MATCH REPORT: 2007/2008 Season

24 November 2007: FA PREMIER LEAGUE
Reading: Harper (43 mins).
Man City: Petrov (11 mins), Ireland (90 mins).
Half Time: 1-1
Attendance: 43,813

Pos Team P Pts GD
11 Newcastle 13 18 -2
12 READING 14 13 -14
13 Fulham 13 12 -4
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Sonko, Ingimarsson, Shorey, Hunt, Gunnarsson, Harper, Convey, Doyle (Long 85), Kitson. Subs Not Used: Federici, Oster, Fae, Bikey.
Man City: Isaksson, Corluka (Jihai 43), Richards, Dunne, Garrido, Gelson, Hamann, Ireland, Petrov, Elano (Geovanni 58), Mpenza (Samaras 46). Subs Not Used: Hart, Ball.
Reading: Hunt, Long.
Man City: -
Ref: Steve Tanner (Somerset).
Reading so nearly became the first team this season to take anything away from a trip to Manchester City - before an injury time goal stole the points for the home side. The Royals were massive underdogs and the game looked set to follow an expected pattern with Reading going behind after eleven minutes. The goal was a scrambled effort which saw the ball hit the foot of the post before being saved by Hahnemann, only for him to see the second rebound effort hit the back of the net. The rest of the first half was nothing to get excited about, with Reading defending well enough but rarely getting forward. It was probably the first meaningful effort of the game when Reading pulled level just before the break. Doyle did well on the left before playing the ball to Convey in the area. Convey threaded it through to Harper who volleyed home for an impressive equaliser. The second half saw Reading improved as they looked set to pick up a valuable away point. It all looked like it was going to go according to plan with City struggling to break through and Reading looked comfortable until the dying minutes. City wasted an opportunity to pull ahead before a spectacular long range strike in injury time claimed a late win.

It may be only be the lose of one point, but to me it felt like losing ten points, as with a blow that could rival the biggest kick in the proverbials you could possibly imagine, Man City score a wonder goal nearly two minutes after the end of normal added on time. It was only a big boot up front and we should have dealt with it, when will we learn? A draw would have been a marvellous result and wonderful confidence booster, but it was not painfully, to be. There's no point dwelling on it, though it still hurts the day after, but now it's crunch time, December. Three home, three away and big games against Boro, Birmingham and Sunderland. These are the games we must pick points up from, I feel we need seven at least. The fact that after a pointless November we remain in twelve place shows the make up of the league this season, but, beware, look how tight it is down in the sewers of the so called greatest league in the world where we stand above staring down the manhole. Last season the first game against Boro I consider to be one of, if not, the greatest Reading game I've ever seen. Next week is arguably more important. If we play like we did against Newcastle we'll win, if we drop our guard one moment, we'll be punished, just like in the last second yesterday against City.
Nick Newbury

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City did not play particularly well, whereas travel-sick Reading - who have picked up just one point on their travels this season, in their opening game at Old Trafford - gave a good account of themselves. 'We have to feel robbed,' said the Reading manager Steve Coppell. 'We had a game plan and it worked effectively. When [at the end] Geovanni went through and missed I thought it was going to be our day, or at the very least we would get a point.' As it was Sven escaped with three to move within a point of local rivals United.
Philip Dorward, The Guardian

Stephen Ireland smashed home a stunning injury-time volley to break Reading hearts and maintain Manchester City's 100% league record at Eastlands. City dominated the opening half and Martin Petrov fired them ahead after a goalmouth melee saw Elano hit the post. But Reading equalised before the break with their first shot on target, James Harper curling in after a neat move... The result was harsh on Reading who gave a much-improved second-half display.