Manchester United beat Reading 2-1 in last night’s FA Cup tie at Old Trafford and it’s United’s ‘forgotten man’ Nani who is taking all the plaudits today for his performance.
The Portuguese winger has been a peripheral figure for large parts of this season but was undoubtedly the Man of the Match last night as he opened the scoring in the second half putting United ahead before setting up Javier Hernandez’ winner just minutes later.
United may now face FA Cup holders Chelsea in the quarterfinals of the competition. Oldham, Everton, Wigan, Manchester City, Barnsley, Millwall and Blackburn Rovers are still in the running.
However, United suffered a blow in the form of an ankle injury to Phil Jones who left the stadium on crutches after a first-half tackle from Reading’s Jobi McAnuff.
Jones is now a serious doubt for United’s return leg clash with Real Madrid at Old Trafford now after a superb performance in the first leg at the Bernabeu. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed he will likely not feature in United’s league trip to QPR on Saturday.
“It's an ankle injury obviously so I'd imagine he'll not be ready for Saturday anyway,” said Ferguson.
Ferguson also revealed his excitement at his side’s progression in the FA Cup.
“It’s another one out the road,” said the manager despite there being a number of empty seats in at Old Trafford last night.
The Scot praised his team’s performance this season, which sees them sit comfortably 12 points clear at the top of the table in the Premier League.
He described their lead as simply “sensational.”
The boss also took the opportunity to give his backing to summer signing Shinji Kagawa who he believes has been “a bit unlucky” in his first season in the Premier League.
"He's come from an environment that is completely different. I think the difference between German football and English football has been shown. In Germany you can't foul. It's foul after foul,” he explained of the former Borussia Dortmund star.
In transfer news, there is speculation that United defender Rio Ferdinand has been trying to convince Brazilian starlet Neymar to join United rather than Barcelona.
Ferdinand retweeted a comment begging him to convince the Brazil international to sign for United.
There is also sensational talk that Cristiano Ronaldo could be up for sale this summer with Real Madrid's president becoming 'exasperated' at his refusal to sign an extension on his contract.
Meanwhile, back at Old Trafford Brazilian talent Anderson has been making more comments about his future at United.
“When I take two steps forward I seem to take three back. It is sad but I have to do my job. I need to play games and not to have any injuries,” he revealed.
Anderson featured in last night’s game a received praise on Twitter for his performance. However, there still some sections of United’s fan base who remained unconvinced.
Meanwhile last night’s goalscorer Javier Hernandez has insisted United goalkeeper David De Gea is on top of his game.
“He’s very focused and doesn’t listen to all that rubbish they speak about him,” said the Mexican.
Elsewhere, The Express reports that United, along with Barcelona, are tracking Paris Saint-Germain star Marco Verratti with a view to signing the Italian midfielder in the summer.
The Express also claims that United are willing to sell backup goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard in order to fund the signing of ‘target’ Asmir Begovic from Stoke.
They also report that United are set to ‘close in’ on Porto winger James Rodriguez who they were linked with in January.
In other news, QPR boss Harry Redknapp believes his side can beat United this weekend.
“We’re just as capable of getting something against Man U as anyone else,” said Redknapp.
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