Writer: Steve Guscott
Date:Wednesday December 9 2009
8th December 2009
The Royals were easily beaten at home by a Victor Moses inspired Crystal Palace side, who took an early lead and never really looked back. Brendan Rodgers side looked hopeless at times and this will have to rank as the worst home performance this season.
Rodgers decided to drop one of our most impressive players in recent weeks, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and instead opted to bring in Brynjar Gunnarsson and play him alongside Kalifa Cisse in a very defensive minded midfield. If that didn`t set the tone for what was to come, then a 7th minute goal from Nathanial Clyne certainly did. The full back was given time and space to charge forward and his low shot beat Adam Federici at his near post, a very poor goal to concede.
Grzegorz Rasiak did his best to help the Eagles, missing from 6 yards out after a great pull back from Jobi McAnuff when totally unchallenged. McAnuff also went close himself with a fine low drive and for a spell we really put pressure on Palace, and equalised when Alex Pearce headed home from a corner. At that point there looked like only one winner and McAnuff was at the heart of everything giving the full backs a torrid time.
As the clock approached the 45 minutes and many fans heading for a half time pint, Darren Ambrose broke forward and his long range effort beat Federici with ease. Unfortunately there was time for another and this time it was a wonder goal from Moses, curling the ball into the top corner from 25 yards out. The Royals had been set to go in level at the break but were 3-1 down and seemingly out of the game.
Hal Robson Kanu came on at the break for the ineffective Gunnarsson but despite plenty of hard work the Royals didn`t have the quality to break down the Eagles defence and it took until the 79th minute for any kind of hope. Rasiak brought down in the area and sub Sigurdsson converted from the spot, a great penalty.
It was to be false hope though when Moses skinned Jay Tabb once more, cut inside and curled a fine effort into the top corner. Cue the Reading masses heading for the exit`s and wondering how after our fine recent run, we had come crashing down to earth and put in one of our worst displays of the season. And this against a side who hadn`t been paid for November and came into the game on the back of a thumping home defeat.
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Date:Wednesday December 9 2009
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