Sir Alex Ferguson’s side took full advantage of Manchester City’s defeat at Everton to open up a 15-point gap at the top of the table with only nine games remaining.
But it was a far from convincing performance from a much-changed United side, which failed to overwhelm Reading, led by caretaker boss Eamonn Dolan.
Wayne Rooney has scored seven goals in eight games at Old Trafford in 2013
Rooney has been involved in 21 goals in 21 Premier League appearances this season (scoring 12, assisting nine)
Rooney’s first half-strike deflected in after a surging Rio Ferdinand run, while Ashley Young also curled a shot inches wide.