Reading Prem Watch
2006/07 PLD:6 W:3 D:1 L2 PTS 10 - 8th
2007/08 PLD:6 W:1 D:1 L4 PTS 4 - 18th
2012/13 PLD:6 W:0 D:3 L:3 PTS: 3 - 18th
Reading: McCarthy (10); Shorey (6), Gorkss (6), Mariappa (6), Cummings (6); McAnuff (c) (7), Tabb (6) (Robson-Kanu), Karacan (7), Kebe; (6) Hunt (7) (Roberts (6), Pogrebnyak (7) (Le Fondre (6)
Brian McDermott was forced into one team change after Mikele Leigertwood failed to recover from a dead leg injury with Jay Tabb deputising in central midfield.
Michael Laudrup’s side were on top in the early part of the game with Alex McCarthy saving well from Wayne Routledge. Yet it was Reading who went ahead after Pavel Pogrebnyak low driven shot inside the penalty area slipped through the hands of the normally reliable Michael Vorm into the Swans net. It was against the run of play but the Pog scored his second league goal of the season.
It that came as a shock then heading into the half-time interval was equally surprising after Noel Hunt brilliantly volleyed in from the penalty area. The lively Irishman has been excellent in our previous three matches with his work-rate and unselfishness bringing the best out of Pogrebnyak.
A second-half onslaught saw the Royals defending for their lives with McCarthy again saving from Luke Moore with his header being forced onto the post before Ki Sung-Yeung’s low driven shot was again pushed onto the woodwork by the Reading shot-stopper. McCarthy may not be known by many football fans outside of Reading but he eclipsed his cup heroics at Everton with this display.
With 20 minutes to go the hosts pulled a goal back when Michu headed in a deflected Routledge cross to give the Swans a lifeline. Reading couldn’t have had any complaints about the quality of the finish for Swansea’s equaliser. The impressive Routledge picked up the ball inside the Reading half and played an excellent pass to Moore who found Routledge again who fired past McCarthy. It had been the first time since April 2011 when McDermott’s men had thrown away a two goal lead.
With the game level both sides had chances to win the match with Jem Karacan’s injury time header cleared off the line from Ashley Williams. The neutral couldn’t have complained about the quality of football served up. Swansea were excellent and while disappointment lingers about our inability to hold onto a lead we had McCarthy to thank for earning us a point after his man-of-the-match performance. Questions will be asked at how our defence and midfield allowed 26 attempts on goal. Our pass completion rate of 58% (131/225) was the lowest of any of our Premier League matches this season which looks embarrassing compared with Swansea’s 83% (498/600). The spirit and determination is there for all to see but an improvement will be needed if we are to move out of the relegation zone.