United dominated proceedings at Old Trafford but rarely found a way past a sturdy visiting defence - and Hahnemann was there when they did, the USA international pulling off a string of stunning saves. As Coppell reflected, not a bad effort from a man who had surgery on his hand only six weeks ago. "When he got back to us he couldn't have saved a tennis ball," said Coppell. "He had no strength in his hand whatsoever. But the progress he has made and diligent work he has undertaken over the last six weeks is a credit to him." Although Coppell claimed he felt like apologising for the smothering tactics he employed against his old club, he had no need to given they worked to perfection. In fact, the only thing that went wrong for Reading was Dave Kitson's loss of control which resulted in a rash challenge on Patrice Evra just 37 seconds after his introduction as a second-half substitute. Coppell, while defending his player, admitted referee Rob Styles was probably correct to brandish the red card. Ferguson was in no doubt either. "It looked a terrible challenge," he said. "There was real intent there and the referee had no option."