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Reading FC 3-0 Blackpool: A Statistical Review

After a much needed win, @mostlybobbins chews through the rock of Blackpool's demise.

Ben Hoskins

First things first, as @BucksRoyal outlined in his report this was a match more noticeable for the clement conditions than any scintillating action. From Reading's perspective this is shown by the simple statistic that, despite the scoreline, they marginally lost out on possession by 1% - 49% to 51%. However, the quality within that possession for the, already seemingly doomed, lowly opposition was scant.

But still, let's take a look at what Reading tried to do to arrest the slide of recent times. Firstly, even before the game began the main offensive players took turns with shooting practice in the North-East corner. Clearly a lot of focus has been not only made on shoring up the porous defence but to also improve on the efforts on goal.

For the season to date, Reading have attempted a mere 12.6 shots per game - that's 19th in division, so an improvement in this area is much welcomed, as the old adage would suggest, "if you don't shoot, you don't score!" Compounding that unflattering stat is that we're also 18th in the table of shots on target. And you thought we just had problems at the back!

Indeed, in the first 15 minutes, even though Blackpool had a fair chunk of possession during this time, Reading had three long range efforts. This seemed to be an obvious attempt to 'shoot on sight' when the opportunity arose. Overall 38% of our attempts were of the Hail Mary variety - 71% of those attempts were from the central area. Now, whilst none of those attempts paid off, it was noticeable that attempts were made rather than perpetually trying to get out wide (well, the right side, truth be told) and feed Murray, though ironically, his goal came once again from an assist via Obita on the left (and some comedy goalkeeping, but we'll gloss over that).

To highlight that the scoreline does not necessarily reflect quality, Reading completed only 62% of their passes compared to Blackpool's inexplicable 73%! The usually reliable Oliver Norwood completed just 66% of his attempts. Even more surprising is that the number of passes attempted between Norwood and Michael Hector was only 4. However, this could perhaps be attributed to a possible more 'back to basics' mode for the Royals' defence.

Despite the scoreline and a much needed three points, the balance of the side still appears to be an issue. The balance of play appears to be more accentuated down the right side of field, even though Reading's biggest threat is Jordan Obita.


As we have regularly seen, Norwood seeks out Jamie Mackie on a regular basis. Whether this is down to Norwood's general positioning and right foot, or due to the left hand side being, well, let's call it 'unstable' and leave it at that. It's also a problem which will be complicated further when the much missed Garath McCleary returns. Where then does Mackie figure? But that's for some analysis some other time.

All stats courtesy of