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The Top Five Reading FC Results of 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, we take a look at the best results from what’s been a mixed year.

Aston Villa v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

5) October 14: Leeds 0-1 Reading

Going into the match, Reading had not won a game since the 2-0 win at Birmingham back in August. On the other hand, Leeds were unbeaten at Elland Road and were flying high in the top six of the Championship.

So what better than Modou Barrow, a former Leeds loanee, coming on from the substitutes bench and popping up with the winner? The former Swansea City man scored after getting on the end of Joey Van Den Berg’s through ball, sparking wild scenes in the away end.

The 434 away fans in attendance then breathed a huge sigh of relief when Vito Mannone saved Pablo Hernandez’s penalty in injury time.

Reading’s performance against the Whites showed that on their day they can compete with the best teams in the division. Furthermore, Jaap Stam must have had a huge smile on his face after the Leeds fans chanted “boring boring Reading” in the meeting between the two sides last season.

4) April 15: Aston Villa 1-3 Reading

In one of the best results and performances of last season, Reading beat Aston Villa at Villa Park thanks to a masterclass performance from Joseph Mendes. Impressively, that came only a week after the Royals had been destroyed and humiliated by Norwich in a 7-1 trashing.

Mendes got Reading off to a flyer on six minutes, after cutting his way through the Villa defence before slotting home past Sam Johnstone. James Chester then equalised for the Villans after heading home Conor Hourihane’s corner.

Mendes, who could have a hat-trick in that game, put the Royals back in front 30 seconds into the second-half after getting on the end of Lewis Grabban’s low cross. Grabban himself then sealed the win with a penalty 11 minutes from time.

To bounce back and perform in the way they did after that shocking performance at Carrow Road showed the character that Reading possessed in what was a remarkable 2016/17 season.

3) January 2: Bristol City 2-3 Reading

A game from right at the start of the year turned out to be one of the most memorable of 2017. After Tammy Abraham had put the Robins 2-0 up with goals either side of half-time, you would easily think that the game was over. But not for the Royals it wasn’t, as they struck three times in the last 18 minutes to steal all three points from their hosts.

First, Liam Kelly scored his first senior goal for the club after he found space to slam home past Frank Fielding. Yann Kermorgant then equalised, getting on the end of Kelly’s cross to side foot home from six yards out.

Then on 93 minutes the game was turned on its head when Kermorgant fired home from outside the area past a hapless Fielding to make it 3-2 and sparking incredible celebrations amongst the travelling support.

This was another game which demonstrated Reading’s incredible strength and character. At 2-0 down the Royals could have easily given up, but they kept fighting and gave us Reading fans one of the results of 2017.

2) March 17: Sheffield Wednesday 0-2 Reading

In what was a huge game for both teams, it was Reading that came out on top in this encounter. Both sides were in poor form coming into the huge clash, each having only won two of their last six matches.

The Royals may have won thanks to goals from Yann Kermorgant and Adrian Popa, but the game will be remembered for an unbelievable goalkeeping display from Ali Al-Habsi who kept the scoreline at 1-0.

Al-Habsi made fantastic saves to deny Jordan Rhodes and Will Buckley, while Morgan Fox hit the post.

In a game that would essentially confirm either sides’ place in the play-offs, Al-Habsi’s world class performance proved to be the difference and perhaps showed what Reading are missing this season.

1) May 16: Reading 1-0 Fulham, (Reading win 2-1 on aggregate)

In a winner-takes-all match that would decide who would march out at Wembley, it was Reading who came out on top against all odds. The Royals were without Paul McShane due to suspension and Jordan Obita after the left-back picked up an injury in the first leg.

They were written off by many pundits including David Prutton who predicted Fulham to beat Reading, saying “they’ve got good players all the way through their ranks”. Clearly this pundit hadn't seen a Reading game once all season.

Anyway, despite this, Reading came through thanks to Kermorgant’s superb composed penalty under huge pressure and Al-Habsi making save after save to deny Fulham.

It was a brilliant performance, one that would it make to number five in the all time best matches to be played at the Madejski Stadium, as recently voted for by the fans before the 500th game at the ground.