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Norwich City 2-2 Reading: Wow

A huge point at Carrow Road, and what better way to get it?

Norwich City v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Usually, when I'm doing a TTE match report, I hate last-minute rewrites. But this time? Not so much.

To be quite honest, I'm struggling to find the words to describe what I've just seen. My heart's pounding, and I'm full of a level of sheer, unbridled joy that - as a Reading fan - I'd become unfamiliar with.

Reading blowing a lead in any game, let alone one as tough as a trip to table-toppers Norwich City, is something we've seen far too much of. But undoing that turnaround with an equaliser of our own? Nah, come off it, you can't be serious.

Andy Rinomhota most certainly was serious, and got his first goal of the club at the absolute perfect time to do so. That, together with Yakou Meite's similarly unlikely strike, have given the Royals one hell of a suprising away point.

But it was no less than we deserved. The story of the evening had not only been relentless pressure from the home side, who were looking to cement their place in first, but also of the visitors repelling it.

For a manager known for his emphasis on possession-focussed, attacking football, Jose Gomes did one hell of a job of organising his team. He started that process off with an uncharacteristically defensive lineup, switching from 4-2-3-1 to more of a 5-3-2.

Andy Yiadom, Matt Miazga and Liam Moore lined up as centre halves, flanked by Chris Gunter on the right and Tyler Blackett on the left. Andy Rinomhota, Lewis Baker and Ovie Ejaria were the midfield trio, while Modou Barrow played off Yakou Meite up top.

The bus would be well and truly parked throughout almost the entire match, but - with the exception of two late goals - Norwich City couldn't find a way through.

The other Jose would be proud.

Down the other end, chances were few and far between, but we made the most of pretty much our only one in the first half. Half an hour in, Barrow found space to blitz into down the left before cutting the ball back to Meite. The striker showed great instinct and technique to lash it home. 1-0 Reading. Although Norwich had been well-contained until that point, the goal was very much against the run of play.

Reading saw their lead out to the break, but the Canaries came back into the second half renewed, and hit the post with an effort from range soon after the restart. The pressure gradually built - Norwich getting closer, the nerves of every Royals fan shredded by the tension.

When it looked like we were there... heartbreak. First Ben Godfrey rifled the ball into the roof of the net from range in the 86th minute, and then it was Christoph Zimmermann's turn to head home from a corner. 2-1 Norwich, and we'd all been here before. What use was a gutsy, dogged away performance if we were only going to throw it away at the end? Or were we?

Well, no. Reading didn't know they were beaten, and pressed forward in desperation rather than expectation. And, with 97 minutes on the clock (yes, NINETY-SEVEN), Andy Rinomhota scored an equaliser that sent us all into delirium.


Add in the fact that 10-man Aston Villa (great people, I've always loved them) came from behind to win at Rotherham United, and tonight proved to be a pretty decent night in our relegation fight.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to have a lie down.