The FA Cup: probably still the most magical competition in world football, one with an audience rivalling the TV coverage of any major sporting event and we—yes we—are in the semi-finals at Wembley.
This is the hardest Media Wrap I have had to do, as rather than having to search for reports there really are plenty!
As it is a global audience, I will start with the overseas reaction. So with no further waffling we start with TV3 in New Zealand who have video highlights and say we made light work of Bradford. Stuff.co.nz say that we "thrashed" the Bantams, "roaring" into a two goal lead within ten minutes.
TSN in Canada are quoted saying "Reading blanked Bradford" with a picture of Garath McCleary, but only five lines on us and the rest of the report on the Liverpool game, this report is also carried by canada.com. MLSSoccer are predictable with Danny Williams headlining, his "swerving long range rocket" forcing a good save from his namesake in goal.
Ok, so it is only five lines but we did make the sports pages of the New York Times and is also carried by the Washington Post and the South China Morning Press say "Arsenal next as Royals dump out Bradford".
The Australian take on it is from Fox Sports, who say we "schooled" Bradford and understandably headline "Federici's Reading in to FA Cup Semi" also commentating that he links up with the Soceroos for the upcoming friendlies. Another Aussie site Sportsfan.com.au say that we romped in the lead after the kick off was nearly delayed (that news?) due to congestion on the motorway.
Jotting off to Africa and the Kenyan Daily Nation say we were ruthless but it is the headline "Robson-Kanu Scores" which tickled me for some reason.
Finally for our quick tour around the globe, we will finish in the UAE where the National say we "avoided the same fate as Chelsea" to book a date with Arsenal.
Back On British Soil
Okay, so how did the British press view it? Seeing as the game was on BBC One I suppose it's only fair to start with the BBC and they report that Bradford's fairytale run was brought to an end, that it was a comfortable victory and that it's our first trip in the FA Cup to Wembley in 88 years.
SkySports being Britain's other major sports outlet comment that our decision to rest the first team on Saturday paid dividends as Bradford looked tired after having to play a number of their first choice players on Saturday, they also carry an audio interview with Reading boss Steve Clarke.
The Belfast Chronicle call us "rampant" and say that we outclassed the Bantams, that we were much the better side. Mail Online say that we have now picked up the baton of underdogs now that Bradford are out, they also carry a good number of pictures and a concise report.
ESPN FC talk about Jamie Mackie fulfilling his "dream" to play at Wembley, whilst BT Sport have a video package of the game.
Finally, after all this we can have a quick look at the local and club reports, GetReading say that "it promised to be tight and dramatic" but in the end was a cruise, whilst the Yorkshire Evening Post headline that "the dream is over, the story will endure" which actually is a fair comment as Bradford have been the nation's darlings for this tournament.
So onto the clubs and Reading FC obviously are bouncing half way down the street, not only as the magic of the cup, but also—I would presume—the pay-day that comes with it. They call it a high octane physical affair which led to a comprehensive win and Federici had little to do. Which actually sums it up quite nicely.
The Bradford Official site's report call it a comfortable victory for Reading FC and that after 5 months and 8 games the dream is over.
So, my elongated media wrap for the FA Cup quarter-final is done, one where the Royals wrote a little bit of history with a stunning performance, we now focus back on the league till mid-April. We need to continue this momentum for the rest of the season. If we had played like this for most of the campaign this year then our season would have been mightily different. Ho hum.
Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be, we're going to Wembley…