© PA Photos
United came close to breaking the deadlock with their first sight of goal, which came in the 15th minute. Rio Ferdinand found Ashley Young, who cut inside and drilled the ball across goal, but it just eluded Robin van Persie at the back post.
Ferdinand was involved again when United took the lead. He beat two men before feeding the ball to Wayne Rooney, whose shot deflected off Alex Pearce, causing the ball to loop up and over a stranded Stuart Taylor.
That was all that the Royals could muster in terms of attack, however, as they were forced to go into the break 1-0 down.