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Chelsea 4-2 Reading - Royals lose out in the Rumble of the Roubles

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It was billed as 'The Rumble of the Roubles' and in the end Chelsea and Roman Abramovich's buck banged loudest and for longest in a six goal thriller at Stamford Bridge.

But that brings no shame on Anton Zingarevich and his Premier League pretenders, Reading gave as good as they got and came from behind to lead against the European Champions in their own back yard.

In the end it was an offside goal from £50m striker Fernando Torres and a late tap-in by Branislav Ivanovic which cruelly hammered the nails in the coffin of Brian McDermott's side.

But for the hardy souls in the away end will take away memories of our newly-promoted heroes going toe-to-toe with one of the real heavyweights, an expensively assembled and glamorous side expected to perform big things this season.

If McDermott can coax this kind of performance from his side on a regular occasion, then Reading could do considerably better than the tip for immediate relegation we have received from most pundits.

McDermott set up in a 4-5-1 formation, something we may see a lot away from home this season, with Jem Karacan slotting in to midfield in place of Saturday's goalscorer Adam Le Fondre.

These tactics were suitable for attempting to get a hold of the game against Chelsea, but as Reading showed for long spells, also allowed us to flourish too.

Chelsea seemed to dominate much of the early possession and went ahead in the 18th minute through a Frank Lampard penalty after Chris Gunter had fouled Eden Hazard in the box.

Far from rolling over and allowing Roberto Di Matteo's side to kill off the game though, we were galvanised, summer signings Garath McCleary, Danny Guthrie and Pavel Pogrebnyak in particular giving their opposite numbers something to think about.

And it was a McCleary cross met by the head of the Pog that pulled the Royals level on 25 minutes, the former Nottingham Forest winger picked up where he left off on Saturday and gave an energetic performance which gives real hope he could prove to be a revelation this season and Russian striker Pogrebnyak was much improved from the weekend, where I thought he looked nervous and off the pace on his debut.

The best was yet to come though as Guthrie, taking over on free-kick duty from Ian Harte, showed his dead ball credentials with a low effort that Petr Cech spilled into his own goal somewhat fortuitously.Reading held the lead against Chelsea!

Karacan on his return to first team action, worked hard, harried, chased and generally made a nuisance of himself and there were some great team passing movements and signs that the side are beginning to get to know one another and grow in confidence.

Chelsea made change after change, introducing Brazilian wonderkid Oscar and England international Daniel Sturridge, a sign of how worried Di Matteo was on the touchline, but also of the vast resources they have.

And it worked to Reading's disadvantage as eventually they found a route back into the game, Adam Federici doing little to stop Gary Cahill's long range effort with about 20 minutes remaining.

Federici has come under the spotlight after a couple of mistakes, but he has plenty of credit left and most Reading fans know his place is not under threat yet. His performances in recent seasons have been superb and I back him to come through this shaky spell and prove himself in the top-flight.

Reading were beginning to tire and the knockout blow came with ten minutes left when Ashley Cole found Torres, in an offside position, to fire home.

Federici came upfield for a corner and as Reading searched for an equaliser, the Australian was caught on the counter attack and Hazard, the same man who had won the original penalty, set up Ivanovic to end the game.

Hal Robson-Kanu, a late substitute for McCleary, looked tons better than on Saturday when he started against Stoke. For me this shows that he is lacking the maturity to start games in the top-flight just yet but definitely has a role to play as a sub, much like last season.

McDermott understandably spoke of his disappointment after the game, but I for one am glad we gave it a go. It's just a shame we couldn't hold on for the point which would have meant so much, but a performance like this against Sunderland on Saturday will surely see Reading take all three points.