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30 January 2013
• Madejski Stadium, Reading, Berkshire
Referee: M. Halsey
• Attendance: 24097
A. Le Fondre 87', 90'+
F. Lampard 66'
Thanks for joining my throughout the game. I think you would agree that the final 10 minutes made up for a pretty dire opening hour or so. Stay with Goal.com for all the reaction.
Amazing. What a comeback from Reading, their third in as many weeks. What could this mean for Rafael Benitez though? More dropped points.
90' + 6'
And that's full-time! Chelsea drop points after being two goals to the good and Reading add another point to their battle against relegation.
90' + 5'
Yellow Card César Azpilicueta
90' + 4'
Assist Hope Akpan
90' + 4'
Goal Adam Le Fondre
90' + 4'
GOAL!! 2-2!! READING HAVE EQUALISED! And it's super-sub Le Fondre again! Federici punts a ;ong ball forward into the penalty area, the Chelsea defence are all at sea, failing to clear, as Le Fondre pops up eight yards out to slam the ball home for a valuable point! Remarkable scenes!
90' + 2'
Ba comes on to see out the final three minutes, replacing Torres.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
There will be FIVE minutes of added time. Surely Reading can't snatch an equaliser?
Le Fondre has been far superior to Pogrebnyak since coming on, it makes me wonder why McDermott doesn't seem to trust him from the off.
Assist Hope Akpan
Goal Adam Le Fondre
GOAL! First shot on target and first goal for Reading! It will likely be just a consolation but Le Fondre showed great class to finish Akpan's through-ball into the area on the turn. 2-1!
Another shot for Reading, but again it is not on target as Le Fondre attempts a curler into the top right-hand corner but is slightly off with his angles and sees the ball bounce off the top of the net.
Bit of concern for Cahill here as he clatters into the back of McCleary's head when challenging for a header. He looks like he should be OK though.
Talking of Reading's poor attacking threat, Pogrebnyak has again been near-invisible tonight.
Whay! Reading register their first attempt on goal! I mean, Le Fondre could only direct his header off target but it's something, right?
First change for Chelsea as Mata comes off for forgotten man Benayoun.
Chelsea are in complete cruise control now. The win is all but confirmed as they take their foot slightly off the gas.
It has been all Chelsea since the visitors scored the second, and Torres nearly adds a third when slipped through by Oscar, but is quickly called offside before taking a shot on the angle.
Mata and Lampard combine again, but the latter cannot direct his shot from the edge of the area on target and sees it fizz past the far post.
Adam Le Fondre
Reading call on their super sub Le Fondre.
Here is Tom Keown with his thoughts: "Chelsea in the driving seat now. After fine work from Frank Lampard and Oscar nearly sets up a chance for Fernando Torres, Chelsea legend Lampard meets Juan Mata's corner with a belting header which flies into the top corner. No chance for Federici, or even the man on the post.2
Assist Juan Mata
Goal Frank Lampard
GOAL! Chelsea extend their lead as Lampard powers a bullet header past Federici. It hasn't been a convincing display, but that should wrap up all three points. 2-0.
Chelsea win another corner as Mata's cutback towards Lampard is suberbly cleared by Mariappa with Federici in no-man's land.
Le Fondre is readying himself on the touchline for Reading.
Chelsea are playing with more urgency now, but Reading are not giving up without a fight. Both teams have improved in the second half.
First change of the game as Reading introduce McCleary in place of Guthrie.
Chelsea nearly make me pay for underselling their attacking talent as Lampard floats a superb ball over the top for Oscar to spring the offside trap. The midfielder is completely free in the box, takes a touch, then tries an acrobatic finish which flies wide of the target. So, in fact, they proved my point.
Saying that, Reading are equally poor in attack as they refuse to committ men forward. Guthrie made strides down the left but his cross into the centre is towards no-one and Turnbull easily plucks it out of the air.
I know they are leading, but Chelsea are really not helping themselves here. Again Bertrand opts again finding a team-mate to go for glory himself and again he hits the shot high and wide.
...Lampard lofts the ball in and Reading clear at the first attempt. Dear me. That was poor again.
Chance for Chelsea now as Harte fells Torres around 30 yards out. Lampard is standing over the free kick...
Promising start for Reading as they keep knock the ball around the centre of the pitch, but it is only the early stages.
And we are back underway in the second half.
Here is Tom McKeown with his half-time thoughts: "That goal really changes things at half time. It looked for long periods that this game would head for a stalemate, but the visitors finally made their possession count. I can't say enough how superb that ball from Torres to Mata was too; he scooped it Karel Poborsky-esque (remember him?) past two hapless Reading defenders to notch an assist."
So I make that one shot on target from either side, and one goal. Reading haven't even attempted to test Turnbull, let alone score.
45' + 2'
And that is half-time! Chelsea take the lead right at the end of the opening 45 minutes.
45' + 1'
Goal Juan Mata
GOAL!! Well, that shut me up! Mata has given his side the lead after running onto Torres' quite brilliant flicked through-ball into the area to finish calmly under Federici from six yards.
45' + 1'
Assist Fernando Torres
Deary me, I am almost wondering if both sides are trying not to hit the target. Next up to miss the target when it seems easier to, is Ashley Cole with a shot from 18 yards out.
Talking of Ramirez, him and central partner Oscar have been near-invisible tonight... then again, there have hardly been any standout performers so far.
Yellow Card Ramires
Ramires is handed a yellow card after a supposed elbow on Pogrebnyak inside the centre circle.
Here is Tom McKeown with his first update of the night: "First shot of the night from Fernando Torres, and it goes for a throw. The game is almost exclusively being played in the Reading half, but Chelsea can't find a way through yet as we approach the break."
Here comes Bertrand down the left for Chelsea, and he opts to ignore Torres inside the area and have a go himself... which flies high and wide. See update 36'.
Chelsea need to shape up quickly as Reading are seeing more and more of the ball as the game ticks on.
...what a terrible delivery from Mata. The ball does not even clear the first row of players on the edge of the area. There wasn't even a wall.
Another chance for Chelsea to whip the ball in from out wide as Mata is felled by Guthrie around 30 yards out.
McAnuff is definitely Reading's preferred route forward, but Azpilicueta is more than a match for him at the moment.
Yellow Card Jobi McAnuff
Another minute passes and Chelsea waste another chance. A free kick from 35 yards out on the left is swung into the area by Lampard, Cahill is free near the penalty spot but his poor connection can only guide the ball off target.
I don't think Federici has been tested, at least properly anyway.
Chelsea are undoubtably on top but they must start taking advantage of their superiority.
...and the corner comes to nothing, again.
Hold on, I might have spoken too soon. Chelsea come back immediately through Ramires, who dispossed Leigertwood, and win a corner...
...and this confirms my thoughts as twice in a matter of minutes Chelsea opt to go long towards Torres, which Federici easily claims.
Chelsea already look like they have run out of ideas, which is worrying. Reading are slowly growing into the game.
Oooh, Reading were nearly in there as Pogrebnyak took advantage of Lampard's hesitation in possession on the edge of the area, but the referee quickly pulls play back for a foul on the midfielder. In fairness, the striker was a tad over-zealous.
Chelsea starting to get their foot back on the ball now after the Royals' brief spell in possession, and are nearly rewarded with the opening goal as Cole latches onto Mata's fine square pass but the left-back fires over.
Better from the hosts now as McAnuff does well down the left to drive a cross into the area, but Pogrebnyak and Kebe do not react quick enough to test Turnbull.
Nearly 10 minutes gone and Reading have barely ventured out of their own half. Jobi McAnuff's skip forward is quickly snuffed out when he realises no other team-mate has joined him.
Chelsea's continue to step up the pressure and force two more corners, both sent in the director of Ivanovic, but the Serbian cannot make the most of tense defending from the hosts and the danger is eventually cleared.
Ok, this is better. Mata makes strides down the right and forces a corner off Mariappa, but Reading clear at the second attempt.
All Chelsea at the moment, but they seem more than happy to just give each player a touch. No real penetration at the moment.
First chance drops to Chelsea as they win a free kick some 25 yards out, but Mata can not direct his effort on target.
And we are underway! Chelsea kick us off.
The teams are out and shaking hands, it all very pleasant. Mere minutes away from kick-off now.
We are 10 minutes from kick-off now. What is your prediction? We are going for a 3-1 win to Chelsea, do you agree?
Chelsea, meanwhile, have won their last four away games on the trot.
Reading are looking for their first league win over Chelsea in just under 83 years tonight, but they have lost just one of their previous seven games in all competitions so, erm... yeah...
Fernando Torres is back in the starting line-up for Chelsea, as Demba Ba drops to the bench. Captain John Terry returns to the bench after starting the 2-2 FA Cup fourth-round draw against Brentford, with Cesar Azpilicueta coming in at right-back and Branislav Ivanovic moving into the centre. Juan Mata is the other change for the Blues, taking Marko Marin's place in the attacking midfield three.
So, for Reading, Sean Morrison and Ian Harte are recalled to the defence after the 4-0 demolition of Sheffield United in the FA Cup. They are joined by Danny Guthrie, Jobi McAnuff, Jimmy Kebe and Pavel Pogrebnyak in a 4-2-3-1 formation, as Noel Hunt' misses out despite his double against the Championship outfit.
CHELSEA: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Cole, Cahill, Ivanovic; Ramires, Lampard; Mata, Oscar, Bertrand; Torres Subs: Hilario, Ferreira, Terry, Marin, Benayoun, Ake, Ba.
READING: Federici; Harte, Kelly, Pearce, Mariappa; Leigertwood, Guthrie, Karacan, McAnuff,Kebe; Pogrebnyak Subs: Taylor, Shorey, Morrison, Akpan, Robson-Kanu, McCleary, Le Fondre
You know how this works by now.... first things first, the line-ups.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com' LIVE coverage of the Premier League clash between Reading and Chelsea. My name is Alex Young and I will be taking you through the game's events.
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