A Royal Affair: Game Three

5 12 2006

Reading are on a high after winning back to back games in the early stages of the season, but now face a visit from Manchester United, who come on the back of a 2-0 victory over West Ham United. Can the form remain, or will we succumb to defeat?

Game Three: Reading v Manchester United


 After the 1-0 victory over Everton, we’re off back home to await the arrival of our toughest opponents yet, Manchester United. Sir Alex brings with him a full strength squad, with no serious injuries other than the lay off of Alan Smith. Reading, meanwhile, rest a couple of players following two hard fought victories. Jon Harley, left back, is replaced by Billy Jones, whileSteven Sidwell and James Harper return to the starting line up. Freddy Adu is moved to the left wing, and Kevin Doyle is back upfront following his omission from the Everton game. In defence, Ingimarsson and Sonko offer a more secure central partnership, and de la Cruz keeps his place on the right of defence.

From the off United come at us, having three good chances within the first ten minutes. The visitors are having much more possession than ourselves, and are controlling the game well. I expected this game to be tougher than our previous two, but if we can sit tight at the back we should be able to prevent United from coming too far forward.

Despite our hard work, there is nothing we can do to prevent Wayne Rooney from tearing through the defence after 19 minutes to slide the ball past Hahnemann to give United the lead. We were too sloppy with possession, and once the youngster had gained the ball, he wasn’t prepared to give it up. Just 14 minutes later, Rooney was back in action again, and after a well worked team effort, the young England striker gracefully slotted in his second goal of the afternoon.

At half time, two substitutions were made, with Jon Harley replacing Glen Little and Steve Sidwell making way for Stephen Ireland. We were a little brighter in the second half, and were thrown a lifeline when Freddy Adu fired home a wonderful free kick from outside the area on ’66 minutes. Adu’s free kick was a beauty, and his first goal in England was certainly one to remember. With the score now 1-2, could we force our way into a draw?

Alas, it wasn’t to be. As we pushed forward with a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude to try and scrape a point off Manchester United, we left some gaps at the back. With nine minutes to go, United sealed the victory with a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo. Overall, a 3-1 defeat to one of the best teams in England – nay, even Europe – wasn’t too bad. To have six points out of three games isn’t a bad record for such a team as Reading, so this defeat doesn’t hurt too much. The performance wasn’t bad, but it was clear to see that our attackers were given very little room nor decent balls to break through the United attack.

Next up we take a trip to Fulham, live in front of the Sky Sports cameras. Can we get back to winning ways?

Game Stats:

Reading 1-3 Manchester United
Goalscorer: Freddy Adu
Current Points Total: 6
Points from target of 40: 34
Attendance: 24206

Player Ratings




One response

7 12 2006
A Royal Affair: Game Four « Blog FM

[…] Reading have enjoyed a good start to the season, picking up six points out of a possible nine, but following the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United, can the Royals get back to winning ways when they visit Fulham? […]

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