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Played
January 31, 2013 1:30 AM IST
Madejski Stadium — Reading, Berkshire
Referee:‬ M. Halsey‎
Attendance:‬ 24097‎
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Reading 2-2 Chelsea

A superb substitute performance from Adam Le Fondre conjured up an incredible late fightback after Mata and Lampard looked to have put the Blues out of sight

By Tom McKeown at the Madejski Stadium

  • Adam Federici
    3
    3
    3.00

    Adam Federici

    Was barely tested despite Chelsea's dominance of possession, and looked calm when called upon.

  • Alex Pearce
    4
    1
    2.50

    Alex Pearce

    Chelsea's main threat came from free kicks, and Pearce was caught out of position a couple of times, but he worked hard to challenge Torres up front, although losing out to the striker in several aerial battles.

  • Adrian Mariappa
    3
    2
    2.50

    Adrian Mariappa

    Showed good strength to challenge an onrushing Torres after struggling to deal with a high ball, but was lucky to get away with slicing a clearance shortly after.

  •  Ian Harte
    5
    1
    3.00

    Ian Harte

    Showed superb vision throughout, always looking for a diagonal ball. His set-pieces were Reading's best chance of a goal but sadly chances were far and few between.

  • Stephen Kelly
    3
    1
    2.50

    Stephen Kelly

    Showed good awareness to shut out a dangerous Chelsea cross early on, but struggled to cope with the Blues' superior movement down the left flank.

  • Jem Karacan
    3
    1
    2.50

    Jem Karacan

    Made an important interception from a Torres cross early on, but as Reading surrendered more possession he was unable to make a real impact, with the Royals' best hopes of pushing forward out on the wing.

  • Mikele Leigertwood
    3
    1
    2.50

    Mikele Leigertwood

    Caught in possession in midfield a couple of times, and looked out of sorts as his passing wasn't up to scratch. The midfielder defended well in the box but was unable to make an impact with the ball.

  • Jobi McAnuff
    3
    1
    3.00

    Jobi McAnuff

    The skipper is the only player to start every league game for the Royals, and he had a good chance to cause problems early on with a darting run, but failed to pick out Pogrebnyak. Booked for a poor challenge on Oscar in the first half, but often the source of Reading's rare pushes forward.

  • Jimmy Kebe
    4
    1
    2.50

    Jimmy Kebe

    Got in some good positions down the right flank, ensuring that Bertrand had to play deeper at times, but then started to slow down, being caught on his heels a couple of times when Reading were breaking. Largely anonymous in the second half as the wind was knocked out of their sails.

  • Danny Guthrie
    4
    1
    2.50

    Danny Guthrie

    Like Karacan, struggled to get into the game as the visitors dominated possession. After a largely ineffective game, Brian McDermott hauled him off on 57 minutes for Garath McCleary to come on.

  • Pavel Pogrebnyak
    5
    2
    3.50

    Pavel Pogrebnyak

    Back after being rested for the FA Cup win over Sheffield United, the striker was the pick of Reading's players early on, especially for effort. Moved back into a lone-striker role, and showed good strength and determination early on, making Ivanovic work hard at the back.

Substitutions

  • Garath McCleary
    4
    2
    3.00

    Garath McCleary

    Came on for Guthrie just over ten minutes into the second half, and gave Reading a new attacking edge on the wing as they fought to get back in the game.

  • Hope Akpan
    4
    2
    2.50

    Hope Akpan

    Replaced Karacan with just under 15 minutes left to make his home debut, and worked hard to get involved without making a telling impact.

  • Adam Le Fondre
    26
    3
    4.00

    Adam Le Fondre Top of the Match

    Introduced for McAnuff with 25 minutes remaining and made all the difference, heading over and shooting high before firing a low left-footed effort low inside Turnbull's near post and grabbing an equaliser in stoppage time as Reading piled on the pressure. He has scored countless times from the bench and completely stunned the visitors.

  • Ross Turnbull
    6
    43
    2.00

    Ross Turnbull Flop of the Match

    Looked shaky under pressure, fumbling a couple of crosses before being beaten at his near post and then far post by Le Fondre late on.

  • Branislav Ivanovic
    14
    14
    3.00

    Branislav Ivanovic

    Caught in possession by Pogrebnyak a couple of times, and had a real battle on his hands with the big unit of a striker but came out on top overall.

  • Ashley Cole
    15
    13
    2.50

    Ashley Cole

    Allowed Kebe to get in behind him early on, before blasting a long-range effort well over the bar. Read a Leigertwood ball perfectly with Kebe looking like being set free, then belted another effort high and wide.

  • Gary Cahill
    8
    19
    2.50

    Gary Cahill

    Making his 50th appearance in a Chelsea shirt since signing last January, Cahill had a superb chance to put the Blues in front, but failed to connect with an excellent Lampard ball in.

  • César Azpilicueta
    7
    23
    2.50

    César Azpilicueta

    Linked up with Mata several times in the first half but didn't have much joy, overrunning the ball on more than one occasion. Had to deal with the threat of Harte and McAnuff but coped well.

  • Ryan Bertrand
    6
    35
    3.00

    Ryan Bertrand

    Seemed to lack a killer edge when he found himself in space, shooting wide before hammering a volley well off target, but was having plenty of joy drifting inside.

  • Ramires
    15
    16
    3.00

    Ramires

    Another classic dogged performance from Ramires, but the midfielder lost the ball a couple of times, eventually earning a yellow for fouling Pogrebnyak.

  • Frank Lampard
    30
    22
    3.50

    Frank Lampard

    Chelsea's talisman produced another solid performance in midfield, and nearly set up Cahill with a perfect delivery from a free kick before he nearly set up a second goal with a lovely ball over the top for Oscar. The Blues legend then got on the scoresheet with a devastating header from Mata's corner to cap an excellent performance.

  • Oscar
    11
    25
    2.50

    Oscar

    The quieter of Chelsea's midfielders, he spread possession well in the first half, but spurned a glorious chance after the break, trying an audacious acrobatic effort when he had time to bring the ball down.

  • Fernando Torres
    103
    21
    3.50

    Fernando Torres

    Wasn't having many opportunities in front of goal, but Torres linked the play superbly, winning huge amounts of balls in the air, and he showed fantastic touch to set up Mata's goal with a delightful flicked pass.

  • Juan Mata
    51
    23
    3.50

    Juan Mata

    So often Chelsea's best player this season, but gave the ball away a couple of times early on. As the game went on, however, much of the play went through the Spaniard, and he opened the scoring by making a fine run to reach Torres' excellent pass before drilling the ball home.

Substitutions

  • Yossi Benayoun
    19
    16
    2.50

    Yossi Benayoun

    Came back into the side with a 15-minute cameo, replacing the impressive Mata, but the game was already won and he had very little to do.

  • Demba Ba
    23
    14

    Demba Ba

    Stoppage-time substitute for Torres.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man. United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0