A Royal Affair: Game Ten

3 01 2007

A draw with Aston Villa sees Reading go into today’s match with Arsenal holding a solid record: six games without defeat, and only two goals conceded in those games. But with the Gunners arriving at the Madejski Stadium, can we make it seven without a loss?

Reading v Arsenal

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The only change to the side that drew with Aston Villa is Freddy Adu replacing Glen Little, with Seol Ki-Hyeon moving to the right of midfield to allow Adu a starting place on the left. With Arsenal bringing a strong side, we were anticipating a difficult start.

But, for one brief minute, that was far from the case. As Arsenal kicked off, Kevin Doyle chased down a pass by Silva, hitting a long strike in the hope to beat Jens Lehmann. Lehmann mis-hit his save, and the ball bobbled to Leroy Lita who couldn’t believe his luck. His strike, after just thirteen seconds, gave us the lead – who would have thought that within a quarter of a minute of this match, we would be in front?

However, the euphoria which we all felt was not to last very long. Infact, when Arsenal resumed play they made sure that they didn’t lose the ball, and when a Silva pass (on target this time) found Thierry Henry, the Frenchman had no hesitation in bringing the game level. Three minutes played and two early goals – what a game this was turning out to be for the neutral fan watching on Sky Sports!

The rest of the first half was something of an anti-climax. Arsenal came forward on a few occasions, and they prevented us from making any real headway in their half. By half time, we were happy to go in and halt Arsenal’s attack, eagerly awaiting a second half that could turn either way – possibly bringing a shock victory for us.

We struggled in the second half, despite some changes to personnel, and with just 11 minutes to go, Arsenal managed to sneak in what would ultimately be the winning goal of the game, with Adebayor taking a well placed effort following some good work by Henry. We felt a little disapointed to concede the goal, especially after having the lead so early on. We didn’t really show any attacking flair, which was also quite disapointing, although we were up against a team on top form with some real gems on show. Our second defeat of the season – coming in the middle of October – was hardly embarrasing. But we need to be careful not to let this game mean something. It’s all too easy to lose form and then undo all the hard work we’ve already achieved so far. We’ve a home match with Bolton in the Carling Cup coming up which will provide us with a chance to both rest some players and pick up a moral boosting win. But how will we do when we take on the Trotters? Come back soon to find out!

Reading 1-2 Arsenal
Goalscorer: Leroy Lita
Attendance: 24218
Points total: 17
Points off taget of 40: 23

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Missed any games? You can read all previous reports here!

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One response

10 02 2007
Steve O'Grady

As an Arsenal fan, I can only congratulate you on uncovering a shining talent in Leroy! I hope you can hang on to him, I have a feeling one of the ‘bigger’ clubs is going to sanp this guy up!

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