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12 January 2013
• Madejski Stadium, Reading, Berkshire
Referee: K. Friend
• Attendance: 23495
J. Kébé 82'
A. Le Fondre 88'
P. Pogrebnyak 90'
West Bromwich Albion
R. Lukaku 19', 69'
That's it from me, Al Hain-Cole, as Reading somehow secure a valuable three points after looking down and out. The Royals are unbeaten in three games at home, while Steve Clarke may be slightly concerned at his team's loss of form. Thanks for joining, and I hope you enjoyed the match as much as I did.
Steve Clarke will be at a loss as to how his side lost that game. The Baggies looked completely in command, and deservedly led with 10 minutes to go thanks to a solid defensive display and some clinical attacking play, from Lukaku and Morrison in particular. Kebe's goal looked like nothing more than a consolation strike, but Jonas Olsson's clumsy challenge on the Malian winger minutes later gave the Royals a way back into the game, and they needed no further encouragement to go for the win. The script was written for Pogrebnyak to snatch a dramatic late winner, as the visitors' defence completely self-combusted.
It's all over! Reading secure a vital three points, after looking completely down and out.
90' + 4'
West Brom are shell-shocked, and are piling men into the box in an attempt to salvage something.
Assist Alex Pearce
Yellow Card Pavel Pogrebnyak
Goal Pavel Pogrebnyak
GOAL!!! Unbelievable! Reading have completed the turnaround, as Pogrebnyak gets onto Pearce's flick-on to control the ball and put it inot the back of the net from close range.
Penalty Goal Adam Le Fondre
GOAL!!! Le Fondre, cool as a cucumber, steps up to slot the ball into the bottom right hand corner. Reading are somehow back on level terms!
PENALTY!!! Reading have a chance to equalise, as Kebe gets onto a lofted ball just inside the box and Olsson clumsily brings him down.
Reading are applying some pressure now. Guthrie fakes to send a free-kick into the box, instead finding McCleary. The winger does well to get to the byline, but his cross is wayward and Kebe can't control it to get a clean shot away. It falls to Guthrie on the edge of the box, but his shot is straight at Foster.
Assist Garath McCleary
Goal Jimmy Kebe
GOAL!!! West Brom's resolve is finally broken, as McCleary's in-swinger from the left finds its way right through to Jimmy Kebe, who heads into the unguarded net.
Morrison and Lukaku look to link up once again, but the Belgian's return ball is cut out. He has the ball at his feet moments later though, and his shot from 25 yeards is deflected behind for a corner. Dorrans gets a shot away as the resulting set-piece drops to his feet, but that too is blocked and cleared.
Lukaku now has nine goals in 20 Premier League games - two more than Fernando Torres. Chelsea surely won't loan him out next season...
McCleary floats a dangerous cross into the box, which Kebe volleys. It is blocked though, and Guthrie's follow-up is easily collected by Foster.
Reading have been better in this second half, but still look short of ideas against a disciplined visiting defence. Morrison and Lukaku are causing havoc on the break, and have been the difference between the sides.
Assist James Morrison
Goal Romelu Lukaku
GOAL!!! This time Lukaku is not to be denied. On the break, Chris Brunt finds the on-loan Chelsea striker, who still has plenty to do. He carries the ball to the edge of the box, before firing his shot low andf hard past Federici at his near post. It had been coming.
Off the crossbar! Morrison once again sets up Lukaku, and his shot cannons of the frame of the goal.
Adam Le Fondre
And Le Fondre is indeed on. The striker has six goals in his last 10.
Ian Harte has a wand of a left foot, and the veteran full-back almost gets what the South Americans call an 'Olympic Goal' there, as his corner nearly swings straight in. Foster is on hand to tip it over though.
The home crowd are crying out for Adam Le Fondre, and it looks like they will be getting their wish soon enough. The striker looks set to join Pogrebnyak up front.
Half-chance at the other end, as Morrison is his usual composed self to pick out Thorne. The youngster cuts in from the left, but drags his shot wide of the far post.
Another chance for the home team, as Pogrebnyak uses his considerable strength to shrug off Jones and get to the byline, but his cut-back is not quite precise enough to pick out a team-mate, and is cleared. They were queueing up there.
This game is hotting up now, and the crowd have come alive. The match is finely balanced, and the Royals supporters know it.
And at the other end, Lukaku comes agonisingly close to doubling the lead! Great play once again by Morrison, who finds space on the left to float in a precise cross straight onto the Belgian's head, but his header hits the far post. He should have scored there.
Great chance for the equaliser! Kebe's cross comes in from the right and the Baggies for once fail to deal with it. Pogrebnyak and McAuley bith miss it, and the ball goes all the way through to McCleary at the far post. The substitute's shot is cleared off the line by Jones, with Foster stranded.
There's a full-blown brass band in the home stand, but they don't have much to blow their own trumpet about at the moment, with the hosts faling to create anything of note.
West Brom are looking in control here, as Reading are yet to find their feet since the break.
Lukaku is caught offside once again, as Morrison tries to slip him in. The Scottish midfielder is pulling all the strings behind the front man, and is having a good game.
Lukaku has an immediate chance to double his side's lead, but his shot is wonderfully blocked by Mariappa's challenge. That would have been a real blow for Brian McDermott.
And we're back underway.
The Royals are making a change, as the defensive Carrico is replaced by winger Garath McCleary.
It's all going precisely to plan for Steve Clarke though, as his side are an outfit you certainly don't want to fall behind against. The Baggies are perfectly set up to soak up the pressure and hit Reading on the counter-attack, with Romelu Lukaku a real handful up front. The next goal will be crucial, and the visitors look the more likely to get it at this stage.
A few Reading fans showed their discontent at the hal-time whistle there. Their team have looked competitive but short of quality in the final third. Olsson and McAuley have eaten up everything the hosts have thrown at them, and Pogrebnyak is cutting a frustrated figure all alone in attack. Lots to think about for Brian McDermott.
And that's it. The referee has blown the whistle for half-time on an interesting but uneventful first period.
Daniel Carrico has looked a bit off the pace on his Premier League debut, and he clumsily brings down Thorne to give away a free kick. The Portuguese defensive midfielder is lucky to avoid a yellow card there.
Jones takes down McAnuff once again and gives away a free-kick. The Reading winger will be looking to put the full-back under pressure as the game progresses, particularly as he is on a booking.
Reading have a great chance to break, but Jimmy Kebe's first touch is woeful after he ran to meet a long ball over the top. The winger can certainly be frustrating, but is a real threat when on form.
West Brom's first corner of the match by Brunt is cleared back to the taker, who whips in a very dangerous cross with his left foot. It's cleared, but that was a chance for the visitors.
Yellow Card Billy Jones
Billy Jones gives the ball away inside his own half, and then brings down McAnuff as he attempts to rectify his error. The Right back is booked for his troubles.
Foul given against Pogrebnyak as he tussles with Olsson for a header. The big Russian was harshly done by there, and the Olsson knows exactly what he's doing. The Swedish defender is certainly not afraid of getting his hands dirty.
Another cross into the box from Reading, and McAnuff is there to meet it. His header is tentative though, and goes straight into the arms of Foster. Those deliveries are better suited to Pogrebnyak really.
Lukaku is almost in behind once again, but he just fails to get onto the ball over the top, which is collected by Federici. The striker was being pushed by Pearce there, and was rather honest in not making more of that. Could go down as 'canny defending', I suppose.
Kebe is caught offside, as the well-organised visitors move forwards as a unit to spring a perfect offside trap.
Reading's best hope of getting back into the game will probably come down the wings, and Kebe and then McAnuff cause problems with a couple of dangerous crosses from either flank. The ball goes behind for a corner, but Foster claims the ball with ease.
This is just the sort of situation Steve Clarke's men thrive in, as they will now simply keep their defensive resolve and look to hit the hosts on the break. The Baggies are looking solid at the moment.
Lukaku started and finished that move. He causes defenders all sorts of problems, and the West Brom fans will be delighted to have him on loan for the rest of th season.
Assist James Morrison
Goal Romelu Lukaku
GOAL!!! Reading did not heed the warning, as West Brom break once again. This time Morrison turns provider, cutting the ball back into the centre from the left hand side of the box, where Lukaku is waiting gratefully to tap the ball in from close range. Nice play.
Chance for West Brom! The Baggies counter attack after clearing the corner, and Thorne pulls a dangerous ball back into the area, where Morrison is lurking. His first time shot is well parried by Federici though, and Lukaku's attempts to keep the ball alive come to nothing. Best chance of the match so far.
Danny Guthrie whips in a dangerous free-kick from the left, but it's headed behind again by Olsson.
James Morrison slips Romelu Lukaku in behind, but the Belgian striker is marginally offside. A warning for the hosts though.
The visitors certainly look well-drilled at the back, and you feel that McAuley and Olsson will relish the physical battle with Pogrebnyak.
Kebe is a dangerman for Reading, and he puts a tasty cross into the box for the target-man Pogrebnyak, but it is well cleared behing by Gareth McAuley..
Not much going on at the moment, as both sides struggle to create any chances.
Brian McDermott will be very happy with his side's start, as the the Royals are having most of the play in the opponent's half. They need to start picking up points...
First half-chance, as Jimmy Kebe runs onto a ball over the top but goes too wide as the keeper comes to meet him, and his cross in to the box is headed behind for a corner, which comes to nothing. Positive start by the hosts though.
And we're off! West Brom get the ball rolling.
Reading starting XI: Federici; Gunter, Harte, Mariappa, Pearce; Carrico, Karacan, Kebe, McAnuff; Guthrie; Pogrebnyak Subs: Taylor, Cummings, Morrison, Akpan, McCleary, Hunt, Le Fondre West Brom starting XI: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Thorne, Brunt; Dorrans, Morrison, Thomas; Lukaku. Subs: Myhill, Popov, Rosenberg, El Ghanassy, Dawson, Tamas, A Nabi.
As for the Royals, new signing Daniel Carrico starts while another new recruit, Hope Akpan, makes the bench. Brian McDermott is without Mikele Leigertwood, however, but does recall Pavel Pogrebnyak, Danny Guthrie and Jobi McAnuff after the FA Cup victory over Crawley Town.
West Brom striker Shane Long misses the chance to face his former side Reading this afternoon with injury, Romelu Lukaku coming back in to the Baggies side up front. Steve Clarke can, and does, bring Jones Olsson back into his back-four, though, while Ben Foster, Graham Dorrans and Jerome Thomas all come in too.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of Reading's showdown with West Brom at the Madejski Stadium.
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