SWANSEA 2-3 READING: RUTHLESS READING SEE OFF IN-FORM SWANSEA
Reading edged past EFL Championship rivals Swansea City 3-2 in a thrilling encounter at the Swansea.com Stadium.
An early goal from Swansea’s Jamie Paterson was cancelled out immediately by Tom Dele-Bashiru, before Andy Carroll netted his first goal for the club to give Reading the advantage at the break.
A brilliant Ryan Manning volley saw the Swans equalise early in the second half, but the Royals took the lead again a minute later thanks to Danny Drinkwater.
Swansea manager Russell Martin spoke on his sides display: “When you play with a lack of intensity, a lack of energy and a lack of willingness to run a little bit, then it can really hurt you.”
Reading manager Veljko Paunovic said: “We gave a statement today, that we are never going to give up and we are all in this together.”
The result meant Swansea stayed in ninth position, five points off the play-off places.
Reading remained in 21st but moved four points ahead of Peterborough in the relegation zone.
A positive start from the home side saw Swansea take an early lead, after three minutes Korey Smith played a ball through the heart of Reading’s defence for Paterson, who rounded Luke Southwood and slotted home.
However, the Royals equalised a minute later. John Swift picked the ball up in midfield and played through Dele-Bashiru, who cut inside and fired a near post shot past Ben Hamer.
Carroll had his first chance of the match after eight minutes, but the frontman’s headed effort sailed over Hamer’s goal.
Swansea then began to look more potent, with Olivier Ntcham and Joel Piroe both threatening the Reading goal.
It looked as if the home side had regained the lead after 23 minutes as Piroe slotted into an empty Reading net at the back post, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
The Swans then began to dominate the ball, with the away side happy to keep their shape and try and hit on the counterattack.
This tactic proved effective as Reading took the lead after half an hour. A long ball from Drinkwater found Carroll, who shifted the ball onto his left foot and scored low at Hamer’s near post.
The home side controlled the ball until half time but were unable to create any real opportunities against a resolute Reading defence.
Just four minutes into the second half Swansea equalised, a headed clearance from Tom Holmes fell to Manning who struck a wonderful right footed volley into the corner of Southwood’s net.
But the lead lasted just a minute. The ball broke to Dele-Bashiru who’s low shot bounced back off the post, Drinkwater was the first to react to slot the rebound home and regain the Royals’ lead.
With half an hour left Carroll went through on goal again, but his weak effort didn’t trouble Hamer.
The away side’s positive play continued as minutes later Josh Laurent struck a fierce effort from 25 yards, which was pushed wide by the Swansea goalkeeper.
The Swans looked certain to equalise in a chaotic goal mouth scramble in the Reading penalty area, but the ball was eventually claimed by Southwood after Manning’s effort.
In the 83rd minute the away side almost sealed the victory, as Swift’s thunderous free kick looked set to nestle into the top corner, however Hamer shifted across well to tip over.
Swansea almost equalised late on after more chaos in the away side’s goalmouth involving Piroe and Southwood, this time Andy Yiadom came to Reading’s rescue.
Reading were then able to see the game out comfortably, as Swansea’s attacking ideas seemed to run out.