April 16, 2011
So we won then? Of course! we know how to do little else right now, as we beat the Foxes 3-1.
The Team? McCarthy, Griffin, Harte, Khizinishvili, Mills, Leigertwood, Karacan, Kebe (Robson-Kanu 83), McAnuff, Manset (Hunt 54), Long.
MOTM: Jimmy Kebe, scored the first created the second and made a great run for the third, should have scored at least a hat-trick but we'll let him off!
Tilehurst End Match Report In Brief
Eight wins in a row now for Reading, who stay just three points away from an automatic promotion place, and now need just four points from the final four games to secure a play-off place. Wins for Norwich and Cardiff this weekend have meant second spot is still out of our hands but Swansea's failure to beat Burnley means we now have the advantage over them, and winning our next three games would see us go into the final day with a mathematical chance of sneaking second.
Yesterday's game was one of the most enjoyable games of football I've been to for quite a while, with both teams keen to get forward and some fantastic goals to enjoy. Leicester knew that they had to get a result to keep alive their play-off hopes and set themselves out in a 4-3-3 formation with the 2004 dream team strike force of Diomansy Kamara, Yakubu and Darius Vassell causing Ian Harte and Andy Griffin some early problems. Leicester boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has his team playing some good passing football and the Foxes kept possession for long periods, but couldn't carve out many clear cut chances in the first 15 minutes. Their best chance came when the on-loan Yakubu smashed a shot just past the top right of Alex McCarthy's goal, with only the spin on the ball seeing it wide.
But Reading were always looking dangerous on the counter and after 20 minutes Long wriggled free on the left to put a ball across the box for Jimmy Kebe to put the Royals 1-0 up. It was another prime example of Shane Long's spirit and drive earning us a goal as it would have been easy for the Irish striker to be muscled out but he powered through, putting it on a plate for Jimmy. Just a minute later it was 2-0 at Jobi McAnuff used all his trickery to create some space in the box before curling a shot into the bottom right of Chris Weale's goal - 2-0 to the good guys!
Being 2-0 down didn't stop Leicester having a go and minutes later only a Matt Mills block stopped the visitors halving our lead, while before the break his central defensive partner Zurab also blocked a goal bound effort to preserve out lead. At the other end, Jimmy Kebe should have had his second when the ball was cut across the box by McAnuff only for the Malian to spoon his shot over from inside the box.
The second half Reading started sluggishly, but the introduction of Noel Hunt for the tiring Manset ten minutes in gave us fresh impetus and on 67 minutes Hunt had put us 3-0 up, slotting home after a sensational run from inside his own half by Jimmy Kebe - game over.
Leicester did grab a consolation late on when King smashed one in from 25 yards, but the Royals never looked like giving up their lead and saw out the final ten minutes for a 3-1 win.
It was a great display from the Royals with the only concern being a slight vulnerability to the pace Leicester had down the right, but the defence did a good job inside the box and made up for it. Jimmy Kebe was masterful and when he's on that sort of form, nobody in this league can handle him. I thought Jem also had a good game, he's improving game on game and really does remind me of Parky, harrying and hassling the opposition all over the park. Leicester looked a fairly decent side and passed the ball well but the fact that five of their team were on loan would concern me if I were a Leicester fan.
So we move onto Elland Road on Friday for an absolutely massive game against a fellow play-off rival, with only a win really being good enough to keep us in the hunt for second. Right now I fancy our chances, Leeds are on the slide and we're on the up, it's there for the taking c'mon URZZZ!