THE NOTEBOOK: Paul Ince reminds Man United that he made it big on his Old Trafford return


THE NOTEBOOK: Paul Ince reminds Man United that he made it big on his Old Trafford return, Andy Carroll’s red card prevents heavyweight duel with Harry Maguire and Erik ten Hag is a believer in the magic of the FA Cup

A starring performance from Brazilian midfielder Casemiro helped Manchester United into the hat for the fifth round for the FA Cup with a 3-2 victory over Reading. 

The Royals were seen off thanks to a double from the former Real Madrid star, as well as a goal from compatriot Fred, as former Red Devils icon Paul Ince’s return to Old Trafford ended in defeat. 

Here Sportsmail’s Chris Wheeler explores the key moments from the victory, as well as some of the unusual things you might have missed from Old Trafford. 

A Casemiro-inspired Manchester United saw off the challenge of Reading at Old Trafford to progress to the FA Cup fifth round

Ince: Told you I made it big!

Paul Ince got a warm reception on his return to Old Trafford where he spent six years as a player, winning a total of 10 trophies — including the FA Cup twice.

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Ince reciprocated the applause as he walked out of the tunnel with United assistant Steve McClaren before kick-off, and then posed for a picture with Erik ten Hag by the dug-out.

The 55-year-old left Old Trafford for Inter Milan in 1995, but it was his subsequent move to arch-rivals Liverpool that threatened to sour his relationship with United fans. That all seemed to be forgotten here though.

Ince told ITV that he had been summoned to meet his old United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in one of the lounges after the game. So was the legendary United boss right to call him a Big-Time Charlie? ‘Yes,’ replied Ince. ‘Look at the clubs I played for!’

Paul Ince was summoned to meet Sir Alex Ferguson after the game, he revealed to ITV

Paul Ince was summoned to meet Sir Alex Ferguson after the game, he revealed to ITV 

Carroll sees red

The heavyweight duel between Harry Maguire and Andy Carroll never really materialised, even before the former England striker was sent off in the 65th minute.

As Roy Keane said before the game: ‘If Man United are worried about Andy Carroll, then United are in trouble.’

Harry Maguire didn’t have to compete in a single aerial duel while Andy Carroll was on the pitch. Carroll didn’t manage a single touch in the Manchester United box. 

Although Reading sold out their ticket allocation of 3,094 in less than an hour earlier this month, the club didn’t request more because they thought the late kick-off time on a Saturday might hit sales.

Reading raise awareness 

Viewers may have noticed the thin blue and red stripes down the arms of Reading’s customary blue and white hooped kit.

Created at the University of Reading, the stripes show data relating to the rise in average temperature over the last 150 years, to raise awareness for global warming.

Erik’s a believer!

Erik ten Hag’s Harry Potter comment made headlines before this tie, and the United manager clearly believes in the magic of the FA Cup judging by the strength of the team he put out.

‘I don’t know why we shouldn’t,’ he said pre-match. ’We want to win every game so you play a strong selection.

‘I can sense a real hunger within the squad to keep progressing in every competition. As a manager, that is exactly what I want to see.’

Erik ten Hag clearly believes in the magic of the cup judging by the side he played

Erik ten Hag clearly believes in the magic of the cup judging by the side he played

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