Reading’s Carabao Cup adventure came to an end against a very strong Swansea lineup at the Madejski Stadium. Former Academy scholar Alfie Mawson got the decisive goal, followed by a late Jordan Ayew strike, as Jaap Stam’s side are left to focus solely on league matters (and the EFL Trophy!!) until January at least.
We’ll have a full report & ratings up later this week but for now, here’s the key bits.
Stam made plenty of changes from the side that drew 1-1 at Brentford on Saturday. Notably, both John Swift and Jordan Obita were handed starts, as both continue to recover from injury.
Meanwhile, Swansea had a near full strength side on display, including Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony in the starting XI.
It was a fairly quiet first-half, with neither side really giving the less than 10,000 fans inside the Mad Stad much to get excited about. Leandro Bacuna did a good job of keeping Sanches quiet, while Anssi Jaakkola pulled off a fine save to deny Luciano Narsingh in an otherwise fairly tame first 45.
Into the second period and Swansea soon had the advantage. Sanches found Mawson from a corner and the defender found the net from close range.
Reading made changes to turn the tide, with Swift and Obita both withdrawn for Blackett and Kelly, while Jon Dadi Bodvarsson replaced Adrian Popa, but in truth, we never looked likely to break down our Premier League visitors.
Swansea killed things off with ten minutes to go through Jordan Ayew, although the Welsh side had a huge slice of luck as the ball hit the referee to set up the Swansea attack. Even so, the win was no less than the 2013 League Cup winners deserved.
To take a positive, Stam will have been pleased with the way we kept a strong side in check for 50-odd minutes, yet the big worry about a lack of goal scoring talent has only grown bigger this evening. It’s now three games since we scored a goal in open play and tonight’s forward trio of Roy Beerens, Pelle Clement and Adrian Popa barely put a dent in the Swansea backline. Six shots on the night and only four with the game in the balance just isn’t good enough.
The Reading boss has another three days to get his team ready, as Hull make their way to the Mad Stad on Saturday in the Championship.
Reading: Jaakkola, Gunter, Ilori, Moore, Obita (Blackett), Evans, Bacuna, Swift (Kelly), Beerens, Clement, Popa (Bodvarsson)