After the jubilation of Sunday afternoon, I’m sure that every Reading fan travelling to West Brom on Wednesday night - like me - was just praying that it wasn’t yet another false-dawn performance.
However, the team put in another fantastic performance to show that they are a good team and that they can go toe-to-toe with the supposed big boys of this division - something that we haven’t had the pleasure of feeling for a very long time.
Just like against Cardiff, Reading’s back line was absolutely superb. They won everything in the air and were calm and assured in possession. Michael Morrison in particular was a colossus, and captain Liam Moore made one of the blocks of the season when we were still 1-0 up.
Going forward we were nowhere near as menacing as Sunday, and that was to be expected going up against one of the best teams in the league. That being said, Ovie Ejaria, John Swift and Lucas Boye all showed glimpses of what they can do - especially the former.
It ended 1-1 which was probably the fairest scoreline as it was a game contested by two very evenly matched teams. Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points from Wednesday evening...
How long has it been since we had a defence that, as fans, we can rely on and are comfortable with? Obviously that’s a subjective question but I know it’s been a very long time.
It’s only been two games that these three have lined up together at centre back, but they sure know how to play together. The best thing is is that they all complement each other’s game so well.
Morrison is a no-nonsense old fashioned centre half - as shown by his impressive man-mountain display against the Baggies - whereas Miazga and Moore are more like the modern day centre back, quick and athletic and calm with the ball at their feet.
It’s definitely got the fans impressed over the last two games - with the ‘Three M-igos’ giving the fans a lot of belief and assurance that we’re not going to be conceding a lot of goals...
I thought Morrison was outstanding tonight. An old fashioned defender ready to do his bit for the cause. Cracking signing #readingfc— Dave Roberts (@LaughingLima) August 21, 2019
Michael Morrison has been our best centre back this season. Absolute unit. #readingfc— Dan (@DanHindmarsh16) August 22, 2019
Twice teams have had to resort to aimless crosses and long balls to try and get past this defence and they dealt with it well #readingfc— Luke (@gibbsey517) August 21, 2019
Add a fully fit Jordan Obita to our defence and I can't think of a better defensive unit in the league. Solid as a rock, especially the 3 CB's. #readingfc— Nath St Paul (@NathStPaul) August 21, 2019
Moore looks so much more in control at the back. He’s able to work on his own game rather than worry about everyone else’s in that defence. Really great to see! #readingfc— Jack Mead (@JMeadRFC) August 22, 2019
£3 million for this lad has to go down as one of the best pieces of business in recent Reading FC history. I don’t know what Ejaria puts on his boots before he goes out onto the pitch, but the ball just never seems to leave them.
There aren’t many better technically gifted players than Ejaria in this league, and he has more than picked up from where he left off last season. In his first three games, he has looked a class above the rest - along with his midfield partner John Swift.
One thing he needs to add to his game though is goal involvement, and he addressed that issue with a wonder goal that flew past Sam Johnstone - and sent the travelling contingent into pandemonium.
The Loyal Royals carried that joy onto Twitter after the game as Ejaria was once again the main talking point after another classy performance...
Morrison was excellent, oh and Ejaria is the best in the league, Swift close second #readingfc— Alex Stone (@_alexgstone) August 21, 2019
Defo a penalty but Ejaria will learn, he played brilliant again tonight. #readingfc— Joshua Lamb (@lambeyyy1871) August 21, 2019
Don't know if I want Ovie Ejaria as my dad or my daddy #readingfc— Tom Williamson-Cary (@TomWC_2412) August 22, 2019
The year is 2024. Ovie ejaria has just completed his 200th motm performance in a row, adding a champions league medal to his premier league medal with #readingfc. #RangersFC fans are still piping up that he’s shit and will “disappear” soon enough.— Adam (@Adamhumphries44) August 22, 2019
Another positive performance
Yes, it’s pretty gutting that we lost it last minute to a rash challenge from the otherwise impeccable Ejaria, but we need to look at the bigger picture: we went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the league.
We matched them all over the pitch and defended heroically. The players put their bodies on the line and were more than deserving of taking a point back to Berkshire.
The last two performances have been very impressive and very exciting for us as fans, as shown on Twitter after the game yet again on Wednesday evening. If we can play at home like we did on Sunday, and then fight away like we did against the Baggies - it could be a very, very interesting and exciting season...
West Brom are 3rd favorite to finish top 2. We looked every bit their equal for the entire match. VERY encouraging performance. #ReadingFC— Scott from the States (@American_Royals) August 21, 2019
Absolutely delighted #ReadingFC followed up with an impressive performance against #WBA this evening. That’s a point against one of the title favourites - incredible. points on the road and wins at home will only amount to one thing!— Pedro‼️ (@PictonPedro) August 21, 2019
We are looking like a solid team. Two good performances. A lot of improvent in a short space of time. Up the ding. #readingfc— BobbyG (@Bishbashbobs) August 21, 2019
How times have changed in such a short amount of time. Gutted with a draw away at West Brom. However, would have taken that at 8pm. Superb performance. Roll on Huddersfield #readingfc— Dean Bennett (@DeanBennett1993) August 21, 2019
Great performance last night, struggling this morning but worth it! Should be an exciting season #readingfc— Lee Wyeth (@leewyeth) August 22, 2019
I would have taken a point before I left for the Hawthorns. Gutting to lose all 3 that late on. Another decent performance and the back 3 works so well. Puscas was very quiet but teams will try mark him out the game. Although he gave the penalty away ejaria was magic #readingfc— smudger (@smujjii87) August 22, 2019
Another encouraging display from Gomes’ men, and they’re just getting better and better. And the better they perform, the more fans will turn up and the atmosphere around the club will just get stronger and stronger.
I for one cannot wait for Huddersfield on Saturday, and the rest of the games to come for that matter. This team and this manager could make this season very special, so be a part of it.