their final third, we got balls into the box and I thought we might just manage to nick a draw at the end.
"I think our supporters thought we were going to nick a goal for them at the end too. We've done that for them many, many times this season and many times over the last three years. But it's wasn't to be tonight."
McDermott's counterpart, Sir Alex Ferguson was forced to introduce two of his big guns from the bench to edge past the Royals at Old Trafford - Phil Jones' first half replacement and scorer of United's first, Nani, and the Barclays Premier League's top scorer Robin Van Persie.
"When I saw Van Persie warming up I said to him if he wouldn't mind just going back to sit back down on the bench. But he ignored me," Brian smiled.
"When he came onto the pitch, that gave their crowd a lift and the atmosphere became a bit more intense. But they've got quality all over the pitch, you look at their team and they play some fabulous football.
"Saying that, I thought we played some fabulous football as well. They were defending for their lives at the end and that's what makes champions. They get results.
"Their manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, he knows how to get results and I think he'll be quite relieved tonight knowing that his side have gone through.
"Feds was tremendous. He made some really, really good saves, especially when we were under the kosh a bit in the first ten or fifteen minutes.
"But at the other end Alfie hit that chance and he hit the target, but their goalkeeper has made a fantastic save of his own. And then they go up the other end and score their second.
"It could have been 1-1 and seconds later it's 2-0. But I'm pleased with everyone of them out there - it was a real good effort."
Now, it's back to the points business and the visit of Wigan in the league on Saturday. "We've got confidence from that, but we've always had confidence.
"We're trying to play the right way, we're trying to play football with the right levels of aggression and quality.
"Now, we've got twelve games to go and we're looking forward to every single one of them."