January 5, 2019 / 3:20 PM / 15 days ago

Soccer-Solskjaer unimpressed as United ease past Reading in Cup

MANCHESTER, England, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Manchester United produced their least impressive performance under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the Norwegian offered rare starts to some out-of-favour big names in Saturday’s FA Cup third round win over second-tier Reading.

Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, handed his first start under Solskjaer, took his chance with United’s second goal just before halftime after Juan Mata’s penalty put the hosts in front.

But with nine changes to the side that beat Newcastle United in midweek, United’s fourth straight Premier League win since Solskjaer replaced sacked Jose Mourinho, it was an unconvincing display against a side second-bottom in the Championship.

“You can’t ask for more than going through but the way we played wasn’t the best,” said Solskjaer, who matched Matt Busby’s record of winning his first five matches in charge.

“They controlled it in the first five minutes and we weren’t up to speed. But we made nine changes, and they hadn’t played together as a unit so I made it hard for the boys.

“But we got the goals and managed to get through.”

Chilean Alexis Sanchez was also handed a first start under Solskjaer but was forced off in the 64th with a hamstring injury.

“I hope it’s not going to be too bad — it’s the same hamstring that he’s been having trouble with but we’ll see. Hopefully he’ll be okay for next weekend,” Solskjaer said. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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