Manchester United started this match with 33 points. They were tied with Manchester City and needed this win to get to the top of the league. Reading, on the other hand, were in second to last place. All the goals came before half-time at the Madejski Stadium, equalling the Premier League record for first-half goals, as United overcame their defensive frailties to draw away from Manchester City, held 1-1 by Everton, ahead of next weekend's Manchester Derby.
A Wayne Rooney penalty put United 2-1 up in the 16th minute at Reading after Anderson had cancelled out Hal Robson-Kanu's eighth-minute opener for the hosts, only for headers from Adam Le Fondre and Sean Morrison to restore the home side's lead.
However, Rooney tucked away Patrice Evra's cross to equalize in the 30th mintue before Robin Van Persie put Alex Ferguson's men back in front moments later by finishing from Rooney's flick. Van Persie had a goal ruled out before half-time despite the ball appearing to cross the line and then blazed wide of an open goal in the second half after an error from Reading's Australian goalkeeper Adam Federici, but 4-3 proved enough.