Match Report: 2011/2012 Season

2 January 2012: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: McAnuff (45 mins).
Cardiff: Mason (13 mins), Gunnarsson (19 mins), Miller (36 mins).
Half Time: 1-3.

Attendance: 23,655

Pos Team P Pts GD
4 Middlesbrough 25 45 +7
5 READING 25 39 +7
6 Hull 25 39 +1
Reading: A Federici, I Harte, K Gorkss, A Pearce, S Cummings, J McAnuff, M Leigertwood, J Kebe, J Karacan (A Le Fondre, 61), N Hunt, S Church (H Robson-Kanu, 61).
Subs not used: J Tabb, J Mills, M Andersen.
Cardiff: D Marshall, A Taylor, D Blake, B Turner (A Gerrard, 87), M Hudson, J Ralls, P Whittingham, D Cowie, A Gunnarsson, J Mason (R Gestede, 76), K Miller (S McPhail, 87).
Subs not used: C Conway, T Heaton.
Reading: Leigertwood, Karacan.
Cardiff: -.
Ref: C J Foy.

After the other festive games a big disappointment today, although the first half of the Ipswich game should've run some alarm bells.
First goal, yes here was a handball in the build up but it was in their half!!! Pearce most at fault, backed off the tackle outside the area, scared to make the tackle inside the area, Feds didn't stand a chance.
For the second Feds ended up in the back of his own net - more often than not I think the ref would've given a foul on the keeper, looked like he was pushed to me, but I guess that's the way it goes sometimes.
Their third was another poor effort from Pearce / Gorkks through the middle, but by that point the whole team looked massively on the back foot.
Generally the whole back four looked off colour in the first half, Harte looked defensively the most solid of the lot, that in itself tells a story....don't think the awful weather helped, but it was the same for Cardiff... Well taken goal by Jobi, his only contribution of note in the game, from a decent cross by Kebe, also his only noteworthy contribution.... Everything looked much tighter in the first part of the second half, Karacan and Leigertwood picked up their game (until Karacan went off his feet into a challenge and got himself booked, after which he looked scared to make a tackle).
We got several corners early on second half, Hartes delivery was nothing like we've come to expect, and all were wasted...

What a shit game, poor performance and generally a miserable away day out!
All players looked off the pace and at the back we looked a mess, surprising given we had 4 clean sheets prior to this one. Kebe was dire throughout not sure what he was whinging to noel hunt about towards the end when it looked like a perfectly decent pass through to him.
Just hope with a week off (sure most will be rested for stevenage) they can regroup and go again.

Its a funny old game!
I actually thought we were toe to toe with them for most of the match, without a cutting edge. We started where we left off in the Play off game, very much on the front foot. They get a break away with a Cardiff player playing basket ball and the ball ends up in the back of the net. A short while after they get a corner, Feds is definitely impeded as they score again, might have even been from the corner direct. Here on in we are chasing the game. They get their third from a right defensive mess up and find ourselves 3-0 down. Kebe did his one and only thing by setting up the goal.(He was DUMP for the other 89 minutes.)
Second half we were the better team without really threatening as they were happy to play more on the break. Feds made a couple of excellent saves and was probably our MOM Kebe aside the rest were all huff and puff.
Good away crowd, silent home crowd, shite weather and getting out of the ground and area took an hour

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Cardiff City began the new year in style with an emphatic win over fellow play-off challengers Reading. Joe Mason struck first, Aron Gunnarsson headed in the second and Kenny Miller toe-poked home for 3-0 on 36 minutes. Former Bluebird Jobi McAnuff gave the Royals hope with a late first-half effort as he profited from Jimmy Kebe's approach work. But Reading's record of away defeats in new year fixtures extended to a third successive disappointment. Victory saw the hosts go third, above Middlesbrough, as they recorded an eighth home win from 12 in the league and consigned the visitors, who remain fifth, to a fifth away defeat. Joe Ralls took over from Rudy Gestede up front for the hosts while Reading manager Brian McDermott brought in Ian Harte for the injured Andy Griffin, and Adam Le Fondre made way for Noel Hunt. The hosts took the lead just before the quarter-hour through Mason, who seemed to handle the ball before charging at the heart of the Royals' defence and recovered from a slip before driving the ball into the back of the net. Peter Whittingham's expertly delivered corner gave Gunnarsson the chance to capitalise on the pressure the hosts had again built. Then Whittingham, outstanding again, found the time and space to slide a superb ball into Miller, who scored his second goal of the new year period, having hit the winner at Nottingham Forest 48 hours earlier. But Reading kept the game finely balanced as Kebe's pace took him past Ben Turner to set up McAnuff's strike. Andrew Taylor spurned one of the second half's best chances, sending the ball straight at goalkeeper Adam Federici. Gestede, on as a substitute for Mason, then saw Federici produce a brilliant save from his header. A spectacular Gestede volley from Stephen McPhail's pass also failed to hit home, but Malky Mackay's side ended a goalless second period having been in control for most of the encounter.

Reading boss Brian McDermott:
"We didn't perform and that is the disappointing thing for me. Give credit to Cardiff, who have beaten us twice this season. We have to move on quickly."

BBC Sport