Reading FC Match Report: 2019/2020 Season - Championship


READING 1 SWANSEA 4

Reading: G Puscas (43, pen)
Swansea: R Brewster (17), W Routledge (66), Liam Cullen (84), W Routledge (90)

Reading's season ended on a disappointing note with a heavy defeat at the hands of Swansea, who by virtue of the number of goals they scored today, edged into the play-offs. Hard to believe they will be good enough to make it into the Premier League next season but stranger things have happened. Reading passed the ball well at times and there was little to choose between the teams until Yakou Meite was sent off just before half time for a silly shove on van der Hoorn who made a meal of what appeared to be minimal contact.

Swansea came into the game with an outside chance of securing a play-off place, had a lot to play for, started full of energy, keeping Reading pinned in their own half in the opening minutes. Reading on the other hand were simply a fulfilling a fixture they could have done without. In spite of that, the Royals responded positively, played some good football at times, and defended solidly. City scored out of the blue with a swerving long range strike from Brewster. He struck it well but for some reason, player of the season Raphael, flapped one-handed at the ball. He might with hindsight reacted differently. Undeterred, Reading set about the task of getting the back in contention with conviction. Rinomhota won yet another free kick on the edge of the box which Swift struck cleanly, the ball brushing the roof of the net as it flew just over. Reading hit the bar in scramble in the City box and were certainly in the game. Five minutes from half time Meite clashed with van der Hoorn and foolishly gave the City defender a shove which surprisingly floored the burly City defender. He obviously is not as strong as he looks! Reading were only behind briefly. Swift slid a glorious pass in to the box for Rinomhota who, yet again was unfairly stopped in his tracks, this time earning a penalty. Puscas smashed the penalty with sufficient power to score in spite of Mulder getting a hand to it. Reading finished the half a man down but back on level terms.

The outstanding player on the pitch in the second half was Olise. He kept the ball, found the right pass nearly every time and beat players with outstanding skill. Complemented by Rinomohta’s energy, Reading’s midfield did a magnificent job helping out defensively and giving their defence some respite by keeping possession. Reading made chances and might have taken the lead on a couple of occasions but it was substitute Routledge who scored the crucial second goal for City running onto a ball over the top and lifting it over the advancing Raphael. The referee was doing Reading no favours and needed to take firmer action against City especially Ayew who was a pain in the neck all afternoon. It took admirable restraint from Moore not to stick one on him.

Reading, in spite of being a man short and a goal down, still posed a threat going forward but their resistance was ended when a long throw bounced into the box and Cullen lashed it past Raphael. Still Reading attacked and had Boye not delayed his shot with the goal at his mercy City would not be in the play-offs now. Olise was enjoying his game nevertheless. With a delightful turn he left three City players in his wake as he wriggled out of a seemingly hopeless situation. Into stoppage time Routledge headed the goal which put Swansea in to the play-offs and gave his team a flattering four one win. It will be interesting to see how Reading get on against them next season with eleven men.

John Wells

This Championship game took place 16 days ago in the 2019/2020 season.