Reading given hope in fight for survival

Reading Madejski Stadium

Reading will give themselves a better chance of Premier League survival if they can dig in for the rest of the season as they did against Chelsea.

Just after the hour mark it wasn’t looking great for Reading against Chelsea, with the home side 2-0 down thanks to goals from Juan Mata and Frank Lampard for the visitors.

However, Reading never gave up and it’s that resilient, determined attitude which allowed them to fight back into the game and produce two late Adam Le Fondre goals for a 2-2 draw.

They were aided by the fact that Chelsea seemed to completely switch off, something that may not have happened had Rafa Benitez sent John Terry into the defence for the final bit of the game.

However, take nothing away from Reading because they are a side scrapping for their lives to stay in the Premier League for next season and beyond.

They could have let their heads drop and conceded defeat so a lot of credit has to go to manager Brian McDermott for injecting energy into the team through substitutes when he sense this was starting to happen.

“You definitely didn't see that coming. But we've had it here at the Madejski before with 10 minutes to go. We've done it so many times. We weren't really in the game, just trying to get a foothold and trying to change things to get something,” McDermott told the BBC after the final whistle.

There are clear improvements that have to be made for Reading such as possession and ball retention. Chelsea had over 60 per cent of the ball throughout the game which is a stat that other big sides will use to cripple Reading.

Reading also didn’t manage to force a single corner throughout the game which means they never had a chance to stick the ball into the middle of the area and test out the Chelsea defence aerially.

Considering Reading didn’t have the ball for long spells of the match, their discipline was actually very good as they conceded only eight fouls which resulted in a single yellow card.

However, if they maintain the same guts and passion for the rest of the season then they should be okay and the fact they’ve climbed out of the bottom three will give them huge confidence, which makes maintaining momentum easier.

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image: © crystian cruz

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