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Our 21st century trips to Old Trafford…

5 January 2017

Recapping our recent visits to M16

Since the turn of the millennium, we’ve made five trips to Old Trafford – and we’ve given the Red Devils a good go on each occasion!

Here’s a recap of how we got on each time…

Saturday 30th December 2006
Manchester United 3-2 Reading
Barclays Premiership

Our first trip to Old Trafford as a top-tier club – and indeed our first visit there in almost 62 years – was a high-scoring affair, in which the hosts had the majority share of the five goals.

A day ahead of Sir Alex Ferguson’s 65th birthday, United took the lead through Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who headed in Cristiano Ronaldo’s cross.  But five minutes later, the Royals were level – Ibrahima Sonko was alert to head in Nicky Shorey’s set-piece to send the teams into the tunnel at half-time all square.

However a Ronaldo brace after the break – either side of Sam Sodje’s dismissal for the Royals, who picked up two yellows in ten minutes after coming off the bench – put the game out of reach for Reading.  Leroy Lita hit in a late consolation, but United held on for the points.

Saturday 17th February 2007
Manchester United 1-1 Reading
FA Cup, fifth round

Later in the same season, we were drawn away at Old Trafford in the fifth round of the FA Cup – and got a momentous result, as a draw ensured that we’d be bringing the Red Devils back to Berkshire for a replay later that month.

The hosts took the lead on the stroke of half-time after controlling the run of play in the first period – Michael Carrick arrowed in the opener.

But the Royals levelled midway through the second half – Brynjar Gunnarsson, on his first start since New Year’s Day, powered a header past Tomasz Kuszczak to level matters.  Adam Federici made a dramatic save from Henrik Larsson in stoppage time to ensure the teams would meet again at Madejski Stadium.

Sunday 12th August 2007
Manchester United 0-0 Reading
Barclays Premiership

Our first top-flight point at Old Trafford came at the start of our second season in the Premiership – neither team found the breakthrough on that Sunday afternoon in M16.

Reigning champions United opened their campaign against the Royals but struggled to muster much in the way of openings until the final stages – by which time Reading had been reduced to 10 men, after Dave Kitson was sent off just a minute after being subbed on for his tackle on Patrice Evra.

But Marcus Hahnemann was in fine fettle to deny makeshift striker John O’Shea, as well as Michael Carrick, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Scholes, as we claimed a point in Manchester.

Monday 18th February 2013
Manchester United 2-1 Reading
FA Cup, fifth round

Our last trip to Old Trafford in the world’s oldest cup competition was settled by a fine margin – the Royals clawed back to within a goal, but couldn’t quite force a replay at Madejski Stadium.

Level until three-quarters of the way through the match, netted two in quick succession to get a foot in the quarter-final.  Nani finished firmly, and three minutes later, he crossed for Javier Hernandez to head in the hosts’ second.

A slaloming run and neat finish by Jobi McAnuff with 10 minutes to play ensured that the hosts would have a nervy finish, but they eventually claimed their place in the last eight.

Saturday 21st March 2013
Manchester United 1-0 Reading
Barclays Premier League

The last time we went to Old Trafford, Eamonn Dolan was in the dugout as our temporary manager – and just a single goal decided the game, as the hosts moved 15 points clear at the Premier League summit.

A surging run by defender Rio Ferdinand led to the game’s only goal, as Wayne Rooney put the finishing touch just after the 20-minute mark, as his effort deflected in off Alex Pearce.

Hal Robson-Kanu was inches away from curling in an equaliser after the break and Adrian Marriapa had a penalty shout turned down after getting shoved over in the box by Nemanja Vidic… United held on to win.

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