MATCH REPORT: 2006/2007 Season

14 October 2006: FA PREMIER LEAGUE
Reading: -
Chelsea: Ingimarsson (45, own goal).
Half Time: 0-1
Attendance: 24,025

Pos Team P Pts GD
7 Everton 8 13 +5
8 READING 8 13 +1
9 Blackburn 8 12 -1
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty (Bikey 36), Sonko, Ingimarsson, Shorey, Ki-Hyeon (Little 64), Sidwell, Harper, Hunt, Lita (Long 73), Doyle. Subs Not Used: Stack, Gunnarsson.
Chelsea: Cech (Cudicini 5), Paulo Ferreira, Terry, Boulahrouz, Bridge, Obi, Lampard, Essien, Robben (Kalou 82), Shevchenko (Joe Cole 63), Drogba. Subs Not Used: Ricardo Carvalho, Wright-Phillips.
Reading: Ingimarsson, Sonko, Bikey. Sent Off: Bikey (83 mins).
Chelsea: Obi, Terry. Sent Off: Obi (62).
Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire).

Chelsea ended Reading's 14 month long unbeaten league run at the Madejski Stadium - but were extremely fortunate to do so after a free-kick was deflected into the back of the Reading net by Ingimarsson just before the half time break. Chelsea defended well, but it was a classic smash and grab away victory where the visitors clung to the points after a lucky goal against the run of play. Their defensive qualities were clearly on display, but in other areas Chelsea looked a weak side and certainly did not deserve the three points. It was hard to feel anything other that bitterly disappointed at the final whistle - beaten by Chelsea's bad attitude to the game and our inability to carve out an equaliser despite having the majority of the second half.

Stephen Hunt started in place of Bobby Convey and immediately showed he was up for the game breaking down the left to chase the ball inside the opening minute. His run led to the first major incident of the game as the Chelsea keeper came charging out to beat Hunt to a 50/50 ball. Hunt did the right thing and leaped over Cech but unfortunately couldn't avoid contact, leaving Cech injured. Thankfully, the injury didn't look too bad as the keeper crawled off the pitch for attention not long after the contact. After a further hold up, Cudicini came off the bench as play got back underway. Unlike the Middlesbrough and Manchester United game, Reading settled quickly in a lively start. Chelsea were soon showing their intentions with players tumbling to the ground and referee Riley getting a continual verbal battering from the Chelsea team.

Defensively we were more than equal to Chelsea with Sonko putting in some perfectly timed tackles deep inside the Reading half to prevent danger. Ingimarsson's positioning was perfect as Chelsea continually ran into a wall with nowhere to go. Chelsea were struggling to move the ball forward and Reading started defending further forward as the visitors rarely managed to find a shot. Even Reading's front line were clearly man marking as Chelsea had no where to move the ball around. Chelsea's best efforts of the half were a free-kick sent wildly over the crossbar and a shot directly as Hahnemann. The best chance of the first half went Reading's way and nearly saw Reading take the lead. Hunt was causing continual problems for Chelsea down the left and took the ball close to the line before cutting in and twisting past three defenders before crossing to Doyle. Doyle had his back to goal and turn to shoot, sending the ball against the far post with the keeper beaten.

Murty was forced to limp off, having not quite recovered from last week's injury, to be replaced by Bikey at full back. Bikey was to have an excellent game along with the rest of the Reading side, but nearly made a fatal mistake as the ball was rolled out to him by Hahnemann. Bikey was running up the field and hadn't noticed the ball gifting Chelsea a rare chance. It was a rare lack of concentration by the Royals. Just before half time Lampard took full advantage of Sonko's leg on the edge of the box and chose it to take a tumble over. No doubt a foul but well executed by the Chelsea player to win a free-kick on the edge of the area. Sonko's booking was compelete nonsense. The resulting free-kick was smashed against the wall, and pinged wide to Ingimarsson who couldn't do anything apart from watch as the ball hit his leg and sped across goal and into the back of the net for the only goal of the game.

It had been a cruel goal to conceed and the frustration with Chelsea's willingness to win fouls at every opportunity boiled over in the second half. Another Chelsea dive and yet another view of Terry shoving his face into the referee's and giving him a full flow of abuse earned plenty of return abuse from the Reading fans. All of a sudden the entire home support were chanting "lets all do a Chelsea" with over 20,000 fans diving in a united Chelsea impression. It was a comical moment for an element of Chelsea's game they could do without.

The game swung Reading's way when Obi was sent off for a second booking just after the hour mark. It was suddenly all one way traffic as Reading pushed forward in search of a goal. We won a number of corners and got plenty of men inside the box but failed to test the goalkeeper. Sidwell hit a good low shot from outside the area that was just wide of the post, but unfortuantely it was a rare attempt on goal as Chelsea hung on comfortably. Bikey was next to see a red card with less than ten minutes left after he picked up a second booking, and perhaps Reading's chance to share the point evaported. In the dying minutes the ball was still firmly in the Chelsea half. Hahnemann went up for a last minute corner as everyone crowded the box. The resulting ball in saw Sonko attempt to get on the end of it, but instead collide with the Chelsea keeper who felt the full force on an incoming Sonko. And so, Chelsea, with all substitutes used were forced to swap their keeper again with the mouthy Terry pulling on the keeper's shirt. We'd failed to hit the target for the whole half and couldn't test Terry as the game approached ten minutes of added time.

At the final whistle it was like Chelsea had won the cup final, with wild celebrations in front of their fans. It showed how far Reading have come in recent seasons with the existing Premiership Champions realising what an acheivement they had managed in winning at the Madejski Stadium. The truth is they simply weren't a better side and on another day the points might have gone the other way. Looking at the top of the table, I sincerely hope that Manchester United do enough to take the title away from Chelsea this season. Despite the disappointment, there were plenty of positives after another good Reading performance. Despite the unbeaten record at last ending, Marcus Hahnemann continued his run of clean sheets in front of the North Stand, and Reading can reflect on another narrow defeat after an impressive team performance.

Once again Jose Mourinho and Chelsea stole the headlines, mainly for his outrageous and totally inaccurate interpretation of an incident which resulted in an unfortunate injury to Peter Cech. A magnificent Reading performance was overshadowed by Mourinho's post match comments which implied that Steven Hunt had brutally and deliberately assaulted the Chelsea 'keeper and then "laughed in his face". I hope, as he requested, the F.A. do look into the incident and demand a public apology from him for his defamatory remarks. Hunt's reaction was probably one of disbelief at the reaction of the Chelsea team. He must have wondered what all the fuss was about. From the replay you can see why. It looked to me as if Cech flew into the path of Hunt and therefore shares at least some of the responsibility for the collision.

Not only did Chelsea steal the headlines, but they also stole the points, and can count themselves very lucky to come away with a win. It was measure of Reading's stature that Chelsea players celebrated as if they had won the league at the end, hurling their shirts into the crowd. They are kidding themselves if they felt they had performed well, overcoming bad luck and injury. Their victory was achieved by virtue of a very lucky goal from a free kick 'won' by a mainly anonymous Lampard throwing himself at Sonko when he had lost control of the ball on the edge of the area. His misdirected shot ricochet off Sonko and Ingimarsson on its was into the net with Hahnmemann wrong-footed by the second deflection.

Reading came closest to scoring in the first half when Hunt wriggled past several Chelsea defenders on the left and stabbed in an excellent short pass to Doyle's feet who dropped his shoulder and turned sending two Chelsea defenders they wrong way before clipping his shot against the post with Chelsea's other international 'keeper, Cudicini, completely beaten. Chelsea were stifled by Reading's superb defence. Sonko was outstanding keeping Drogba subdued and making some quite brilliant tackles at crucial times. (Match of the Day pundits failed appreciate or acknowledge that sort of thing!) Sidwell came close with a rasping drive when Shorey rolled the ball to him outside the box but his shot flew just wide of the upright. Reading also nearly snatched a deserved equaliser near the end when Drogba hooked the ball off the line following Cudicin's collision with Sonko. The collision resulted in second lengthy stoppage as Cudicini was carried off to hospital and Terry took over briefly in goal. It was a bad injury but Sonko could not be blamed for going for the ball any more than Cudcini, and it happened too late to have any bearing on the outcome of the game. There were no heroics from Terry. (I was amazed to hear he was awarded to receive the Man of the Match award from Sky.)

Chelsea benefited from some poor refereeing to greater extent the Royals, and in terms of injuries, Murty's early departure was far more disruptive than Chelsea losing their 'keeper. Reading wobbled briefly defensively as Bikey took a few minutes to wake up! Soon after coming on he turned his back on Hahnmenann when the ball was rolled out to him and it nearly cost Reading a goal. When he did settle he looked very strong and dependable.

Chelsea did have to cope with being reduced to ten men when Referee Riley sent off Mikel Obi when he hauled down Sonko for a second yellow card. That was evened up when Bikey tried a similar trick on Drogba twenty minutes later. But even when the sides were even again Reading were putting the champions under pressure. As the game progressed Reading went looking for the equaliser and grew in confidence. Doyle and Little began to go past players and get behind the defence and throughout he team everyone looked more assured in possession. Lita battled hard throughout against some outstanding defenders. Had he managed to hold onto the ball a bit longer at times Reading might have posed more of threat. Nevertheless he had a good game. It was also good to see Long come on for last fifteen minutes and have real go at the Chelsea back four.

So anxious were Chelsea that even the coaching staff got involved holding on to the ball when it went out of play. Kevin Dillon reacted and was sent off as was the Chelsea man. In his defence Dillon's misdemeanour was the product of a sense of injustice unlike his counterpart who was simply blatantly cheating.

When the players recover from the disappointment of defeat I hope they will reflect on this game with a good deal of pride and satisfaction. Reading matched the Champions in many ways and certainly had the edge over Chelsea in terms of teamwork, self discipline, and professionalism. This performance should only serve to fuel the confidence and optimism about Reading's chances of succeeding in the Premiership this season. Just think how far the team has come since the last time they lost at home thirty-one games ago to Plymouth Argyle!


Chelsea will not have won over anyone with this type of performance. Their manager's disgraceful comments afterwards were obviously designed to take the attention away from his team. Chelsea may be full of good players but they are not good for the game. We did our very best today and if luck had gone our way and Doyle hit the net instead of the post the result would have been very different. In the first half we struggled to have quality possession but Chelsea did not hurt us. The incident with Hunt did not look malicious - just unfortunate and nobody likes to see players get hurt especially keepers. The Chelsea goal was a complete fluke after another free kick had been awarded by a very poor referee who just did not seem to get things right. The Chelsea players were all for putting their point and it just is not right to see the England captain constantly arguing with the official and ending up in the book. Mind you he did defend well! This game left a sour taste in the mouth. I thought we were terrific - a bit naive now and then - but the team gave its all. I am just glad I don't support Chelsea and I think their manager should realise that he needs to engage brain before opening his mouth- neither he nor his team are worthy champions.
Ken C

For all Mourinho's mutterings, Reading suffered more at the hands of a messy display of refereeing by Mike Riley, who evened up the numbers by dismissing Andre Bikey... Reading rocked the champions' foundations with the intensity of their display. "An ordeal," said Mourinho. Kevin Doyle struck a post in the first half, Steve Sidwell shaved one in the second. As Cudicini lay poleaxed by his mid-air collision with Ibrahima Sonko in the closing stages, Drogba headed off the line from Nicky Shorey. Goodness only knows what protests would have followed if he had not, because Riley had not stopped play at that moment. Reading have an excellent disciplinary record and a purposeful style, but Chelsea cultivate a siege mentality that suits their spirit and determination. Hunt's reputation is in danger of becoming a casualty of all that.
The Telegraph - Clive Tyldesley

We are certainly going for it which is why watching the Royals this season is as exciting as it's ever been. The ground is full, shaking and shouting. The team pushes forward at every opportunity and when you consider how much the Chelsea team costs, it was another valiant performance. Similar game to Man Utd in that we had little possession but unlike Man Utd, we didn't get the first goal. If only Doyler's "goal" had gone in. Chelsea may have made the most of every tackle, the referee was rarely in control but once ahead, it was always going to be very difficult to break them down. Good to see Blakey given a run but he needs games like Bikey who looks like he will need time to settle down to the Premiership - not sure Sir Steve has too much patience left for him though. Hunty gave 110% as usual and Leroy won quite a bit in the air too. Let's look at the positives and move on. Bring on the Gooners
Worzel, West Sussex

Why is there so much pro-chelsea bias? If it where two Reading goalies instead there would be no fuss at all. I feel Reading and Stephen Hunt have a very good case to sue Chelsea for slander and defamation. What about all the Chelsea diving during the game, cheating. I'm a Reading fan and PROUD of it. I am sickened by Chelsea killing my club with their "verbal hot air" I stand by Stephen Hunt and Reading. Steve Coppell was right in what he said, you can't get a more honest manager than him. If I felt that Hunt's challenge was deliberate then I'd want him banned. I was horrified to see that the referee asked Cech to crawl of the pitch. you can't blame reading for that.
Paul Salisbury

'They don't like it up em' - as Captain Mainwairing said. Thats the take I get from the Chelsea camp after their sensational and grossly unjust and blatant untrue comments in the press. Its such a shame that Reading's top class performance against one of the most expensive and so called best club teams in the World has been totally overshadowed by all the press coverage relating to Mourinho\'s comments. Both incidents were genuine accidents and it was a pure fluke that both keepers got stretchered off in the same game. Its about time the FA shut up Mourinho once and for all.
Mike Stark

I am not one to write to newspapers etc but in this instance a Football Club I love and have supported since I was a boy has been tarnished in a way I could not have imagined before Saturday's game. Primarily this is because of the outragous comments by Mourinho. Also he has taken away the fact that Reading matched and outplayed the premiership champions, which is what we should all be commenting on. Let sense prevail for the sake of Football.
Phillip Tubb

First and foremost I hope that Petr Cech continues to make a full recovery - he is an outstanding goalkeeper. Second and also vitally important is that no blame is attached to Stephen Hunt over this accident - he seems an honest player and was entitled to go for the ball. In future I hope that the team is allowed to receive some credit for it\'s performances. Against Chelsea they were skillful and industrious and deserved more from the game than a torrent of unjustified accusations. Well done to Steve Coppell and RFC for maintaning a dignified approach to this whole unfortunate affair.
James Lawrence

It is sad for Chelsea that Mourinho is bringing down the reputation of their club, his attitude and ridiculous comments are making Chelsea the most hated club in the land. It makes us Reading fans eternally grateful that we have an intelligent and gracious man like Steve Coppell in charge.

After the way Chelsea played at Reading in such a dull and negative manner and the bully boy type tactics they have used through out the week in picking on our well run and professional club I really do hope either Arsenal or Manchester Utd can beat them to the Premiership. Both teams play with style and class, something Chelsea and their Manager both lack no matter how much money they have and spend.
Trevor Douch

If the incident had happened at the other end with Drogba, he would have rolled three times and claimed a penalty.
Dave Jannaway

The behaviour of Chelsea FC, and particularly Jose Mourinho, over the past week has almost been enough to make me lose my faith in the beautiful game. Obviously he was upset that his goalkeeper was injured, but to make such outrageous comments which went against almost the entire weight of the newspapers, TV coverage (apart from the 'impartial' Colin Warnock), and the opinions of neutral observers who know the first thing about football, is unacceptable. Yet there has been no call, outside of the Reading fans, for Mourinho to be charged for his actions and/or forced to issue an apology to Stephen Hunt. Anybody with more than two brain cells can clearly see that the foul was a complete accident, yet Mourinho, backed by some equally moronic Chelsea fans and by idiots who think that having a PremPlus season ticket or a Fantasy Football team entitles them to ultimate knowledge of football, ploughs on. His latest lies are more serious than mere football, concerning the treatment of Cech - the facts are obvious with the ambulance and waiting times. Mourinho has completely contradicted them and yet no-one, again apart from Reading FC, has challenged him. Is it because people are scared of Mourinho? Or have they been taken in by his lies? Whatever it is, Mourinho is a disgrace to football and should be forced to apologise to Hunt, Reading FC and the NHS immediately. Thanks for giving me an outlet to vent some steam, which would otherwise have gone into the faces of the handful of retards who told me the challenge was deliberate!
Joe Miller

On the evidence of this 'display', Chelsea are very unworthy champions of anybody's league let alone the Premiership. With the alleged 'talent' in their squad, why they felt they had to resort to continually diving & conning an obviously inept ref in order to beat us shows they are worthy of nothing more than contempt. Their managers stupid comments about Hunt (who is very unfortunate to have an otherwise excellent first Prem start overshadowed by what happened) only cover over his team's appalling mentality & attitude shown throughout the game. I feel ashamed that prima-donnas like Terry & Lampard represent (& currently woefully under-perform!) for the national side as well as serving as pin-ups & role models for so many kids. If they put as much enthusiasm into playing the game & using their undoubted skill in the right way as they did baring their waxed chests at the end of the game maybe the footballing world would have a higher opinion of them. The fact that their bench got in on the cheating act at the end shows this poor mentality starts at the top with the coaching staff & spreads downwards. Reading more than matched them & can consider themselves extremely hard done by to have lost to one of the most jammy goals I have seen for some time. Our team can hold their heads high after this game, Chelsea's belong down in the gutter (& hopefully trophy-less at the end of the season).
Caversham Royal

Hunt went for the loose ball and accidentally caught Petr Cech. It was a horrific accident, that I believe very strongly, was unintentional and that hopefully will not happen again for many years in football. I believe Mr Mourinho and Chelsea FC should take a long look at themselves after the way they behaved during and after the game. Especially Mr Mourinho, after making pathetic post match comments about Reading FC and Stephen Hunt. An apology is due from Chelsea FC!
Matt Catton

Stephen Hunt did nothing wrong. His only crime was he played for a Reading team who didnít roll over when Chelsea visited. Jose Mourinho very cleverly deflected the entire media from reporting the teams achievements by harping on about two ACCIDENTS. Look at the video and you see two professionals committed to winning a ball they BOTH believe to be theirs. Cech was the quickest (possibly helped by the pitch). Had Cech chosen to keep his arms outstretched he may have conceded a penalty. He chose to protect the ball with his body. Hunts momentum meant that to slow down had he jumped he may have ended up in the stand (to his detriment) He instead tried to slow his run mid flow, and you can see his legs begin to buckle. This was the moment of collision. I still canít see if his knee or boot made contact. Either way, 99 times out of 100, the injury would not have occurred. Hunt should not change his style of play as that would weaken him as a player (by the way Doyle is a similar chaser of lost causes). The press should report facts not soundbites. The Reading fans will show their support for Hunt and the rest of the teams efforts this coming Sunday.
Paul Little

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