News and Views

Royals Miss Out On Point In Stoppage Time

22 December 2012
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading came within minutes of ending their long run of Premier League defeats but were undone by a controversial stoppage time winner for Manchester City. The late goal made it seven straight league defeats for the Royals and keeps them firmly on the bottom of the table. It's desperately disappointing to see Reading leave Manchester with nothing after holding City until the last moments of the game. Brian McDermott was not a happy man after the game. Despite seeing his re-arranged side put in an impressive defensive performance against perhaps the strongest team in English football, Reading left with nothing after the referee waved away a strong Reading penalty appeal and allowed the late goal to stand despite a foul on substitute Nicky Shorey. McDermott may have sensed a turning point in the season with a valuable draw but now the stats simply show yet another defeat.

After a run of such poor results McDermott shuffled the starting eleven around, bringing in Harte in defence and welcoming back Karacan in midfield. The game plan was classic away from home - defend and try and keep a clean sheet while looking out for the break away goal that might steal three points. You can't argue with that plan in the face of such opposition - particually when your side is bottom of the table. It nearly worked out a treat for Reading. Manchester City certainly dominated the game right from the start but were met with determined resistance when they pressed forward. Reading held firm, and created a couple of chances of their own on the break.

Reading started the second half brightly before the game settled into the same pattern with City enjoying most of the possession and the better chances. Pearce had another header wide of the target and Reading felt they should have had a penalty when Jay Tabb was felled inside the area. A Reading goal, if it had happened, might well have been against the run of play, but being such big underdogs in this fixture it was the best we could hope for. You couldn't fault McDermott's approach. The Royals looked like they'd collect a point until that stoppage time winner when a cross was headed home by Barry while he clearly used Nicky Shorey as a climbing frame. So, another time to "take positives" from, but another game in which zero points were gained as the Championship sneaks closer.

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