Royals end baron run in Swans stalemate
26th December 2012
Attendance: 24,050 (2,126 away)
Reading stopped their poor losing run on Boxing Day, as they fought out a stalemate with Swansea at the Madejski Stadium.
Royals boss Brian McDermott made one change from the side that did superbly well at City on Saturday, with Danny Guthrie starting for the first time in over two months, at the expense of Jay Tabb. The former Newcastle midfielder was involved from the start, as he had a penalty shout in the opening minutes, but referee Mike Jones dismissed claims that Danny was impeded by a Swans defender.
The Premier League's top goalscorer Michu had been in superb form for the Welsh outfit in recent games and his confidence was clear just five minutes in, as he showed great technique to unleash a clever effort from the edge of the box, but it didn't trouble Federici. The Spaniard had a great chance minutes later to open the scoring, as he made a fool of Mariappa, but a foul was luckily by the referee anyway.
Reading were struggling to get into the game at the Madejski Stadium and hardly saw any of the ball in the first period, although expected. Michu seemed to be involved in every Swansea attack and should have really opened the scoring on the half-hour mark, after Chris Gunter's awful attempt at a back pass was pounced on by the forward, but shanked the ball over the bar from 8 yards.
The Royals showed more bite to their game in the second half, while Michael Laudrup's side appeared to be drifting to a more direct approach to try and unlock a resilient Reading side. Neither goalkeeper was worked for the majority of the match, but Adam Federici was brought to light and responded well to his call of action.
The ball was worked out to Wayne Routledge on the left-hand side and his cross was met by the diving header of Lloyd Dyer, but the Australian international was on hand to deny the tricky winger the opening goal, pushing his header away superbly from pointblank range. Swans midfielder Ki then tested the keeper's handling minutes later, but was equal to his fizzing effort towards goal.
Reading were on the back foot for the majority of the game, but thought they had earned all three points when substitute Adam Le Fondre appeared to head home Harte's free kick with over ten minutes to play. However, the goal was disallowed by referee Mike Jones for a handball and replays fully justified the referee's decision and Le Fondre's imminent booking.
With just five minutes remaining, defender Chico Flores made a game-saving block from the lively Le Fondre, after Vorm's punch didn't have enough conviction and his rasping volley was headed off the bravely by the Spanish defender. It finished goal less, but the Royals will welcome a point that ends their awful run of seven successive losses and also takes them off the bottom of the table.
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Mariappa, Pearce, Harte, Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Guthrie, Pogrebnyak
Subs: Taylor, Cummings, Morrison, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Hunt, Le Fondre
Swansea: Vorm, Tiendalli, Flores, Williams, Davies, Britton, Ki, Michu, Dyer, Routledge, Moore
Subs: Tremmel, Bartley, Monk, De Guzman, Agustien, Graham, Shechter
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