Seeing as it’s Father’s Day, and we’re into World Cup season, we thought we’d try something a little different in honour of our very own Dadi - Reading’s sole representative in Russia. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson may not have played in Iceland’s opening game, a 1-1 draw with Argentina, but he earned his place in the national squad with a decent goalscoring season for his club - it’s one of those goals which we’re going to have a closer look at.
Setting the scene
Reading may have been awful for large parts of 2017/18, but we were still - occasionally - capable of some quite entertaining football. A 3-3 draw with Derby County was a good example of that, although subsequent games at home to Sheffield United (3-1 loss) and Bolton Wanderers (1-1) drained any optimism. However, another match at the Madejski - against fellow strugglers Leeds United - was an opportunity to turn all that around.
Quarter of an hour in, with the match goalless, Leeds are playing out from the back as Pontuss Jansson slides the ball upfield, only for Liam Kelly to snatch it back straight away.
The Irishman turns quickly and opts for Pelle Clement, whose one-touch pass finds Sone Aluko. Watch how: a) the ball to Clement sucks a Leeds defender higher up the pitch b) Bodvarsson gets on the blind side of Jansson. By the time the ball comes to Aluko, sharp work from those players gives him an easy route through to a runner already on the move.
Aluko then earns his assist with a beautifully well-weighted, prompt through-ball to Bodvarsson. The forward sets himself up for the chance perfectly not only with the timing of his run, but also with a deft first touch that takes the ball away from Jansson and keeps his forward momentum. It’s then a simple finish as Dadi slides it past Bailey Peacock-Farrell with his weaker foot. 1-0 Reading.
I love this goal. It’s so satisfying to see a team move - something that’s clearly been practiced on the training ground - come off so well. Strikes from Liam Kelly (vs Derby, home) and Sone Aluko (vs QPR, home) will go down as our most impressive of 2017/18, but don’t take anything away from goals like this.
Frustratingly, it’s a reminder of how good Reading very occasionally were when they properly turned it on. The snappy interplay that takes the ball up the pitch from Kelly to Bodvarsson, with Clement and Aluko carving Leeds open along the way, is something we were capable of but didn’t go for enough.
You can see the full highlights, from which we made the gifs, below.