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Wolves Fans Verdict: Royals Crash Out On Penalties

How the Loyal Royals reacted to some of the key talking points to come from Reading’s Carabao Cup third-round loss to Premier League Wolves.

Jose Gomes made 10 changes to the team that fell to defeat against Blackburn Rovers on the weekend for the trip to Molineux, as he came up against his compatriot Nuno Espirito Santo. And the changes worked as the performance levels shot up from Saturday’s poor showing.

One thing that got the fans talking was the fact that Yakou Meite skippered the team for the first time in the absence of Liam Moore, with the gaffer interestingly stating that the Ivorian is part of a ‘players committee’ after the game.

A huge Joao Virginia error allowed Wolves to go into half time 1-0 up before the Royals fought back - after the introduction of main men Ovie Ejaria, John Swift and George Puscas - to claim a dramatic last-gasp equaliser deep into added time. Of course, we went on to crash out on penalties, but there were a lot of positives to take from the game - and a lot of things that got the fans talking on Twitter...

Virginia’s howler

Let’s start with the obvious one, shall we? Virginia has had more than his fair share of criticism since he became Reading’s first signing of the summer, and it got even worse on Wednesday night for the Everton loanee.

Midway through the first half, Bruno Jordao picked the ball up outside the area and decided to let fly with a tame effort towards Virginia’s goal. However, it somehow squirmed its way through his gloves and into the net. It was a moment that really isn’t going to do the youngster’s confidence any good going forward - especially as I felt he had a pretty solid game apart from his blunder.

The fans were, quite rightly, left frustrated and upset at the mistake. On a sidenote, however, we need to remember that this is Virginia’s first season in professional football. No player ever makes mistakes on purpose and, at the end of the day, he’s still a human like anybody else...

Swifty magic

From the ugly to the downright beautiful. We’ve seen moments of magic from Swift more and more regularly in recent times: the pass to set Modou Barrow away at home to Preston North End last season, the free-kick against Wigan Athetlic and the assist for Nelson Oliveira’s winner against Blackburn Rovers all spring to mind. But this, this tops the lot of them.

It’s the 99th minute, the very last attack and very last chance to keep us in the Carabao Cup - Swifty turns his man inside out and unleashes the most elegant ‘Rabona’ cross right onto the forehead of Lucas Boye to send the travelling contingent into pandemonium.

When this kid is on top form, there aren’t many better at this level. It was a moment that had - and probably still has - the fans going crazy on social media...

Positive signs

Despite ultimately losing on penalties, Gomes’ team gave the fans more than enough to get excited about regarding their performance, fight and character to get back into the game and keep going until the very end.

In truth, Wolves very rarely threatened Virginia’s goal, especially in the second half as Reading dominated possession and pretty much had the Premier League side camped in their own half.

It was just the final touch, pass or shot that was lacking for the Royals for the majority of the game. But, on the whole, it was a performance that pleased the Reading fanbase, and gave them a lot to be positive and optimistic about as we move into the future...

Conclusion

All in all, Gomes will look back on Wednesday night as a valubale experience for both himself and his squad. He explained after the game that he found out that he can now rely on the players that started against Wolves and, on the most part, you’d have to agree with him.

Despite the penalty shootout loss, the players are bound to take confidence into Saturday’s clash with Swansea City - so make sure you get across the M4 and to the Liberty Stadium to back the lads.

URZ