Sports, Football

Casemiro leads Man Utd’s progress in FA Cup

Published : 29 Jan 2023 08:37 PM

Casemiro scored twice as Manchester United turned on the style to beat 10-man Reading 3-1 and reach the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday as Tottenham forward Son Heung-min ended his recent goal drought.

On a day lacking major shocks, there were wins for Premier League strugglers Leeds, Leicester and Southampton but Fulham were held by Championship side Sunderland.

United -- fourth in the Premier League and within touching distance of a place in the League Cup final -- produced more compelling evidence they are back on track under new manager Erik ten Hag. The home side took the lead at Old Trafford in the 54th minute when Anthony produced a defence-splitting pass to find Brazil teammate Casemiro, who lifted the ball over goalkeeper Joe Lumley.

Four minutes later United were two up, when Casemiro let fly with a stunning strike from outside the box to find the bottom corner.

With the home side brimming with confidence, substitute Fred produced an audacious flick from Bruno Fernandes' low cross to the near post to make the game safe.

By then Reading were down to 10 men after Andy Carroll was sent off for a second booking but Paul Ince's side still managed to score a consolation goal. Manchester United captain Harry Maguire described former Real Madrid star Casemiro as a "phenomenal player".

"You don't win what he's won without being a top player," he said. "He's improved the team, the morale and the performance."

Harry Kane was left on the bench for Spurs' match at Preston, meaning he missed out on the chance to break his tie with Jimmy Greaves and become Tottenham's all-time top goalscorer.

In the absence of the England captain, Son stepped up with two fine finishes for a much-needed confidence boost.

The South Korean, who shared the Premier League's Golden Boot last season, had scored just once in his previous 17 appearances for club and country.

But the 30-year-old brought the fourth-round tie to life after a lacklustre first half with a sumptuous curling strike with his left foot and he killed the tie off 21 minutes from time by spinning his marker and firing high past Freddie Woodman.

Arnaut Danjuma then marked his debut for Tottenham with a goal as his scuffed finish from DejanKulusevski's cross found the bottom corner to make it 3-0.