Second-half goals from Nani and Javier Hernandez provided enough for United to repel a Reading revival after Jobi McAnuff gave them hope.
"We gave them a real run for their money,"the Reading boss said. "In the last 20 mins we played some very good football.
"But they have some fantastic players and Nani is one of them.
"It makes you think when they can bring on players like Robin van Persie as well. When he was warming up I did speak to him and told him to sit down."