Reading FC Match Report: 2012/2013 Season - Premier League
READING 0 MAN CITY 2
Man City: S Aguero (40 mins), E Dzeko (88 mins).
Manchester City displayed true professionalism in putting behind them a disappointing defeat in the FA Cup Final and the sudden dismissal of their manager to overcome a rejuvenated Reading side with a display of football of the highest quality. Only the brilliance of Alex McCarthy prevented them from inflicting a much heavier defeat. Reading actually played well in patches and certainly set about their daunting task in a confident and purposeful manner. City may have dominated possession but Joe Hart certainly had to be at his best on three occasions to keep a clean sheet.
City mesmerised Reading’s back four in the first half with intricate passing and movement. Only a team with such superb touch, pace and ball control as City are capable of weaving their way through congested areas of the pitch with such ease. Reading stuck to their task with determination but had to rely on Alex McCarthy to prevent an early breakthrough by the visitors. Reading’s shape was clearly well established enabling them to make good use of space to stretch their opponents and give them the confidence to attack City with some degree of success. McCLeary drew an excellent save from Hart when he cut in from the left. The home crowd were treated to a brief passage of play when the Royals strung together several passes in the City half. City soon resumed control of the game and five minutes form half time Aguero scored the inevitable opening goal.
Reading almost equalised at the beginning of the first half when Pogrebnyak headed at Hart from close range. Apart from that the Russian ‘tank’ was totally ineffective against City’s defence, unable to win the ball in the air and incredibly slow to react to any ball played up to him. It was no surprise when he was replaced by Player of the Season Adam Le Fondre on the hour to the delight of the home fans. With Guthrie pulling the strings in midfield, Reading were certainly prepared to carry the fight to City. Ultimately the quality of passing throughout the team was not quite good enough to create a clear chance in City’s box. Karacan came closest to scoring with an outstanding strike from outside the box which had Hart at full stretch to save. With three minutes left Kelly gave the ball away and Dzeko punished his carelessness by waltzing through the Reading defence to hammer the ball home for number two ending any crazy notion Reading might snatch a draw.
A comment from behind me midway through the second half seemed to sum the evening up perfectly. “This passing game will be good when we learn how to pass properly”. There was however, still enough in this performance for Reading fans to feel positive about next season. There is a nucleus for Adkins to build a team capable of promotion. I am not even going begin to speculate on who will stay, who will go, or who will be brought in. We have a whole summer of that to look forward to!
The players lapped the pitch after the game and were applauded warmly by the ‘proper’ Reading fans, while the ‘Premier League’ fans skulked away early to get home quickly. Presumably they will not be renewing their tickets next month.” We’re all going to Bournemouth” sang the committed!
This Premier League game took place 2036 days ago in the 2012/2013 season.