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Posted on 15 January 2008  - 12:00

Robbie Keane made it 99 First Team goals in our colours with the winning strike in our 1-0 victory over Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday night.

Robbie Keane made it 99 First Team goals in our colours with the winning strike in our 1-0 victory over Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday night.

Manchester United now await at Old Trafford in round four after this tie reached its conclusion in a hard fought fashion.

There were five changes to the team that started against Chelsea on Saturday, with Younes Kaboul, Jermaine Jenas, Teemu Tainio and Jermain Defoe drafted in, while Chris Gunter was called upon to make his debut following his arrival from Cardiff City at the beginning of the month.

Ledley King was awarded a rest after featuring in three games on the spin, Dimitar Berbatov was absent with flu and Paul Robinson is celebrating the birth of a baby boy!

The recent meetings between these two sides have bordered on the frenetic and the opening period of this one could be described as bright, lively and energetic. There was a lung-busting burst from Jenas nine minutes in that left Reading markers trailing in his wake, only his final ball across the area was just slightly too strong for the quickly advancing Robbie Keane.

Gunter was then a speedy arrival on the end of a Steed Malbranque ball but his centre was cut out just before clear and present danger to the home goal. Moments later Kaboul nodded into the six yard box and Defoe flicked a header narrowly over the bar. Radek Cerny did well to deny Leroy Lita at the other end.

In the 15th minute the lead was snared following a Jenas corner that resulted in a powerful header from Kaboul that was tipped onto the bar by Adam Federici. Keane proceeded to pounce onto the rebound and steered the ball high into the net for his 99th competitive goal in our colours.

Federici prevented a doubling of the advantage five minutes before the break when, off a fizzed in low cross from Kevin Prince Boateng down the right, Defoe smacked in a volley that must have numbed the palms of the Australian keeper. Defoe then wiggled through home defences and the ball just ran away from him when he was about to apply the decisive prod.

The start of the second half was a slightly more tepid affair, during which time Reading attempted to ease their way back into contention but met with solid resistance. Buoyed by the crowd though they were increasing the tempo and were very much still in contention at just a goal down.

Just after the hour Juande Ramos replaced Defoe with Aaron Lennon, perhaps in a ploy to launch speedy counter attacks. The presence of Tainio was offering teammates greater licence to break forward and express themselves, most notably Kaboul, and whenever the big defender elected to storm ahead, the Finn slotted in as cover - as well as sitting deep and protecting the back four when under pressure.

Michael Dawson and Kaboul were proving a stubborn shield and ensured that Cerny enjoyed a largely untroubled first 70 minutes.

Tainio made way for Jamie O'Hara for the final 13 minutes and it was his run that offered Boateng a shooting chance that flew a yard or so wide. Reading pressed as the minutes ticked away and Stephen Hunt struck the bar and Cerny saved at full-length from Cox.

However, we came closest to registering with what would have been a real contended - O'Hara's deep cross controlled by Keane and played back for Malbranque, whose crisp volley was tipped onto the crossbar by Federici.

That might have been a bit harsh after Reading's endeavours but it is us who will be journeying to Manchester the weekend after next.