Reds edge Reading in decent encounter
20th October 2012
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers won his first home game as Reds boss as they beat his old side Reading 1-0, while Brian McDermott was still looking for his sides first win.
Royals boss Brian McDermott made two changes to the team that drew with Swansea two weeks ago, with Mikele Leigertwood returning from injury to replace Jay Tabb, while former Red Danny Guthrie came in for the injured Noel Hunt. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers made one enforced change to his line-up, as Brad Jones came in for the injured Pepe Reina, who is struggling with a hamstring injury.
Reading started well at Anfield, forcing an early corner which the Liverpool defence dealt with comfortably. Alex McCarthy had been the headlines for the right reasons from a Reading perspective in recent weeks and did well early in this game to smother an effort from Glen Johnson inside the six yard box.
However, despite a bright start, the Royals soon found themselves on the back foot in the encounter. Raheem Sterling had an effort in the box superbly denied by the challenge of Mariappa, as Suarez did well to find the England under 21 international. Sterling did then manage to get a shot away minutes later, but was comfortably dealt with by McCarthy.
Luis Suarez was next in line to attempt at an effort on the Royals goal, but was once again unsuccessful with his delicate chip from the edge of the box. Suarez was however pivotal in Liverpool taking the lead on 28 minutes, as his dinked ball through beat Reading's offside trap and young Raheem Sterling finished off the move with a great finish from the edge of the box.
The Reds were starting to become rampant. Danny Guthrie was robbed of possession in the midfield and the impressive Suarez drove forward and fizzed an effort just wide of McCarthy's left hand post. In a rare attack from the away side, Jimmy Kebe did well to set up Mikele Leigertwood, but his effort sailed over the bar in what was Reading's only decent attack of the half.
The dangerous duo of Sterling and Suarez continued to test the Royals back-line into the second period and the young winger should have doubled the lead after finding himself free in the box. Reading chances were going to come few and far between, but had a brilliant chance to equalise as McCleary ran clean through, but debutant Brad Jones stood up well to deny the substitute.
The Royals started to show steady signs of improvement and Jones was forced onto action for the second time of the afternoon. Captain Jobi McAnuff received the ball of the left and drove inside to test the Australian from 20 yards. Reds substitute Jonjo Shelvey then had an opportunity after the ball sat-up to him well in the box, but completely mishit his enticing effort.
Young keeper Alex McCarthy had been talked about for an England call-up in previous weeks and he was certainly staking his claim in this game. Firstly Steven Gerrard had an effort which he palmed away well, then Glen Johnson's near post effort tested the 22-year old's reactions to their limits.
The impressive Suarez continued to prove problems and he really should have scored at least four, this time missing the target central in the penalty. Garath McCleary tried to redeem himself for missing an earlier opportunity, but his long-range effort went harmlessly wide. Reading continued to push for the much-needed point but could not get it at the ground they conquered in the FA two years ago.
Liverpool: Jones, Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Allen, Gerrard, Sahin, Sterling, Suarez, Suso
Subs: Gulacsi, Carragher, Enrique, Shelvey, Henderson, Downing, Assaidi
Reading: McCarthy, Cummings, Mariappa, Gorkss, Shorey, Kebe, Leigertwood, Karacan, McAnuff, Guthrie, Pogrebnyak
Subs: Taylor, Pearce, Gunter, McCleary, Robson-Kanu, Roberts, Le Fondre
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