I still can’t get over it. What a performance, what a day, what a win.
Fulham away is always good fun, but I think it’s fair to say that we didn’t go into the game in the highest of spirits. Even coming off the back of a win against Peterborough United in midweek, Fulham are a different animal. A squad full of Premier League quality that they spent some serious dough on. We didn't have a hope in hell, did we?
Or so we thought. What came in the 90 minutes to follow was vintage Veljko Paunovic, and a showing that proved that we can still mix it with the big boys in this league. From start to finish we looked like a team that wanted to win, and a team that knew it could win. That’s a far cry from what we’ve seen so far this season.
It was just a phenomenal away day. The two goals were beautiful, the atmosphere was electric from start to finish, the tactics were spot on, and we walked away with all three points. *Chef’s kiss*
Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the big talking points...
There’s only one place to start really, isn’t there?
We all know how good this guy can be. But we also know how frustrating it can be to watch him. We don't see Ovie at his best anywhere near as much as we should, but when we do - he is electric.
His first on Saturday was a beauty into the top corner, before adding to that with a second goal that should be put up in the Louvre. It was a thing of utter beauty. The touch (oh god, the touch), the finish and the celebrations infront of the fans. So good.
The fans certainly loved his performance...
Ovie Ejaria just scored and celebrated, but at the same time didn’t celebrate. What a man. #readingfc— Greg Double (@Dubstep1988) September 18, 2021
Its ovie ejaria world and we are all just living in it #readingfc— Paul Penny (@ppenny1362) September 18, 2021
The boy Ejaria. Simply unplayable. What a result that is. Get in #readingfc— smudger (@smujjii87) September 18, 2021
Southwood has waited a very, very long time for this chance - and he is grabbing it with both hands.
He was superb again on Saturday. Commanding from crosses, alert to any danger and produced a couple of really, really important saves. That save from Onomah in injury time was absolutely sensational, and it sealed all three points for us.
I am delighted for Southwood, and even though Rafa is back in contention now, Luke has to be our number one going forward. He’s one of our own, and the fans absolutely love him...
Southwood has been so good in goal, Pauno must be relieved af that Rafa punched that whiteboard #readingfc— Chris Baker (@Zacnaloen) September 18, 2021
18th of September 2021, Luke Southwood. A legend was born. #readingfc— Chris Baker (@Zacnaloen) September 18, 2021
UNREAL! Just Incredible. Every single player deserves credit. So proud of the boys. Southwood….I have one word, wow #readingfc— Zac (@ZacLONDON_31) September 18, 2021
It's mad that Luke Southwood was basically told he could leave the club under José Gomes. What a turnaround. #readingfc— Imran Escőbar (@razor5edge) September 19, 2021
What. A. Win.
This last talking point isn’t aimed at anything in particular, just a chance to see how good the fans felt after the game.
This was a day that will live long in the memory. As away days go, I can’t remember one that gets close to it. Just a great day, with a packed out away end, and a group of players who managed to take all three points off the league leaders. Beautiful.
Take a read of some of these jubilant tweets...
HUGE Win that. Defended very well. Luke Southwood outstanding - not a chance Rafa gets back in goal. Ejaria 2 quality goals as well. Also Credit where credits due to Pauno got it spot on today. If only we held on against qpr.— Dean Bennett (@DeanBennett1993) September 18, 2021
Big week! URZ! #readingfc
Huge win for #readingfc today. Was VERY worried about this season after losing such big players during the summer transfer window. Now much more hopeful! Football, you reel me in every time. https://t.co/fjToJzOi8o— Joshua Smith (@Joshua_smith1) September 18, 2021
That second half is what it’s all about. Up against it, resolute defending, spirit, grit, and a bit of gamesmanship. Everything we’ve lacked recently. What a fantastic win! #readingfc— Thomas (@rfctom) September 18, 2021
what a win, still can’t believe it. fulham fans crying about the ref as if we weren’t denied a blatant handball. on we go to middlesbrough #utfd #readingfc #reaful #FulhamFC pic.twitter.com/dTgQtmNdXP— Dan (@rfc_dxn) September 18, 2021
Let’s be honest, I could keep writing this piece for hours. I could go on and on about all the good things to come from yesterday’s performance.
Laurent filling in at centre back for 75 minutes as if it’s what he does on a day-to-day basis, Drinkwater slotting in seamlessly in a high-pressure situation, Pauno getting his tactics absolutely spot on. I could keep going. I could do a whole talking point on that second goal alone.
It was a day we deserve to celebrate, but a day that has now gone. All eyes on Middlesbrough, and in much higher spirits. URZ.