MATCH REPORT: 2006/2007 Season

Reading: Bikey (75 mins), Lita (81 mins), Long (85 mins).
Liverpool: Fowler (44 mins), Riise (45 mins), Paletta (50 mins), Crouch (77 mins).
Half Time: 2-0
Attendance: 42,445

Pos Team P Pts GD
8 Fulham 9 13 -3
9 READING 9 13 -3
10 Blackburn 9 12 -2
Reading: Stack, De la Cruz, Gunnarsson (Sodje 83), Ingimarsson, Halls, Little, Bikey, Oster, Hunt, Lita, Long. Subs Not Used: Hahnemann, Hayes, Osano, Joseph-Dubois.
Liverpool: Reina, Peltier (Smith 74), Paletta, Agger, Warnock, Pennant, Sissoko (Guthrie 62), Zenden, Riise (Kuyt 79), Fowler, Crouch. Subs Not Used: Martin, Carragher.
Reading: Little
Liverpool: Paletta
Ref: P Walton.

Reading's first trip to Anfield resulted in a third straight defeat for the Royals as an essentially reserve line-up battled hard against a strong Liverpool side. It was a shame that the League Cup draw meant Reading's first ever competitive game against Liverpool came a week and a half earlier than expected, on a Wednesday night, in a cup competition none of the top flight appear to take seriously at this stage. Despite that, a big crowd was treated to seven goals in an entertaining fixture that saw Reading battle from 0-3 and then 1-4 down to nearly force extra time. Liverpool made a series of changes to their starting line-up but it was clearly going to be a tough fixture with De la Cruz, Gunnarsson, and Halls in defence against a strike force of Crouch and Fowler. With Stack in goal for Reading, Lita and Long named up front and a midfield of Little, Bikey, Oster and Hunt it was nearly a full reserve side for the Royals.

It was always going to be a huge task for Reading to progress to the next round without a first team line-up, but Reading played well and worked hard throughout. With Ingimarsson securing the defence, Gunnarsson looked solid, and the full backs of De la Cruz and Halls were both improved from their last performances. The Royals put in a solid first half performance and looked to be taking the game into the break on level terms until two Liverpool goals right before half time unjustly skewed the score-line. A minute before half time a through ball saw Robbie Fowler run through to produce an impressive performance to put the home side ahead. Moments later the lead was doubled when Stack couldn't hold a shot and the rebound was put into the back of the net.

After half-time it seemed to be all over for Reading when Liverpool put Reading under instant pressure. It was all one-way traffic for a while as Liverpool added the third just five minutes into the half. In usual Reading style, we kept at it and pulled a goal back with fifteen minutes left to play, when Bikey headed home, which led to an entertaining finish. Liverpool immediately restored their three goal margin when Crouch walked the ball into the net past a very confused Stack. However, it wasn't all over as Reading added two more goals in the last ten minutes. Halls set up Lita who produced a decent finish to make it 2-4 before Little passed to Shane Long who scored his first goal of the season. Reading had chances to pull level in the last few minutes but Liverpool could easily have added a fifth as the post came to Stack's rescue.


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