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Hahnemann heroics at Old Trafford
by Paul Kennedy, August 13th, 2007 7AM



[AMERICANS ABROAD] Keeper Marcus Hahnemann was outstanding as 10-man Reading held defending English Premier League champion Manchester United to a 0-0 tie on the opening weekend of the 2007-08 season.

Last season, Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo put three goals past Hahnemann in the two EPL meetings with United, but on Sunday the American came up with five big saves on Ronaldo and his United teammates.

The performance marked a remarkable recovery for Hahnemann, who suffered two shattered metacarpal bones in his right hand in a challenge  from Blackburn's Shabani Nonda on May 13. Hahnemann flew to Colorado to have surgery on his hand at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic, but his hand was still weak when he reported to training camp at the end of June.

Hahnemann used to play for MLS's Colorado Rapids before moving to England. Even before the United game, Reading manager Steve Coppell was full of praise for the 35-year-old Hahnemann.

"He's been consistent since I've been here and in that time you can count the number of mistakes he's made on the fingers of one hand," Coppell told the London Times. "And all of those are more than compensated by match winning performances. He is a presence in the team without being overly dominant. He's a force and it's a good feeling having him there."

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